When I landed my first-ever full-time, salaried job, I experienced firsthand what class mobility felt like. Just like that – in what felt like an instant – everything changed.
I could finally go out to happy hour without counting my drinks. I could budget to buy really good gifts for my family during the holidays. I could afford to buy fresh produce every week at the grocery store.
But I never stopped being aware of how different life had been when I was underemployed, underpaid, overworked, and stretched for cash.
Class privilege can show up in really big, visible ways in our world.
Folks with money have access to every institution and organization they dream of, whereas some of us have to work full-time to get through school or can’t enroll at all. Families with bigger budgets can afford to live in neighborhoods their local government gives a damn about.
And while some of us are scraping by to pay our taxes, our rent, and our bills, other folks are busy packing for vacations, investing in opening up their dream businesses, or entering into a salient retirement.