In the second section of my “Procrastination” column, I wrote about how the term “success” can be defined. Those of you who were wondering how MSJ ties in with success, this follow-up post is the point I wanted to make within that section.
As I grow frustrated, sometimes, whether it be making the smallest mistakes playing the piano or complaining about grades, I wonder what drives us Asians to expect such high grades, and literally reach for the sky. I know. It sounds stereotypical. But it’s really not, if you think hard enough about it. I think few people realize that parents are actually the main contributing factor to the success of their kids. From first glance, besides the fact that Asians are stereotyped with “chinky eyes”, they’re also intelligent human beings. Teens from other races, however, are perceived as high school dropouts, involved with gangs and criminal activities because they lack experience in life itself.
Like I said in my column about social conformity, everyday people face the pressures to conform to society. Society has its set of rules and expectations for you to follow. And if you don’t follow them, you face consequences. It’s the same with familial society. Before you were even born, your parents most likely already planned expectations for you. Then, when you were born they implemented these rules and expectations into your life that still last to this day. Of course, when you didn’t follow them you faced consequences. I believe that is why Asians are so driven towards success. Unlike parents of other races, Asian parents seem to never give up on nagging their children and pushing them forward. Everyday, and even I do this, I hear at least one of my friends say “I’m so screwed.” I ask why. Their response is always going to be a bad grade they have in some class and that their parents will “murder” them if they find out.
It’s not just about the parental high expectations, though. The students themselves seem to also have that high expectation in them, as if these expectations were implanted by their parents. That’s why everyday I hear about students negotiating for some way to get their grades up, whether it be extra credit or just keep turning stuff in and studying. Believe it or not, sometimes students even negotiate to get their A-‘s to A+’s. I mean, if you don’t have an A+, A- is still pretty good. But no, they strive to be above and beyond. It’s a constant competition to see which student has better grades. That’s something I really don’t see in any other race.
Teens from other races probably did get pressure from their parents to succeed, but once they started to not care about their education, their parents just didn’t want to deal with them anymore and let them do what they want, thus leading to an increase in high school dropout, crime, and even drug use. That is why and how Asian students manage to work their way towards the top of their class.