How My Picky And Spoiled Upbringing Better Prepared Me For The Real World

by Kirsten Corley

There is a negative persona that comes with the word "spoiled." It refers to the Veruca Salts of the world, who get what they want, when they want it.

We can pinpoint these girls in movies and we grow to hate them for their lack of hard work and always being handed everything they could ask for, without ever learning their value.

Despite our general disliking, this is a new take on "spoiled" and how being picky helps you in the real world.

I can still hear my mom saying, “You're relentless; you don’t take no for an answer. It’s your way or no way.” I admit that I have a stubborn personality and I do tend to get what I want, but brat should be the last word anyone could use to describe me.

Throughout my childhood, getting me to broaden my horizons regarding food was a nearly insurmountable challenge. I liked everything to be a certain way.

When I finally came around to trying steak, I didn't like having the black charcoal on top, so after my dad grilled it, he would cut off the top and bottom of the steak and only give me the middle.

For years when I was little, I only ate “chicken.” So, when my family cooked something like ham, everyone around me would have to call it “pink chicken.” I never wanted any food on my plate to touch and I survived for years on these eating habits.

It wasn't until high school, when I tried Chinese food for the first time, that I began to change my ways.

Add my stubborn nature into the equation and you have someone who has always gotten what she wanted. I was very persistent as a child. I nagged my parents and never stopped until the result benefitted me -- which it almost always did.

As I got older, growing up spoiled, stubborn and resilient began to benefit me in life. In sports, my persistence got me starting spots I knew I deserved. In college, I made the team, not because I was good enough but because I worked hard.

I always somehow managed to get the classes I wanted, even the harder ones I shouldn't have been allowed into. As a freshman, I convinced a professor to let me into an advanced writing class, even though I had none of the prerequisites.

I emailed professors on almost an hourly basis when it came to things like grades, which were my pride and joy in life. When a teacher told me to drop a class with an F, I wasn't ready to settle; I ended up with a B in that class.

Then I entered the “real world.” In one ear, I heard people saying, “Take any job they give you; it's tough out there.” In the other, my old voice told me, “Don't settle and go get what you want.”

After many, many emails, cover letters, follow-up emails, more applications and more follow-up emails, light began to shine in my world that was beginning to seem completely dark.

It was a place I had never experienced. It was called "not getting what I wanted when I wanted it." So, I stayed resilient and kept trying, and eventually, I landed one article, one part-time job and soon enough, landed my dream job.

If I've learned anything from being “spoiled,” it isn’t that everything gets handed to you in life. In fact, I learned the opposite: I learned that when you want something, you fight for it. I learned that you do have the ability to get whatever you want, if you don’t give up.

That's the thing, however: You can't give up.

So often in life, we get led down paths of someone else’s choosing, forgetting what we originally wanted and next thing we know, we don’t know how we got to where we are. I challenge you to never let that happen in your life.

No one should wake up feeling confused about how he or she got somewhere. Rather, everyone should wake up pleased with the results of how being picky, resilient and hardworking got you to where you are.

Just because someone is spoiled doesn’t mean he or she falls into that stereotype. Spoiled is knowing you deserve better than average, and picky is knowing just what you want and how you will get there through persistence and hard work.

Photo Courtesy: Paramount Pictures/Clueless