From Generation To Generation

When thinking about education as a whole, one tends not to look back and evaluate their educational career and how it really shaped their life. My parents have tried their best to encourage my sister, brother, and I to clearly do our best, which will eventually lead to success. In class (two weeks ago), we had the opportunity to look back and reflect on our educational career, as well as why we are functioning the way we are today.

As far as I can remember, my parents were very hard on my siblings and I when it came to grades. We were basically expected to do well (A’s and B’s) and have a relatively hard course load. In high school, we took AP classes and were challenged by science classes. By working hard and receiving the reward of good grades has allowed for me to be where I am today. We also had very high discipline levels. Being shy, I had a hard time speaking in class and in front of others. It was so scary to me until about this year; I feel more confident and happy about my life and where I am/who I am with. It has been a life-changing year, leaving the childhood things and actions behind and facing adulthood and independency. If my parents did not “care” about our grades or how we were in school, I would not be striving for success. I would probably be in college still, but have lower grades and not as good of focus or intentions to succeed.

My parents encouraged (basically forced) me to attend college right after high school. They know that by doing so it is the easiest way to achieve future dreams, as well as the concept of a college degree. It was pretty much implanted in my mind that after high school goes college, then a job and master’s degree (if strived for), then making a career. Besides from an education, I was taught to follow my heart and take risks while doing so. My parents want my siblings and I to find our passion and share it with others; whether it is through a spouse/family or speaking in front of groups inspiring others. They just want us happy and to be able to make a difference in the world in whatever way(s) we know best.

The outlook on human life has changed a lot since my parents were my age. One could be successful and not hold a college degree; there could just be one person (manly the male) who has a job. They survived on little to nothing. My dad’s dad died when my dad was six years old. His mother did not know how to drive, have a job, or run a household of two boys. At the age of forty, my grandma had to learn to do so much, although she did so by taking little jobs like working at a grocery store. Once my dad and his brother were old enough, they started working to support their household. My dad has shown us what it is like to live frugally and to start at the bottom of the work force. He has been a model to know that it is okay to mess up, and to know that family is always there to support one another. Until about a year ago, I did not realize how respected my dad is at his company. He works in the outlet mall industry as the senior vice president, along with building supervision and real estate manager. My mom has also had a very frugal life. Her family lived in a two-bedroom house, for six plus people. Her dad worked in a factory and in the auto industry, as well as served in the Korean War. Her mom was a teacher. Both of my grandma’s parents died in a car accident when she was sixteen. She was then an orphan until she was eighteen and went to college. By growing up in the Sixties, my mom learned to survive on less than a few dollars a day for a family of six. My mom taught my siblings and I the responsibilities of running a household. She works part-time as a college professor, teaching business. She has especially shown me how to be a good person and live a life of service towards others and to be grateful for every moment lived.

My parents have taught me how to become an independent person and to stand up for what is right. They have encouraged me to live a positive life and to explore the possibilities, but more importantly follow my dreams. Becoming independent and having the opportunity to inspire others through teaching is my passion and calling in life. I cannot wait to be a teacher and make a difference to the lives of children.

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