Asian Parents and their Obsession with Doctors
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Asian Parents and their Obsession with Doctors

An Open Letter to… Well, Most Asian Parents.

Asian Parents and their Obsession with Doctors

Of course, not all experiences are the same, and the only version I know to be absolutely true is my version. So here it is! An Open Letter to… Well, Most Asian Parents.

Dearest Asian parent,

If your kids remember anything you tell them, it’s the one phrase they’ve probably heard at least numerous times in their life. And that is, “You will become a doctor.”

Of course, there are variations to this set-in-stone motto that all Asian parents seem to follow. There’s the more common and stern, “You will be a doctor and there’s no question about it.” There’s also the alternative gentle approach, “You can be anything you want, if all you want is to be a doctor.” If this “passive” goading fails, it almost immediately transitions to the former.

Why, why WHY are they like this?

Being the daughter of two very Asian parents myself (they were both born and raised in China), I didn’t like my situation in the slightest bit. Like any other young girl, or even child for that matter, I had dreams of my own. Dreams like being a ballet dancer, or an actress, or maybe even a flight attendant. In the back of my mind, I knew that my obedient self would eventually cave in just to please my parents. Sill, I dreamed.

When I finally had the guts to complain to my parents, I meekly said, “I want to be more like them.” But all they had to say was “ No worry, you be doctor and someday they want to be more like you.”

I began to hate the idea of being a doctor, even though I knew practically nothing about it.

A few years down the road, the meek little girl I once was grew up. Not surprisingly, my parents were still steadfast in their idea of a perfect future for me. While looking at colleges, I thought about all sorts of majors, all but anything related to what they wanted me to do. I felt years of pent up curiosity telling me to be different. To dare to be me.

Too bad I wasn’t sure what me even was.

The fact was, I honestly had no idea what I even wanted to do. Until a year ago, I hadn’t even thought about not listening to my strict parents. Their message had been coded into my brain, and it was permanent.

So, I toyed with them. Tried to use them as little puppets and changed the game.

“Get me a new phone or else I’ll fail Algebra and won’t be a doctor.”

“Take me to Hawaii or else I won’t even apply to the science camp.”

And so on and so forth.

But deep deep deeeeeeeep down I knew that all they wanted was the best for me. I just didn’t really want to admit it to myself.

Looking back to all those years, I’m glad I didn’t purposely self-destruct and ruin my education for me. Because the funny thing is, I’m actually kind of in love with biology, cells, anatomy, and all that good stuff.

So to all the Asian parents out there, or any parent at all (who probably isn't reading this but just humor me), this one’s for you. Let your child dream. And no, not by saying “You can be any… type of doctor.” But support him or her through the bumpy transition that’s life and that’s exploring what life has to offer. Because there is so much really.

I, along with your child(ren), would like to ask you to trust us, please. Because the only person who’s going to go through every experience, relationship, and job with us is our self. So let us be us!

Hey, you’ll be surprised. Maybe, just maybe we’ll be successful by doing what we love.


(your name here)

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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