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Success: Damaging For The Student Soul

1201 words - 5 pages

Society’s definition of success is a negative influence on students. This is not to say that obtaining “success” itself means badly. Rather, it is what society perceives success to be that makes it detrimental. By inherently putting the focus on “success”, man is essentially putting himself on the road of self-destruction and sabotaging his self-identity. In fact, success is a word that should not exist. It is a reflection of man’s over-egoistical need to better than others, and will ultimately lead to his undoing.
Success, like many things, begins at home and is shaped by the people around us as we grow. The definition of success is dependent on culture, but society’s definition focuses specifically on academic achievement, similarly to the Asian population. For the Caucasian population, success in university is not important as “social interaction, athletics and self-actualization” (Findlay and Kohler 2).
There are many other definitions of success as well. Parents say success is getting a good education and a good job (Pham 2), but as Malcom Gladwell says in his book Outliers: the Story of Success, success is made by three things: talent, opportunity, and practice. Compare this to the definition that is focused on in the articles of Findlay and Kohler, Kheiriddin, Brown, and Pham. Instead, they say success is practically based on cultural values. Cantonese parents “[give] their children no other choice than professional courses such as engineering, medicine, accounting or pharmacy” (Brown 1). While the statement is not incorrect, it is undeniably prejudiced and unreliable, bringing upon students burdening expectations of academic achievement because it groups all of them into a stereotype.
Success should be a careful mix of both academics and play (Kheiriddin 1). It is not giving students to have no choice but to have a certain major (Findlay and Kohler 3). It is not based on a test-system (Pham 1) where education is taught out of a textbook and never through real life experiences and individual opinions. Furthermore, it is also not seeing only one method of success and path; parents should not force children to follow their footsteps, no matter how successful they are (Findlay and Kohler 3). Success should not be something others decree or what society decrees it should be for you.
Though I identify myself as being Asian, my definition of “success” is accomplishing a goal I have set out for myself. A goal, in definition, has to be something you would fight for in order to see it through. It is not something you can make up so easily, and it something that is usually riddled with obstacles and requires perseverance and dedication. An example of this would be Nanowrimo.
Literally speaking, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month, during which writers attempt to write a 50,000 word novel. In my experience, neither of my Nanowrimos had been easy. My Nanowrimo in 2009 was not the best. I had begun it fifteen days after the start...

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