I go to a private school.
I go on overseas holidays.
I'm looking at applying to Oxford University.
I read classic literature in my spare time.
I write nature poetry.
Am I a snob?
Sometimes it seems to me that the world thinks so.
Why is there such a bias against people from private school backgrounds? From what I see in popular media, private school students are a bunch of bitchy, snobby, stuck-up, whining selfish brats who have everything handed to them on a plate. According to the media, private schools are the home of rich, spoilt whelps who spend all their time trying to out-do each other and turning their noses up at anything and everything that they consider "common". Apparently we are always crying to Mummy and Daddy whenever something doesn't go our way, begging for more money to pay for the latest phone or a new polo pony because our old one threw us off in a game and made us loose and be humiliated in front of everyone.
But that's not the way it is. Of course the media must get this image from somewhere, but I can tell you that the majority of people who go to private schools are no different to the people you see anywhere else. Most of us aren't horribly wealthy - our parents are working overtime to pay for us to come to these schools, some of us have helps from grandparents or aunts, some of us are on bursaries, and everybody wants to fight it out for the scholarships that take a little of the weight off your family's financial burden. Some of us are Forces brats like me, only there because our primary education has been thoroughly fudged by moving around so much, and the only way to ensure we don't fail every exam we ever take is to put us in a boarding school, the majority of which are privately owned, with the M.O.D paying half our fees to keep us there. And, I'll tell you what, most of us would more than happily invite their neighbours over for a barbecue, never mind that they're not related to any high-powered lords.
I wouldn't normally get so heated about this, but I feel it has to be said. I can see why people think the system is unfair, but isn't that the governments' fault for not improving the standard of public education to match that of the private schools? And we're hardly at any supernatural advantage - we still have to take exactly the same exams and stress over exactly the same social issues as any other kids. Going to a private school doesn't give us super-powered brains that allow us to pass every exam with scarcely a batted eyelash. Trust me, we find Trigonometry just as hard as anyone.
Just because a person happens to live in a larger house or wear more expensive clothes doesn't mean their life is all honey and roses. Some of my friends' parents are divorced. Some live far away from home and only see their families three or four times a year. Some of my friends have issues with smoking. Some of my friends are having issues with their boyfriends.
Private school kids are no different to anyone else, if you look close enough.
We're not all snobs. Really.