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View Full Version : Education and seperation from kin



nicyvefra
01-27-2005, 04:27 AM
I love my family, but I sometimes feel that there is a wedge between us. Oh let's be real, the wedge's name is education. Have any of you ever felt that going to/completing college caused seperation? I don't feel like I act any differently, but I really feel like they treat me differently. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to learn more about things that I'm interested in, but I don't like being made to feel guilty about it. Is this happening to anyone else? It's not my whole family, but it's enough to make me feel attacked on every level to the point where I don't even feel comfortable enough to say anything.

charli
01-27-2005, 04:48 AM
Don't take this the wrong way. Or take it the wrong way. It has been my experience that college students and recent college graduates way overestimate the importance that other people place on that degree.

Whether it's that non-degreed people treat you differently or non degreed people have issues, or that your recenty acquired degree affords you a better (fill in the blank, job, mate, status) and that non degreed people all of a sudden lost the ability to converse with you, whatever it is.

I have also noticed that this *magically* goes away the more time passes after graduation.

It's possible that *some* people in your family treat you differently, but it's more likely that you *expect* a difference and create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So the answer to your question is a big fat No. I have never felt that way. And I have some tried and true haters in my family, but I have never felt that way. But then I also wasn't the one to come in talking about what I recently learned in quantative analysis.

nicyvefra
01-27-2005, 05:03 AM
Hallo! Before I start, I'm just clearing the air now that I'm not trying to debate.


Originally posted by charli@Jan 26 2005, 10:48 PM
It has been my experience that college students and recent college graduates way overestimate the importance that other people place on that degree.

No, my family will actually put me down with a reference to the degree in the same sentence, so I'm pretty sure I'm not imagining it. Like I can't even watch TV without, "Look at ya, ya come home from college and act like I'm the country bumpkin." AND I'LL JUST BE WATCHING TV EATING A BAG OF DORITOS!!!


Whether it's that non-degreed people treat you differently or non degreed people have issues, or that your recenty acquired degree affords you a better (fill in the blank, job, mate, status) and that non degreed people all of a sudden lost the ability to converse with you, whatever it is.

I have also noticed that this *magically* goes away the more time passes after graduation.

I dunno about this, I'm mainly trying to figure out why my fam's trippin.' I certainly hope that you're right.


It's possible that *some* people in your family treat you differently, but it's more likely that you *expect* a difference and create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Nah, I wanted to be an artist before I left for school. I want to be one now. I went to college b/c I wanted to, not b/c I had to. On the one hand, I feel punished for not following an "acceptable" path my family could brag on ("My baby a [doctor, lawyer, engineer, insert soul draining job here ____]), while on the other, I don't really like being attacked b/c I happen to be reading the paper when someone enters the room.

I get slack for my hair (blamed on college and passed off as a phase), I get slack for my clothes (b/c it doesn't make sense to wear such stupid shoes -- Converse). I get slack for not wanting to watch Barbershop (I hated it).


So the answer to your question is a big fat No. I have never felt that way. And I have some tried and true haters in my family, but I have never felt that way. But then I also wasn't the one to come in talking about what I recently learned in quantative analysis.

691135


Um, okay. Thanks for playing. :D

Lokii
01-27-2005, 06:37 AM
Okay I'll try. I never had a wedge with my family because of my education but I've experienced rifts with friends (or ex-friends) and coworkers over different issues.

I'm going to take a middle ground between what you (OP) are saying and Charli's response. I think there perception is on both sides. You say you don't act differently and by that you probably mean you aren't snotty. But fact of the matter is that you went into a new environment and learned new things so you are different and you probably think think the new you is a good thing. Your family can see the difference in you and this may scare them because they don't understand what they're seeing. They might think they've lost you and so they're doing the "reject her before she rejects me" thing. I also don't totally brush away the fact that there may be some feelings of inadequacy and that might also be causing them to lash out.

