The memories of the past back home of having little future, work, or money still linger at the back of my head. People lined up in droves to work for $15/hour after going to school for 4-5 years- sometimes for free, just to get experience. The person beside you wanted to cut your throat for a chance at law or medical school, as the future in the white collar world was bleak:
Be a lawyer, doctor, something in medicine, consultant, investment banker, etc. – or be jobless, or work for something like $15/hour, or even for nothing.
It was a playground for the rich, as most people who did well came from wealthy families with connections and abundant resources. People got sent to school to play, as their parents bought them homes, high end vehicles, university educations, sometimes even toys to attract girlfriends. Many were academically bred from the family’s financial arm with multiple tutors, elite private schools, or related academic support- where if you came from a poor family, you never had a chance to compete on even ground. The institutions catered to the rich and academic elite, and would love to see you perish to boost the prestige of their institutions. Everyday felt like another battle in a war, where you worked hard just to stay ahead of the competition, as let your feet slip, and the person beside you would become the reason you failed in school, or did not get the job, and became indebted further in the thousands with no cause.
On the contrary, was the poor- deeply indebted students owing tens of thousands of dollars, who would take the bus in the rain for hours daily for a chance to work for free just to gain experience for a chance at even a job that paid something. With skyrocketing living costs, living comfortable was only a distant dream. Some even dreamed to own just a vehicle, or a roof over their own head. Being late 20s and living in mom’s basement eating packaged noodles was not a taboo, but a regularity.
And if you were from a foreign background, your family would hate you for failing- call you a disgrace to the family, say you didn’t work hard enough, and see you just as a social failure, wondering why you didn’t end up as a lawyer, doctor, banker, etc. like the other kids from the rich families (though you did not come from one).
To this day I still hate my life for working 12-15+ hours a day- from -40C weather in the wind and snow, to +35C in the dust and scouring sun- and even to this day, making $300-500+/day, everyday still feels like a battle- where if I lost, I would lose everything, and be sent back home to the above realities. Nevertheless, at least I have a future, not dependent on fighting the person beside me who wants to cut my throat for the opportunity to wear a suit. Even if my strategies of late to move on from trucking to the electrical trade fail, and I am ensnared in a life grabbing gears, if I invest and take risks aggressively, I still have a chance of getting into a Ferrari.