I'd grown up knowing we were well off, but I'd never met such a concentration of enormously wealthy snotty arrogant d*ck wads all in one place all of them sharing the same sense of entitlement to the best life could offer and contemptuous of those of us who weren't like that. That's not envy. I didn't envy them. They were soulless, heartless, arrogant, over-privileged takers of the George W. Bush class who would never struggle for anything in their lives. They didn't have to attend class, they could have someone else do it for them, and many did. Some grad students made their living doing it for them and writing their essays as well. You could generally pick out the well heeled Preppy Conservatives at a hundred yards by their clothes, the ones who drove brand new sports cars and went on incredible vacations both in summer and during the year (isn't it wonderful when you don't really have to attend class). That's why Study Week in February was always called Ski Week, even though more people went south to the beach than went skiing.
I wasn't poor by any means, but I couldn't afford vacations, and I worked every summer and saved my money to help with tuition and living expenses. I never had a car as an undergraduate, but lived in the cheapest places I could find within walking distance of the University to save money for records and food. Records and concerts were my indulgence in Uni as the Brits call it. And by Junior year I was working in the library at least one and sometimes 2 evenings a week. We middle class kids were looked down on, insulted regularly and were excluded from the Richie Rich crowd, not that we had anything in common with them anyway. And curiously, they were always the kids who had some clever dodge to avoid the Draft as well. The summer of graduation I showed up for induction with a copy of my medical file from my doctor, going back to the age of 1yr. Eczema, allergies, severe asthma, but they still made me run around the block to see if I could do it. I couldn't. I had to stop just past 3/4 of the way having tightened up with Exercise Induced Asthma which I treated with the inhaler I had shown them at the beginning. I'd been using an inhaler from 1958 in grade school.
Mort Campbell who later changed his name back to Kamel got student loans for a total of 4 years by lying about his family's income and played the stock market, until the loan came due to begin payments about 6 months after graduation, when he paid the whole of it back interest free, and pocketed roughly the same amount or more. His parents paid his bills in University, and he became a doctor two years later. We were never friends, but we bumped into one another periodically. Another well heeled Republican with his eye on the main chance, who prospered on a student loan meant for the less well off. In other words he denied a place at University to some qualified student, by taking up one of the relatively limited student loan spots in order to line his own pockets. He didn't care about what he'd done in the slightest. I remember being struck dumb by his arrogant selfish fraud and the very frank boastful way he talked about it even though I was one of the stovepipe jeans and work boots crowd which was the uniform of the liberal/radical crowd in University.
Only a portion of the Arts Faculty and its students were liberal, not the University as a whole and that remains true to this day. You couldn't find many in any of the Business programes, or Economics or Finance or Medicine or Dentistry, or Law. though that last one was breached beginning around 1966-7.
You're not likely to believe that either since it runs counter to your preconceptions, but it's the truth, and it was true for every other middle class kid University too. Some people decided to mimic the conservatives since they seemed to "know it all" The rest of us despised the preppy pi$$-ants and their snotty snooty parents too, always applying pressure on the faculties to up junior's grades and threatening a law suit, but that was SOP for that class of people, the class with lawyers on permanent retainer. The real Takers in society. Born on Third Base and determined to steal Home by any means no matter how underhanded.
Why the hell do you think Radicals were so Radical and angry? Most of them came from loving caring homes, they didn't bring the anger with them, they developed it when confronted with the privileged elite in its newly hatched stage at University. It did no good to say, "The predominant group of students at University are loathsome sc*m bags who will cheat anybody and think they own the world", so we got upset about the War, and social injustice and the excessive power of corporations in the hope that we could create some sort of change to ameliorate it. We couldn't achieve Jack Sh*t but the effort was admirable for the most part. For every Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn there were tens of thousands of students beaten black and blue by police enjoying their power and authority, but we went back the next week or the week after that after we'd healed up, trying to make America a fairer freer place for everyone, not just for wealthy white people. We failed sadly, but we tried, and I'm still glad to have been part of it.
I have never envied anyone in my life. I may have wished for greater financial success, but I love the life I've lived the music I've heard and seen, the people I've known and still know and the places I've been. The only regret I have is to have chosen the woman I chose, and she only grew sour toward the end. More than anything, I love my son, who is currently in Business Administration !!! but who is still a wonderfully bright handsome exceedingly capable young man for whom I hope great good things and success. Please note I don't wish for him to have no troubles or an easy time, I wish him the very best in surmounting those troubles and difficulties. And I hope that his lovely girl friend sticks by him and that they have a good life.
Now if that sounds like envy to you, you need your eyes and your ears checked.
BTW, thank you, Toni and James, for stimulating me to think about all of this and actually figure out what it is I actually feel about it and why.