Why My Parents Are Embarrassed Of Me

Why My Parents Are Embarrassed Of Me

Dear Mom and Dad, I'm sorry.

I’m a failure. This thought constantly ran through my mind - sometimes making an appearance. I was confused because these weren’t my own words nor my idea of myself. This idea of being a failure stemmed from external factors, such as parents and previous classmates. Though, this wasn’t an idea explicitly expressed, it was nonetheless expressed even if it was unspoken.

Having attended private institutions since preschool, it only seemed fitting that I’d go on to an Ivy League or private university, such as Stanford. After all, this is the main reason why parents enroll their children in such rigorous, academic environments at such a young age. Unfortunately, I did not meet that dream for my parents. I was an outlier.

A handful of my classmates, many of whom continued onto high school with me from the pre-school, now study at Georgetown, Stanford, Brown, Princeton, Yale and Berkeley. Sometimes I wonder as to how I fell behind and, perhaps, even out of the main sequence.

Out of high school, I attended a private Catholic university in San Francisco Bay. Upon completing my first year, I realized that I was bored. At the institution, I exhausted all of my resources, applying into every internship and leadership position on campus, being active in the religious organizations, working as a liaison between the President of the University and students. The grand picture is, I was beginning to realize I am not a failure. I am a freshman, who is taking upon leadership roles that seniors at the institution aren’t even exposed to - I’m enrolled in courses which are upper division with a GPA that has been ranked the highest on the Dean’s List.

Yet, I chose not to return to the institution. Of course, as many know when making such an imperative decision, many factors are being weighed. However, one of the most critical to me, was whether or not this is an institution where I can thrive and be supported by community members who share the same goals as myself. Unfortunately, because I found myself bored and disengaged, I didn’t return to the University.

As one would imagine, not only was I unsure of where I was going, I hadn’t applied as a transfer anywhere, and my parents were the least of my fans. For me to not receive admission nor attend a highly reputable institution following graduation from high school, the cards were already not in my favor. You could say that from the inception of my collegiate career, my parents were very carefully watching to see where I would land myself. Summer had passed and I found myself applying to Foothill College.

For those who are not familiar, Foothill College is a community college. September had finally come after, what seemed like the longest vacation of my life. I was enrolled in 21 quarter units, as I had the anticipation of transferring to a private university after a quarter at this college. My first quarter has easily been the best quarter or even college experience I’ve had yet. I was in courses where my entire class engaged in discussions, unlike my previous institution. I was collaborating and holding intellectual conversations, which I had not yet experienced at university. I was provided with instructors who took the time to learn every student’s names, their majors, and their favorite restaurant in Santa Cruz. Of course, I was fascinated because this was foreign ground but it was a community that I had been missing.

It was unusual and a bit bizarre to finish classes at the end of the day, and find myself back home in my room. Especially, leaving me uneasy, was seeing my parents at home because we both knew that I was grander and had more potential than settling for a community college — as they put it. Having an environment like that to come home to, knowing that my parents weren’t necessarily proud of me, wasn’t the greatest but it made me determined.

I was determined to break the social standard for community colleges.

“You go to a community college? Yikes...that’s embarrassing.”

“Where did you go to high school?

Oh, Presentation High School.

What’s that?

A private, Catholic, all girls high school.”

To have to verbally state and then recognize what I was saying, I was heavily deterred and unsure of what I was doing. I began to look into applying to private universities for spring admission, because I knew it was what my parents wanted. They wanted me to leave this community college stigma and environment. They didn’t want me to be at community college too long in hopes of avoiding family members asking me how school is going and where it was I go to school.

Nonetheless, at family events, when prompted with the question I proudly stated Foothill College. I realized, why should I be embarrassed of going to a community college when I’m the one who is thriving. I am performing in the top of my courses, in the honors institute, President’s List, working on the student newspaper, and speech and debate member among others.

While on the journey of finally accepting where I am in my academic journey, and where I want to conclude it, I’ve overcome a lot of internal struggle. I began to truly believe the idea of being a failure. My best friends are at 4 year institutions and will graduate in the socially acceptable, four years but here I am. We all received the same education but I deterred. I began to isolate myself from my family when I was home and stuck to simply studying. So much so, I’d decline to eat dinner and invitations to social events with friends.

Currently, I am concluding my spring quarter at Foothill College and could not be more proud of myself in what I’ve achieved and who’ve I become. I’m no longer doing what my parents would like me to do, but what I want to do. I’m pursuing a major that I want a career in, not a major which will provide me with a lavished lifestyle. My parents may see it that I’ve made a mistake and embarrassed them through venturing into a community college. In fact they do. Only recently they’ve begun to open their minds to the idea, at seeing such achievement and having community members recognize my academic successes. I am sorry they felt so compelled to tell me not to let family members know I was not attending a private university. However, I can see that they had my best interest in mind.

