March 2012 (perspective of a Ph.D. student)
I suspect that my peers and I take more credit for our own accomplishments than we should. We often forget all of the implicit privileges that we enjoy due to products of sheer luck, most notably our genes and childhood environment.
Here are some implicit privileges that I enjoyed throughout my childhood:
In sum, I had the privilege of being able to attain my goals through hard work and perseverance. Sadly, most people in the world do not share this level of implicit privilege that many of my peers and I often take for granted.
Privilege is associated with wealth, but money isn't the whole story. Most of my high-achieving peers are not "rich kids" (and would be offended at being labeled as such). However, we grew up with a wealth of non-material privileges such as well-educated, emotionally supportive parents and a social environment that enabled us to realize our potential.