Education essay (revised)

Brandon Ma


Dr. Hall

English Composition 2

Ethnicity overwhelming grip

There are many factors that we as an individual can not change if we wanted to. Such as our religion, gender, ethnicity, or the choice to live out the life that we wanted to. Coming from an Asian background, it has been difficult for me to be happy with myself because of family pressure and expectations. I was not a higher achiever compared to relatives in my family or was I a hard worker. However, everyone should not be treated indifferently because of their lack of academic performance.


Every individual in their society will face different hardships. For a stereotypical Asian, we are expected to go to school and work hard to earn a good respective job that is acceptable in the family. However, individuals that put pressure on themselves to achieve their parent’s expectations often lead them to be constantly stressed and depression. It can be shameful to the family if the child did not study hard in school and turns out to be a dropout. Such as the quote from Mother’s Tongue, “Well, these are broad sociological questions I can’t begin to answer. But I have noticed in surveys — in fact, just last week — that Asian students, as a whole, always do significantly better on math achievement tests than in English”(Tan). Going to school everyday and my depression made me give up trying to achieve high grades in school to show my family for recognition. I was not particularly good in any subjects before college and failed a vast majority of the subjects such as english, science, and even math. I wasn’t able to reach that academic success that is perceived by the social norms. Throughout my elementary and middle school, I struggled in academics to the extent I was in probation in my 8th grade year. I was never a bookworm and my lack of  passion in learning made it more depressing. Being yelled at by my family, especially my father, for doing terrible in school had changed my perspective in many ways. I was sent to these after/summer programs that are suppose to provide extra learning called “Kumon” that was located next to my elementary school in Chinatown. I would always remember being put under a lot of stress to the point I had many mental breakdowns at the center. It felt like hell to stay when i was pushed to my limit, that I was told this “you are unable to leave until you get a 100% on this quiz”. I was there from 4pm to 6pm, constantly repeating the same quiz, It was just me and a few others after their closing hours still answering questions on their booklet. I felt trapped and what had became of me was in agony, I felt so frustrated that my tears wouldn’t stop leading to my booklet covered in tears. If you were to lift up the booklet, there would be a stream of water flowing to the bottom and off the booklet. In the end, I revolted against my parents for taking me to this program, I never felt that I learned anything at the program and it became unbearable to commit. In our world, having an higher education is the key to success, getting better paying jobs and respect.


When High school came along, it has opened a new doorway to me to appreciate the things around me. Changing my environment from middle school, I had experienced a vast diversity that I wouldn’t have in elementary or middle school. As time went along, I adapted and appreciated the friends that I made. I haven’t been very distressed about my grades too much because the teachers weren’t grade heavy. They do not give a bunch of assignments and the school wanted the students to appreciate more than just work hard and study in school. Many things that happened in my education, was around the time that I arrived in high school, that everything has shifted. Students were encouraged to learn at their own pace because everyone learns differently. Because of that classes had to slow down, thus some units in the year has been removed by the teacher. I appreciated with what I had in high school because students are not too competitive and students are supported more to achieve their high school diploma even if they didn’t want to. The teachers wanted students to appreciate life and not constantly going home and doing homework all night long before tomorrow’s deadline. While my school is a trade specifically, we also worked towards something that is more hands-on work if we are not academically successful. So I had a lot of free time to hang out with my friends and wasn’t bound to my school.


In conclusion the school education system, where students would cram everything for a semester and afterward neglect it. There should be a system for students to learn something that they are passionate in before they reach college instead of learning the common core. Also, the grades shouldn’t be the only reason why people sacrifice their mental and physical health to achieve high standards to be acknowledged by their peers and teachers.

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