This first post is about school. Surprising, huh? I'm coming at this from the perspective of a mentor. I mentor a lot... for lack of a better term, I'm a life coach of sorts. It's part of my professional persona as a Doctor of Physical Therapy. And, it's also part of my role as a strategic consultant in business. I coach people (or businesses) to become better than they are now.
Sadly, when it comes to those I mentor who identify as Millennial Asians (MAs), we seem to get stuck on something... a topic that keeps recurring to which I take insurmountable energy trying to coach people away from. SCHOOL.
There was one time at a family gathering where several of my cousins (for sake of simplicity... they're cousins) chatted energetically for three hours on JUST SCHOOL.
JUST SCHOOL! It was crazy. My wife couldn't believe it. Noted, my wife is of an American-French-Canadian background. This wasn't part of her upbringing. But, hearing 15-35 year olds have a legit conversation for HOURS on just school. It was shocking to her.
Moreover, the last several months, I've been seeing an increased trend of Millennial Asians completely stuck in a rut. They want to do good in school but can't. They want to get into good colleges but can't (since the system is biased against them).
But, why school? What about school is so important? School doesn't mean you'll get any better of a job. School doesn't mean you'll live a life of true meaning... of significance. School doesn't mean you'll have financial stability. SCHOOL MEANS NOTHING BECAUSE KNOWLEDGE MEANS NOTHING.
The ability to apply means everything.
And to such point, how many friends have you heard of graduate with a 4-year-college-degree and end up working a job which they could've worked as a high school graduate? PLENTY. How many are doing things completely unrelated to those college degrees? PLENTY. And, there have been repeated articles and blogs citing articles that medical doctors actually don't make that much more than any other profession over the lifetime of their career due to all the other associated expenses to a point where their hourly rate is actually only mid-$30s/hour.
To make matters even more emotionally inflamed for me as a mentor, I find that kids keep going back to the ancient Asian value of "do good in school, get a good job, make lots of money." Is that what life is all about? REALLY?
Is there no personal pursuit? Do you have no actual personal goals? Are you just a shell of labor? If that's the case, financially speaking it would be easier not to have children to make up for that investment.
It's absolutely ludicrous to even think this way, as if the goal, being a job/money is the case -- then one should be thinking WHAT JOB do I want? What career path? Think backwards. Think on what is required for what industry and THEN make a choice of schooling.
Going to school for the sake of going to school is folly. It is a waste. Is not wastefulness to be shunned in Asian culture?
So..... this first stop... about school. What I have to say is this.
If anyone has had enough schooling, it's me. I've done undergrad and completed two graduate programs. I graduated with honors twice, mind you.
And, I've been in the position of a hiring manager -- so I'm telling you, it's not about the school that will get you a job. It has to do with you as a person. DO I WANT TO WORK WITH YOU?
Your grades don't have anything to do with it, neither does the school you went to. It has to do with YOU.... the human sitting in front of me who I am interviewing.
So, enough of this. I know this first post is a bit of rant. But really, I just had to. I've been so fed up with how many families and how many lives the Asian culture has destroyed that I was compelled to create this blog.
I'm Ben Fung and I am Counter Cultural. Until next time!
PS. I'm typically quite a positive figure. If you know me from my primary blog, you'll know that to be true.