Abitur 2013 Text I Composition Topic 1: Does social status affect a person’s options? Discuss.
Von Konrad Heidler
Good Childhood Opens All Doors
You have probably seen “Slumdog Millionaire”, a movie about a young Indian who grew up in the slums of Mumbai but then made a fortune on a TV quiz show. It is a great example of a person with little to no education succeeding in life. Sadly, reality is different in most cases. In real life, your future is determined by your social status from a very early age on.
Even though you can get a college degree for free in many countries, there are still many obstacles that prevent students with poor or uneducated parents from getting past high school graduation. While college tuition itself is free for example at community colleges, it is still a huge burden for poorer families to get their children through college as they won’t make their own money for at least another four years. Also college tuition isn’t the only expense a student needs to worry about. The money students need for books and other learning materials may seem ridiculously little at first, but it really adds quickly, essentially denying these adolescents the possibility to go to college.
Another reason why a young person’s life is heavily influenced by their social background is the fact that many children idolize their parents and want to lead their lives the same way their parents do. A trashman’s son won’t be too ambitious about making it up to the top because his dad sets him an example of how to live.
Finally what really spoils equal job opportunities is the cost of extracurricular education. Studies have shown that playing an instrument in your childhood for example will increase your cognitive abilities to an incredible extent. To stick with the example, if your parents can’t pay for music school you won’t ever have experienced the joy of playing an instrument and the mental training it provides.
All in all I think that your success in life is determined by too many factors which you can’t influence. It’s nobody’s fault for being born into a family of upper class whites or Mexican immigrants. And therefore, everybody should be able to decide what they want to do with their lives.