Forty Eight

Since I came back,

I’ve been having the worst nightmares about Smith. I’ve been having nightmares about failing, returning there, returning to high school, and as a result, I’ve been avoiding sleep like crazy. On good days, I sleep at 4 or at least climb into bed before 5. On excellent days, I sleep around 3, but on horrible nights, 5 or 6 in the morning. I’ve been having nightmares about Smith classmates, Smith friends, Smith teachers, Smith deadlines, and Smith activities.

I’m not surprised though. I spent only, what, two and half years there with one semester off in Southern California, yet it was such a struggle that it felt like five years. Actually, now that I am set on applying Art Center within the next two years, I’m not afraid of having a nightmare of Smith from my actual experiences there anymore. I have let go of everything except my farewells with my friends. We were so close. Some of them were abroad, and we were all looking forward to getting back together this fall. I am still bruised from saying goodbye, and I hope that hurt will heal when they graduate next year. I just want to see them happy.

I’m also glad I’m not the only one going after happiness and a better future. Today, I learned that the daughter of a cram school director dropped out of NYU and decided to go into music. She doesn’t plan on returning to college anytime soon and just forged forward on her own. I am happy for her, but I am also wondering if she is having the same nightmares too.

I realize that Asian parents (or is it parents in general?) don’t know how to talk to their children. “What’s the latest admissions rate? What’s the ranking? How did [name] get into Yale and Stanford? What’s [name]’s SAT score?” They listen to everyone else tell them what their children should do that they forget to listen to their own children’s needs. Yea, I said needs, because no one listens to “wants.” I wonder if any of those parents can answer, “Do you know what makes your child happy? What are their favorite things?”

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One thought on “Forty Eight

  1. Unfortunately Asian parents aren’t the only ones who struggle with that problem. I was born into a Caribbean household and faced some of the same problems. My mother still hasn’t forgiven me for graduating in five years instead of four. Sigh. Kudos to those who are brave enough to chase after their own dreams even if it’s outside the norm.

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