In-between the halves and the halvenots lie the bourgeois, the kind that doesn’t exactly have it all but then again they sort of have it all, our standard middle class people. But then the rich or the more privileged always find it better or rather soothing to see themselves as the middle class ‘kinda’ people. I guess it helps them sleep at night. But I am not here to sulk on the rich but rather talk about the social classism around bourgeois since its one we all identify with whether we are in denial of what we are or its a label that is common for s all o relate to or something we aspire to be. As young adults, we are all striving to beat the absurd mediocrity we have had as we were growing. So, we have come to redefine what we think of the social constructs especially around money and who we socialize with. There is a lot of pressure as we try to make something of ourselves. But then why are we so obsessed with how we are seen and who we are seen with, whats the end goal and how we so unsatisfied with what we are, how did we get here? I think I have a theory.
Lets go back to the times when our parents were much younger, amidst all the stories our parents bore,one thing is certain the rich and the poor didn’t mix. And the then middle class might have had a shot at mixing with the rich but not as much as it is today. the rich then were an enclosed community, sacred but known since they weren’t as many as they are today. But they had drawn a line of accessibility that means they had specific schools that took in only their children, they built houses in places that were enclosed to their entity, went to eat in places that were only accessible to them. With this, most of our parents strived to provide a better life for their children. In the long run,some got rich others maybe settled with whatever they had but they swore that their children would have it easier than they did. Then a shift came in, turns out these schools that were only deemed for the rich were open to everyone with good-grades or on merit but the aspect of money or being admitted on grounds of two adults knowing each other didn’t phase out although they tried to make it seem like it was all about fairness. With that aside, we were or are now able to study with the rich and the middle class. The administrations of the schools today ( who are now our parents) are trying to level the fields so as to make every child wanted and accepted, some are harsh for-example, schools not allowing kids to carry ‘eatables’ to school, some demand for a certain number of basic necessities like 4 pairs of evening wear aka ‘casual clothes’. The goal then was to see that everyone fits in. but even with all that in place, certain things aren’t controllable. And yes, even the integrity of teachers is one of those things, certain children were given special treatment whether its cause of the status of the parent or the race or the money given to these teachers to ensure that a child gets special treatment, these still caused a lot of discomfort with other kids. But we all want to associate with people who are having it better than us. and thus came an era of fake friends or friends with benefits aka ‘the kawsharas’ indirectly, we were learning that to survive one has to fake it, get close to someone who is known or you are left behind instead of making meaningful relationships. Imagine learning this at the age of 8, what exactly should a 12 year old do? now with these, open institutions and their acceptance for other social classes, we were then told how lucky we are to be here, society including our parents and teachers told us to act the part. What part exactly. to consider ourselves lucky, to be different, and set ourselves part because of where we live, study and who we know. this affected how we socialized even amongst ourselves. soon, the people who weren’t in these places were told to look up to those who are there already and that success starts when you study, talk, and eat with these people. honestly, the false sense of pride or the fact that we were told that where you study from is enough to represent you in the society. And now we aren’t equipped with even the simplest social skills like communication, reasoning, saying thank you.
“try not to be too sensitive this time round”, “keep your head down”, “that’s how they are” et cetera, if I had a coin for every time that my parents said these when I tried to talk about my school experiences especially those surrounding friends, conflict and money. With time, i just stopped telling them what used to happen at school. I had settled with compromising and staying out of situations and other things. I think that’s why I missed out on a lot of things in high-school. I was filled with doubt about myself, and I was looking for ways to fit in even when it was uncomfortable. The thing is if you seemed too far and different then you were ridiculed for being off tune and off with the trends. for-example, my father used to buy shoes that weren’t exactly ‘standard’ worthy anyway that’s what schoolmates said. And the laughter echoing every time you walked in with your ‘rare’ or different shoe or the whispers killed my morale and for other people. But you weren’t going to go home and tell your father that I can’t go back to school with these shoes. They are durable, it’d save a lot of money to buy other school materials and I knew it but I wanted to fit in. So, I’d suck it up. But then that meant I couldn’t socialize with people who were cool. The thing with high school was knowing what was trending and acting like it. acting on impulse on our emotions then and whatever was forbidden. High-school was finding a tribe that could accept you for what others thought about you. I mean if other people thought you were cool then you wouldn’t fit in with people who weren’t cool or the movie kind of people. We drew a social construct on superiority and it manifested more and more. the problem with this came a clash of loyalties. 1. what your parents tell you to do. 2. what does social media say? 3. what are your peers saying. There was never an aspect that highlighted who you were and what you were comfortable with. Its always what will they say, what is it that I can do? And thus our social circles comprised of people who were told that they would be a perfect fit if they hanged out with you and they are the ones who understand you. But with this, came the superior and inferior complex, if you were told to be cool, you were more superior. Its cause people strived to know who it was who is the cutest or the richest or the most social. These later became little establishments that sprang up and became solid in our minds and in how we acted. And this mainly happens in the ages between 13 and 16. whereas between the ages of 16 and 19, its like entering a new segment, most times, people want to start over this some switch schools while others find a new persona or identity. These ages are more focused on assertion, a way to find yourself. More things come to mind, like adulting, more hobbies manifest and you are looking at making more connections. the endings of these ages are normally devastating for some and for others is beautiful. It tastes how we connect and how we try to comprise. You want yourself to be seen as an individual and as a superior no matter who your friends are and that’s why there is a lot of conflict issues in that age of 16 to 19. And here we are more aware of the ‘importance’ of friendships, we are solely looking for comfort and being understood. but then the cycle becomes more trivial when we step into colleges or universities.
The break from school or what we call the vacation as one prepares to go to universities, normally creates a vacuum for new interests, new friends. by the time, I was in my vacation, I think I was in over 50 whats-app groups, trying to make new friends but then with time, competition started kicking in, at first it seemed harmless, it was just who changed their hairstyle more or what clothes does one have but with time, these competitions have evolved. we started looking in other aspects like dating and social media. The dynamics immediately changed. Who has how many followers, who follows who, who is going abroad for uni etc and after that all these lifestyles presented a common factor money. And now most of us are striving to be part of the rich status quo or close to them. with uni, came a whole other aspect, we aren’t trying to be the same any more, we are trying to be different. and we want less friends but then again, we have a fear of later regretting not having someone in our lives when they become a bigger and better person. Its a crisis, the fact that we can hardly communicate, stuck to the labels, trying to be unknown but at the same time we want to be adored and listened to. And frankly, i don’t know what will happen next. I hope to write about it when I am 30 perhaps with answers this time.