I Wish I Could Be Half As Driven!

2 Oct

I always knew that Asians had a reputation for being very hard-working and driven, especially when it came to school. But it seemed that the Asian-Americans that I noticed working hard were usually being pushed by their parents to succeed and do well academically. My parents are 3rd generation Japanese-Americans and have both done very well for themselves, have MBA degrees and worked a long time at IBM. They aren’t what I would consider to be a typical Asian-American parent, though. They pushed me and my younger brother in school, but not to a scary degree. We were both driven, so they didn’t have to push us too hard. The degree to which the Japanese students here at Kansai Gaidai University, though, is amazing! They work so hard in school and are so devoted to the clubs and groups they are a part of. When I walk through the library at school it is dead silent. And while the students obviously enjoy their leisure time and being with friends, they seem to always put their studies first. Some of my Japanese friends have even stayed up until 3 am studying, and then have to wake up around 6 or 7 am just to commute to school! What I also find incredible is how amazing they all are English! Granted, they started learning it in Junior High School, which starts at 7th grade here. But the level at which they are at now far surpasses the level to which most Americans are at their second language that they started at a similar year in school. The TOEFL test that almost all of the students take in order to be granted permission to study abroad looks almost as difficult as the SAT! Seeing all of these students work so hard and be so driven has sparked in me a desire to study more so I can get better at Japanese. I hope that at least by the time I’m 30 years old I can be as fluent in Japanese as they are in English!

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