Despite being confident and proud in my declaration of attending a community college, my family members passed very loud, unspoken judgement. It was easy to tell because of their facial expressions, but also because of the follow up questions I received.

“Where did you go to high school again? Didn’t you go to private school since preschool?”

I was prompted with questions they obviously knew the answer to, but nonetheless attempted to belittle my choice of an institution. All of their children had attended Santa Clara, UC Berkeley, UCLA and Georgetown.

I can still see a hint of disappointment held behind my parent’s facade of being proud of me. At the end of it all, I’m no longer on the main sequence. I am an individual who has so much ability and capacity, I know I do, but cannot convince my parents otherwise. For them, as with a great deal of society, the name of the institution is what determines your level of intellect. Of course it is very superficial, but that is how we as human beings decide who to affiliate with and who we want to be seen as.

I no longer truly care about embarrassing others, because if I am happy with the decisions I’ve made, none of them harmful, then I’ll very much embrace that. I pridefully wear my Foothill College t-shirt because I love waking up every morning to a class of individuals who care about their education. I love that my professors will reply to me at late hours and on the weekends. I love that I can grab coffee with professors from previous quarters on University Ave, to consult for academic and personal advice. I’m thriving and have the energy of my peers and the faculty to bounce off of. It’s not where you start but where you finish.

Cover Image Credit: Republic3-0

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Time's Up: #WhyWeWearBlack

What to Know About the Movement

One in 3 women ages 18-34 have been sexually harassed at work. 71% of those women said they did not report it. #TimesUp

Nearly 1/2 of men think women are well represented in leadership roles and 1/3 of women think women are well represented in leadership roles. The reality is, only 1 in 10 senior leaders are women. #TimesUp

Exploitation is higher among those working low-wage service jobs. When the federal minimum wage is raised, sexual assault + harassment gets cut in half. #TimesUp

The 75th Golden Globes red carpet was less red than it was black. Both women and men attended the awards in black to protest the sexual misconduct happening in Hollywood. Brought up by the allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, there have been many allegations of sexual harassment and assault against men in Hollywood and other industries.

The movement was created by the new organization Time's Up, an initiative to eradicate sexual harassment and gender inequality in the workplace along with the creation of a legal defense fund. The group has raised over $15 million already for the fund, and the number is only increasing.

Time's Up also supplied pins to be worn on the red carpet and almost every attendee showed up in black. The organization's open letter, with the support of over 300 actors, actresses, directors, writers, producers, etc was released January 1st and is now on their website.

There has been a lot of talk of controversy over the movement and the way they chose to go about it. The goal of wearing black was more than ruining the best-dressed competition as talk of the pre-show is often about the dresses, jewelry, and hairstyles.

The goal was to take this talk and steer it towards the movement's agenda; to create equality for everyone in the workplace. Many women spoke about their personal reasons and experiences that impacted their choice to wear black to the awards.

The timing is also notable. As of January 1st, it has been exactly a year since the historic women's marches took place.

#WhyWeWearBlack has been talked about both controversially and in positive light, and this was ultimately the overall goal of the movement, to get society talking about the sexual abuse happening in the workplace and we need to make a change. Time's Up is only the beginning, and this demonstration was a huge step in the #Metoo movement as well as a large victory for feminists overall.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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17 Social Media Habits To Leave In 2017

Let's make the internet better together.

Hey friends and family members. If you're reading this, there's a 97% chance you use social media. In fact, unless somebody else is reading this to you, you probably got this off of social media. When I say that I want these trends and habits to disappear in 2018, I'm not saying I want you to disappear. Y'all are great and I love you and care deeply about what YOU have to say, but I want it to be your words and your ideas. And I want it to be a comprehensible and reasonable manner.

However, in the interest of keeping it 100% real, I've got a list of social media habits I'm completely done with. There are three categories: spam, oversharing, and miscellaneous.

I don't actually detest all spamming on social media. I don't mind most meme reposts, and I don't take issue with those "how well do you know me" or "x facts about me" or "what x thing do you associate me with" kinds of spam.

The following five things, however, are some things I'd like to see disappear:

1. Stop spamming my Facebook Inbox.

If you send me those spam messages, I'm not responding and I'm not forwarding it. Have a nice day.

2. Stop reposting unsourced political material.

I'm not one to tell you not to post your political opinions on the internet. On the contrary, I would love to hear what you have to say and why, even if I disagree. I love a good public debate and believe that social media has provided new platforms for it to unfold. And if you want to post an unsourced opinion, go for it. However, if you're going to post something to be a fact, then cite that fact with a good source.

