Like your good self, I’m one of those who managed to twist my way through the cracks and crevices to emerge as one of those that are indistinguishable from an elite, though, I did so in Britain. I then went to an American college of some note, studying the right field.
I know people I grew up with that, by any measure, deserve more success than I do. They have worked enormously hard and put extra-human strength towards their chosen profession. The difference between them and I? My effort was put towards maths, theirs was towards construction (for example).
It was pure, unadulterated luck that I was born small and had to become a STEM-lord, because I (still) don’t get the point of liberal arts as a profession, though I enjoy reading Shakespeare as much as anyone else does.