Who is more interesting:
Girl A: Was brought up in a nice middle class home, father was a middle manager at a Fortune 500 company, mother was a homemaker. She studied hard, played field hockey, went to the University of Connecticut, and is now as an assistant product manager at Proctor & Gamble. She stays in touch with her circle of friends from college and has recently taken up triathlons. Occasionally goes clubbing.
Girl B: Was brought up on the outskirts of the Everglades. Her father was a fisherman and part time alligator poacher. (She helped him skin the alligators.) When she was 11, her father was killed by a water moccasin bite. Her mother later spent time in jail for transporting a controlled substance, which she did at the behest of her meth dealer boyfriend. While the mother was in jail, the boyfriend raped the girl, then 17. It didn't occur to the girl to press charges, but she did later steal some meth from him and sold it herself. With the money she got from that, she moved to Miami and got a job as a cocktail waitress, then soon discovered she could earn more by hooking on the side.
I realize that this sounds as if I'm romanticizing poverty in a particularly elitist way, making the poor girl's life sound almost appealing, when there's really nothing good about it. Any sane person given a choice would obviously choose to lead Girl A's life.
And to anybody who grew up in poverty, Girl A actually had the more exotic, intriguing background.
Still, most of us would probably be more impressed by the resourcefulness and toughness of Girl B than of Girl A.
I suppose that making this comparison is a little like pointing out that Ted Bundy has a more interesting backstory than the average well loved middle class child. The average child did not have a grandfather who swung a cat around by its tail and bashed its brains out against a wall. And the average child is not told that his unmarried mother is merely his older sister. Such a background is, of course, more interesting, but unfortunately the end result can be Ted Bundy.
Likewise, most prostitutes are hardly role models for well-adjusted, healthy lives either. Many are dysfunctional because of their abused backgrounds, and many are just plain too dumb to do much of anything else. (And this is ignoring those who were tricked or coerced into prostitution.)
All this said, the young man still had a good point: people who've had to scramble to survive have usually led far more interesting -- and often, admirable -- lives than those whose biggest worry in life has been their GPA.