Although perceived as fortunate, people in Carmel still suffer through daily struggles

Although+perceived+as+fortunate%2C+people+in+Carmel+still+suffer+through+daily+struggles

Royce Brown and Tsion Daniel

Last winter break, I went skiing in Perfect North with my friends. There was one instance where I was separated from all of my friends, and seeing that there was no point in searching for them, I went on a lift with a stranger. This boy was about the same age as me, and we made small talk, consisting of the usual “How are you?” and “What’s your name?” 

Finally, he asked which city I was from. Without thinking, I blurted out that I came from Carmel. He slightly squinted and said something along the lines of, “Oh, wow. Isn’t that the place where all the rich people live?” When I asked where he came from, he named a place in Indiana that I’ve never even heard of before. This conversation made the atmosphere awkward, but I was in luck since we were almost at the top of the slope. We said our goodbyes, and I never saw him after that.

The weird part is, I am not the only one who experiences this same scenario. My dad always says he’s from Northern Indiana, so he doesn’t have to admit he’s from Carmel. In other areas of Indiana, Carmel is known as a city full of wealthy, spoiled people who experience little to no struggles. In reality, however, this statement is completely false. 

As we approach Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17, the themes of luck and wealth must be addressed. Is Carmel really a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? With a $112,765 median household income in 2019 according to the U.S Census Bureau, it is no surprise that people perceive Carmel as the city of wealth.

However, struggles, whether they are large or small, are experienced by everybody regardless of income. And Carmel is not immune to those struggles. In this school, I’ve met a lot of people who have suffered or are currently suffering from mental health. For example, while CHS offers many challenging classes and a variety of clubs that look good on college applications, this in turn can cause frequent burnout. Depression and sleep deprivation are also common symptoms seen in a handful of students. Are we really that lucky to be offered these challenging courses while sacrificing our mental well-being?

Additionally, contrary to popular belief, quite a few people in Carmel struggle with economic issues. In the same U.S Census Bureau statistic, Carmel was reported to have a poverty rate of 3.5%. To put this in perspective, assuming that around 5,400 students are in CHS, 189 of those students live in poverty. Therefore, it is unfair to make the conclusion that every family in Carmel is wealthy. 

I hope that in the future, people will look at Carmel as just another city in Indiana. I wish for a day when I could proudly wear a Carmel T-shirt in another city or town without being stared down with judgmental eyes. It is time for people to understand that Carmel is not a field full of flowers and four-leaf clovers. Carmel is a city full of ordinary people, who struggle with daily problems like any other human being.

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