Money is Everything

March 12, 2012
By , Mountain View, CA
Growing up in the Silicon Valley is probably the worst thing that can happen to a child who doesn't have a lot of money. Here, you are surrounded by opportunity but you are unable to do any of it. Everything costs money. The trip to New York or Washington D.C that all your friends are taking but you can't because it's too expensive makes you feel like an outsider to their rich-girl clique. There they sit huddled around you and planning what kind of clothes to bring, the foods they will eat, the stores they will go to, and you just sit there and try to nonchalantly change the subject. While some schools offer financial aid, my school barely does. I can't go to Haiti or to Spain because it cost too much. I was supposed to go on a trip with a club to LA but I couldn't afford it. The president told me, "Oh, that's great. Now [another girl] can get her event back. We just needed to put you in something." I asked for financial aid but she practically told me "tough luck."
Now, it's not only the trips you miss out on, but you always feel left out. People will mock you if you don' have the hippest iPhone or mac. They make you feel terrible about not being as rich as they are. In my school, the level of snootiness has reached an all-time high. Some girls get shopping allowances and spend hundreds of dollars on a shirt (I can find the same one at Walmart for 10 dollars) while others spend thousands on courses outside of the school and private lessons. Now, I understand why the poor kids at my school are all druggies: they can't handle the rich kids and feeling like their lives are worthless because they haven't gone to Kenya to build shelters or taught children in Haiti or because they can't take private lessons and do something they love. People say "money isn't everything" but in the Silicon Valley, it's all that matters.

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