For context, I'm a first generation college student that grew up on food stamps and government assistance, "raised" by a single drug addicted parent. I was fortunate enough to have some positive intervention / influence in my life, and decided I wanted a better life for myself. I have done everything "right"; I worked hard in school, got into a good program, got good grades, networked, etc. and finally made it into a top group at a top bank on Wall Street, but the one thing that I wasn't prepared for was the culture shock.
New York is very different than anything I'm used to. I'm told I'm personable and think that I do a good job of fitting in, but internally, it's extremely hard for me to relate to the people I work with. A lot of them went to prep schools, summer is a verb (as in where do you summer), there's lots of condescension, elitism, nepotism, and so on. People spend hundreds, if not thousands, on suits, watches, bottle service and the like. I find the work interesting and intellectually stimulating, but how can I bridge the gap between my coworkers and I? I feel as if my drive for everything I do comes from a completely different place than most everybody I interact with.
I don't bring this up to disparage anybody from well to do backgrounds, and it's not my intent to come off as pejorative in any way. In fact, I think it's unreasonable to expect most of the people I work with to understand where I come from, much in the same way I believe it's unreasonable to expect me to understand where they come from.
I'm simply just struggling to find a place for myself within this field.. and wondering if anybody here may have any input--whether it's making a similar journey yourself, or your perspective as somebody that comes from a different background, any insight or advice would be much appreciated.
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