Since you say your family aren't college educated they may not be familiar with the paths that a college grad can take. People who don't go to college usually think that college is something you do to get a "good job" and their idea of "good job" = doctor or "suit job". Otherwise why spend all that time and money? - they think. So if they see someone taking an alternate path it's confusing to them. Sometimes you have to talk about yourself to get people to understand that understand that you can benefit from education in many ways that don't involve a suit job.

I am going to agree with Charli that the perception about being different is going to fade with time. You shouldn't feel guilty for your education though. If I was in your shoes I would just be you, ignore the negative comments, and be cordial. In short, you might have to take the high road for a while to get them back to a comfort level with you. If you can bring them around to the point where they can say, "oh she's kool and down to earth," then obviously the "oh she thinks she's this and that because she went to that college" issue goes away.

Sometimes a rift can mend pretty fast and other times it can take years so if you try and don't get insta results you just have to be patient and in the meantime go on with your life.

On the other hand, reality is that some people are going to be haters no matter and if you get the feeling that this is the case then there's nothing you can do but leave them alone.

charli
01-27-2005, 06:51 AM
No, my family will actually put me down with a reference to the degree in the same sentence, so I'm pretty sure I'm not imagining it. Like I can't even watch TV without, "Look at ya, ya come home from college and act like I'm the country bumpkin." AND I'LL JUST BE WATCHING TV EATING A BAG OF DORITOS!!!


Oh, I got stuff like that but I never took it seriously. I would just joke back "You ARE hella country." Or something like that. It's hard to know if it was said with malice or not, but in my family people say stuff like that all the time. It wasn't spiteful, it was just a, well, a passive aggressive way of showing pride. You know, black folks with too much pride to just break down and say "I'm proud of you" would try to embarass you about it one way or the other. I had an family member come over once and say "oh she think she all that with her degree all up on the wall". It rubbed me the wrong way, but it wasn't spiteful at all, I know her and I know how it is.

Black families just don't have those hallmark moments often, they come out as smart azz remarks some times.

nicyvefra
01-27-2005, 04:27 PM
Good points from you both. Maybe I am just being a big weenie. I'm glad to know its short lived. :) I'm not bold enough to snap back Charli, but I do feel better to know they aren't trying to be mean. Thanx.

morena23
01-27-2005, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by charli@Jan 26 2005, 08:48 PM
Don't take this the wrong way. Or take it the wrong way. It has been my experience that college students and recent college graduates way overestimate the importance that other people place on that degree.

Whether it's that non-degreed people treat you differently or non degreed people have issues, or that your recenty acquired degree affords you a better (fill in the blank, job, mate, status) and that non degreed people all of a sudden lost the ability to converse with you, whatever it is.

I have also noticed that this *magically* goes away the more time passes after graduation.

It's possible that *some* people in your family treat you differently, but it's more likely that you *expect* a difference and create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So the answer to your question is a big fat No. I have never felt that way. And I have some tried and true haters in my family, but I have never felt that way. But then I also wasn't the one to come in talking about what I recently learned in quantative analysis.

691135


OMG, Charli - Why are you always soooo on point.

My friend told me she felt the same way. When she got her degree, and everyone just treated her like the same ol' chick, she was offended until she realized she was the same ol' chick. With a degree.

roxygirl
01-27-2005, 08:02 PM
My immediate family has never treated me differently because of my degree. In fact, it was just expected that I go on to school for a bachelor's degree and I probably would've only heard negativity if I had chosen not to go.

I have a very large extended family, but don't keep in close contact with most of them, so I'm really not sure what they think. I know that when I sent out graduation invites, I only got a few cards/acknowledgement back, so who knows? :dunno:

frau
01-27-2005, 11:16 PM
i wish my friends and family would give me some degree respect, they need to recognize, lol.

shoot the old ones were more likely to tell me i needed to stop taking classes and get a job.

bluephiyah
01-28-2005, 02:25 PM
my family has been pretty happy. . .especially since i'm the only woman to actually look like she might make it through without getting married/pregnant. (the men in my family didn't even bother). i have noticed some of the older people in my family won't talk to me about certain issues anymore. but that's because i'll argue back now and not blindly acquiesce to their side.

i'm sure (i hope?) your family is proud, though. wait till some emergency pops up that just so happens to need your special expertise. . .they'll be all over you wanting that book lernin'.