3. Stop reposting political material without reading it or commenting on it.

If you've only read the headline, don't share it. Read the whole article or post. Judge the whole thing before you decide to share it. If you do decide to share something, comment on the article in whatever platform you're sharing it on. I want to hear your thoughts and what you think, not just the op-ed or video.

If you find something resonates with you or disgusts you and you want the world to know it, great. When you share it for all to see, comment or caption it with how much you agree or disagree. Be engaged with the ideas you are sharing.

4. Stop sharing the "if you don't do x then y will happen" memes.

Look friends, I don't take issue with memes. They can be really funny, and it's actually a form of technology-spam that I don't mind. Friends who are posting funny, keep doing what y'all are doing. This is not directed at you.

Folk who are still sharing things that say "if you don't share you'll fail finals" and other vague e-threats, stop it because we should have left that in 2013.

5. Stop posting things that say "only my true friends will comment and share/repost" or "repost if you care about puppies."

Most people care about cancer being cured and shelter dogs getting adopted and hurricane relief. Great. So do I. But I'm not reposting what you copy-pasted from someone else who copy-pasted from someone else before them and so on and so forth. You aren't helping the puppies or the kittens or the cancer patients or whoever by reposting this and trying to guilt trip your friends into continuing the cycle. They are also less sincere than the original post.

6. Please stop oversharing about your relationships.

When I say this, I don't mean your relationship with snookums has to be a ghost that we never see or hear or talk about. I'm happy for you if you're in a loving, healthy, and cute relationship you adore. If y'all are doing something cute or important and/or you haven't reminded the internet that you're together for a while, by all means, go for it.

All 2,335 of your Instagram followers or 562 FaceBook friends don't need the play-by-play, hot-and-cold, yes-and-no version of every relationship you've ever had. Just because you don't post it on the internet doesn't mean it didn't happen.

7. Please stop spamming 24/7 about your children and pregnancy.

If you've got kids or are expecting, good for you. Like with relationships though, the whole world doesn't need to have every detail 24/7. Occasional, meaningful posts about your child (current or expectant) are OKAY.

If you're pregnant, we don't need everyday updates. There are probably people in your life who do care that the baby kicked for the seventh time, or that you've decided to switch the spelling from Kayden to Cayden, but it's not the entire planet. Your parents or significant other probably would love to know about it, call them. Nobody cares if you''re craving Cheetos, again.

8. Please don't give constant play-by-plays on your fitness journey.

It's January as I write this, so many people are starting their fitness *journey* and that's wonderful. I wish you the best of luck and when you've made substantial progress or added or subtracted something new to your routine I'd love to hear about it.

9. I like food, but please don't show me every meal you ever eat.

If you got a really cool meal and you want to show the world, great. But please refrain from constantly posting your meals.

10. Please warn me of graphic content when posting about medical things.

If something happened medically, yes, that's important. If you're going to describe something graphic, though, please put a warning at the top of your post, especially if there's a photo involved.

11. Please don't show the internet all your personal drama.

This is the one topic of oversharing that I don't need to see in general. If you're having issues in your private life, all of your FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media friends and followers don't need to hear it. At the risk of sounding like an old person talking about the internet, once you put it out there it's out there forever. If you get back together with that ex or reconcile with that friend or family member, it's going to be a bit awkward after you've bashed them in front of the entire internet.

12. Please stop sending me game invites.

When I get an invite to a game I've never heard of from a cousin I hardly speak to, it's not personal. Someone pressed an "invite all" button. I just ignore these, as do most people.

13. Please stop inviting me to brand "parties" randomly.

If you think there's a brand that I, personally, would love, then tell me about it. If you're just trying to cash in on what is the step down from a pyramid scheme, leave me out of it.

14. Please refrain from posting clickbait.

Just tell me what the "secret" is, thanks.

15. Let's please stop with the vague, attention-seeking posts.

In 2018 if you want attention, just be honest and say you want attention. If you have a problem, message someone who can help you. If you have something that needs to be dealt with, then deal with that person directly.

16. Please discontinue uncaptioned Photo Blasts

I like photos. You like photos. Pictures are great. But if you have 10+ pictures sans explanation, it's a little weird.

17. Please don't share ancient articles as news.

If it's older than a couple weeks, it's not relevant news. If you think it's still relevant, note when it was published when you share it.

With all this being said, part of the responsibility falls on me to filter out content I don't like. I know there are functions to unfriend, unfollow, hide, and filter out posts. I do my best to filter out and unfollow topics and people that I know will just annoy me, but there are limits.

Together, let's leave these 17 habits behind and make the 2018 internet a better place.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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