On education

I realized that I’ve been leaning toward pretty deep topics ever since I started this blog.

Today the substitute teacher made a valiant attempt to actually teach in econ class. He asked, “How many people are here so they can get a good job?” I abstained because I think that’s a shitty reason to show up to class. Everyone else who was paying attention raised their hands. My friends looked at me quizzically.

I don’t know about you, reader, but I actually like to learn.

As a first generation Asian American I’ve endured my fair share of stereotyping. It was as if any time I performed above average it was due to my parent’s ridiculously high expectations of me rather than my own efforts.

Well I don’t even live with my parents. They probably just expect me to survive. As for my aunt, she’s always expected me to do my best, toughen up, and avoid excuses.

I always thought of college as a way out, and for years I was swept up in the same grade-obsessed frenzy as my peers. We were all attempting to stack up credentials and inflate GPAs in the hope that it would all cushion us against failure, that ultimate fear.

Somewhere along the way I rediscovered my love of learning.

I stopped worrying about lining up volunteer hours and maintaining high grades for the sake of college. I took classes I was genuinely interested in and took to reading more outside school. I re-prioritized and consequently enjoyed school more.

Here’s the punchline: I’ve been rejected at 3 schools, wait listed at 4, and accepted at 1. I’m still currently waiting for 2 more decisions, although there’s no way I’m getting into Cal.

I’m not feeling inadequate like I would have if I were the the same person I was freshman year. I’m not feeling totally ecstatic at the prospect of living on the east coast just yet, either. I’m at an odd state, suspended in disbelief.

I may just be in denial, but for me it isn’t about the name of the school, or whether I’ll acquire a high-paying job, or whether my peers will approve of wherever I eventually SIR.

I think it’s more about how my 11 year old self would never have thought she’d get the chance to go to college. It’s about how I used to dream of bright lights and the endless sounds of cars.

I need to re evaluate.


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