Poor and traumatized at Harvard (Imposter Syndrome Never Leaves)

A great article from Due Quach about coming from a poor Philadelphia neighborhood and going to Harvard.

The feeling of alienation so many of us go through that are able to rise up and out of our environment/hood/ghetto is always there. The only people I know that came from poor circumstances and ‘get out’ either have that feeling of separation in their new social groups — or they fake it with excessive bravado. Otherwise known as being bougie.

It didn’t take long for me to feel completely alienated by the ivory tower academic culture and the self-absorbed drive of my peers and my professors. The administrators preached about lofty goals and celebrated alumni who had changed the world. Yet, I learned the hard way that America’s oldest and most prestigious university makes changes to accommodate no one. Harvard was then (and probably continues to be) a sink or swim environment. Looking back, not a single staff person from Harvard’s admission team who knew about my background and financial situation ever reached out to check on me. If there was anyone on staff who gave a damn if I did sink, I didn’t know who that person was.

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