Siennasilk
01-28-2005, 03:16 PM
I believe this happens alot when leaving behind family in small towns or inner cities for education of a world outside of that. I don't think it has as much to do with a degree as it has to do with experiencing more of the world than they have. You have both proud family members and also the ones that may be a bit jealous of your experiences.

Some people return home to their childhood neighborhoods and realize that absolutely NOTHING has changed, when their whole life, interests, goals, etc. HAS changed due to a broader view of the world. The local relatives and friends pick up on it and may feel that you look down on them because they "ain't educated" like you.

2curly
01-29-2005, 04:58 AM
I don't think its necessarily dividing black families. I think its more of an situation that has to do with the background of ones family or enviroment, expection etc.

Its expected in my family whether or not one goes. More so of the expectation from the older ones.
My great great grandmother (born 1893)went to bennett ? College. Her father went to Biddles which is now known as A&T for all you Aggie fans who know your schools history.
They knew the struggle it took to go when it wasen't as easy since they knew more than anyone and remembered (fresh in their history) of it being against the law to be taught how to read.
Education should bring black familes closer togeather not further apart.
I agree with your statement Charli. I've noticed that everynow and then.

Keedah
01-29-2005, 05:31 AM
You should read the book "The Miseduacation of the Negro" by Carter Woodson. Im reading it in my college African American Seminar and it discusses how eduacation effects the black community (from the way the eduacated act to the way they are treated by other blacks). Although the book was written in 1933 it still has some relevent points that will make you think.

bajanempress
01-30-2005, 07:38 PM
I do know that some persons return from school and act like idiots, lording it over people but there are also some folks who genuinely have an inferiority complex.

I worked in an office where if I disagreed with the opinion of a particular woman the first thing out of her mouth was: "Well ofcourse you would know since YOU have a degree" in the snidest fashion possible. Other women in another office referred to me as dumb and a black blonde every chance they got. Ignorance like that you just have to rise above.

but as Chapelle said:
"Hatas gonna hate
Ballas gonna ball....
I want to p**s on you
Drip drip drip"

some folks just gotta "rain" on your parade

~*welekevu*~
01-31-2005, 09:48 AM
I don&#39;t feel any disconnection from my family or community. I will not end up the way so many of my professors have (I go to an HBCU). They are always talking about how many degrees they have, where they went to school, and act like our dialects are so far below them now that they can&#39;t understand what the students say. <_< A number of them have said "No sister-girl talk allowed in this room." <_< I&#39;m like, how about you get down off your high a$$ horse long enough to remember how you used to talk before you let education change your view of your own people. Education is supposed to improve you in the sense of increasing your knowledge and outlook on certain aspects of life, not make you think you are better cause you have a degree and maybe some letters behind your name. So many of my professors seem so dehumanized by education, so I&#39;m really making a conscious effort not to let my education become my world and disconnect me from where I came from. Anybody who really wanted to could get a degree given the chance.

:2cents: welekevu

nicyvefra
02-05-2005, 05:11 AM
--Did not mean to abandon this post.-- I will look into reading that. It certainly sounds very interesting, I&#39;m certain there will be something I can take away after reading. In regard to Charli, I honestly can&#39;t agree or disagree. I haven&#39;t really come across too many high and mighty graduates, but then again, I&#39;ve never really liked to associate with people that would act brand new at a moments notice. I NEED STABILITY, YA KNOW! :P

Note: If I forget to look at this again, I&#39;ll let it die like an old post should.

AgentDime
02-05-2005, 03:09 PM
I have felt that education can be a wedge. I think when sometimes people take different paths, and the conections that you may not be as strong.

I haven&#39;t had it w/i the family, but I have had it w/ friends.