So here’s the thing. I am a completely average human being. I come from a middle class, white family. I’m Canadian to the nth degree. I’ve always dabbled in extra curricular activities and my grades are decent. But nothing more. I’m not a super genius, I’m not an ingénue, I’m not excessively out-going and charismatic. I’m not under privileged; I’m not over privileged and I don’t come from any sort of minority group. I’m not gorgeous, or thin or ugly or overweight. I’m just about as average as average gets. And while I’m not particularly unsatisfied with who I am sometimes being average really gets me down.

You see, I have as much ambition as anyone else. I want to finish my university education, I want to be successful in a, as yet underdetermined, career; all the usual stuff. But I sometimes feel that my average-ness means that I have to work extra hard for all of this. When it comes time to apply for scholarships, I don’t have a whole lot of options. I don’t play sports, so that’s out. I’m not brilliant, so that’s out. I do have a fairly extensive and well-rounded extra curricular resume but it’s by no means outstanding. I don’t qualify for financial aid because my parents make too much money, I’m not an immigrant or descended from a member of a First Nations group, so all those are out too. And my parents definitely don’t make enough money to allow me to live expense free during my university years. What does that leave me with? Well, there are the randomized contests but I certainly didn’t inherit the luck of the Irish and there are the essay scholarships but, while my writing skills would probably be considered above average, they aren’t quite cut out for nationwide writing competitions. And those ones where you have to get people to vote for you? Forget it! Along with all my other average qualities, I’m not excessively popular either.

And then of course there are all the various internships and exchanges and enrichment programs that have quotas and diversity requirements. I definitely don’t fulfil any sort of diversity requirement. (Although occasionally being female can be a little bit helpful with those, one point to me!) And as for quotas, well, I tend to find that middle class, Caucasian females are a dime a dozen. Lucky me.

Of course this whole average thing applies to most areas of life, not just scholarships and acceptance letters. My award shelf isn’t overflowing because nine times out of ten there was someone just a bit better than me at everything. I work my butt off organizing events and coordinating fundraisers but I’m not the charismatic spokesperson so due credit is hard come by for me. I don’t walk into a room and command attention via my lukewarm personality or my exceptionally average looks so I tend to blend in social situations

That being said, I know I’m lucky to come from where I do and to have grown up as comfortably as I did. But sometimes, a little tiny part of me wishes my mom had gotten together with an African guy or that I was absolutely brilliant with perfect test scores just so I could feel like I had a leg up in the world. Most days, I’m okay with being me but every once in a while being 100% pure-bred average is exhausting!

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