Southborough stereotypes need to go

Stereotypes create unnecessary divide between towns


Graphic Sharada Vishwanath

Staff writer Raiya Sehgal suggests avoiding conventional images on towns to help create a more unified school

Raiya Sehgal, Staff Writer

“Yeah that’s because you’re from Southborough” is a line I have been met with quite a few times through my first year of high school. In this day and age, we are exposed to a many different stereotypes, whether its gender, race, or sexual orientation. However, at our school, one of the most common stereotypes depends on the town you live in.

Perhaps these types of stereotypes are somewhat inevitable when two different towns come together in one high school, but no matter where you are from, at some time you are bound to be met with a sneer and a rude joke once people know your hometown. I believe one of the biggest stereotypes in our school community is the notion that every kid from Southborough is filthy rich.

I am fully aware that Southborough is notorious for being the “upper” in the term “upper middle class”. Kids from Southborough are subjected to pokes and prods about their wealth and their entitlement. I can understand those jokes. You drive through parts of town and see giant mansions and houses worth $600,000 or more. There are fancy, expensive private schools with big turf fields and kids walking around in plaid. Southborough is an admittedly privileged town.

But by no means does that mean that every single person living in it is a pompous aristocrat who doesn’t need to work a day in their lives.

I think what should matter to us is not the personal wealth, but the person’s virtue. Most people living in Southborough work hard to live their lifestyle There are some people who work tirelessly every day to support their families and barely get by. There are over 10,000 people in town and over the years new apartment complexes have begun to diversify the economy. According to Southboroughs average household income is still high at about $150,000 compared to Massachusetts household income at about $75,000. Though most people in town are richer than average that shouldn’t mean that the town’s reputation should be tarnished for being a wealthy area.

I believe that Southborough’s reputation does affect some of its adolescent inhabitants in a negative way, especially when the stereotype doesn’t apply to them. The teasing can be hard for the families that don’t have the money they are believed to have and most of the kids who are more privileged than others don’t usually try to flaunt it. Kids from Southborough are still kids and they don’t deserve to be shamed for things they hardly can control.

Obviously, this stereotype does not affect our everyday lives that much, and there are a million other stereotypes in our school, regardless of the town a student lives in. Northborough kids experience their own set of stereotypes as well, and I am not trying to take anything away from them. I just think that in the long run this “joke” causes unnecessary and harmful division between the towns. As a school, we need to come together to learn how to get to know individuals better before we pass false judgment to truly all be Tomahawks.