Bourgeoisie’s Anxiety

Nowadays, more and more families decide to send their children study abroad. Despite those definitely rich people who regard the tuition fee as an ignorable fraction of their income, more and more middle classes, including my family, also make this choice. What’s different, though, is that we have to make plan to use money.

No need to mention my motivation beyond studying abroad. The core question is, why would my parents overcome the challenge of great cost and support my education? From the beginning of my high school life, anything about testing, studying, and applying is tied to certain expense.

Standardized tests are necessary part for our profile. However, registering for a test is, though not that costly, still countable to my parents’ weekly salary. For rich students’ ideals, it is good to test frequently and show the greatest score to the application office. But for the relatively poor students like me, I have to decide when is the most suitable schedule for me to plan a test and guarantee that I cannot lose the chance to best behave myself at that time. You now perceive the stress. Moreover, lack of context also puts stereotype threat to me. I must to confess that rich people really experience more about the world, and they have greater insights to certain questions. It seems inevitable for me to be considered less knowledgeable.

Cram school. Yes, in this generation full of intelligent people, it is common to see many students studying in such a place. We see from a lot of institutions hosting such auxiliary classes that their advertisements are great lists of students who get high scores on specific tests, thus implicitly propagating the effectiveness of aided education. But the cost is even far higher than the standardized testing fee itself. When preparing for such an exam, rich students really put great efforts in cram school. On the contrary, I am not able to assess the class simply because I have to seriously manage my cost. Furthermore, there are many academic competitions that require exceptional skills on certain subject field, and I heard my peers taking part in the course and got big, big, big prize. Is the prize really big? Or, it is just exaggerated by those cram institutions. Well, at least my careful listening to the school class and self-study technique work for me to win prizes important for my career interest.

College application is more of a big deal, even the cost of testing and studying is relatively too cheap to be mentioned. Of course, the application fee is not expensive, but the expenditure beyond the college application could be so enormous for some students who get to… Oh, the next thing I am going to say may be sensitive. Due to incomplete statistic, the majority of the international students in my district take agencies. You might not know this, let me explain this term to you. Generally, the agency is an institution which manage registered students’ materials and give them advice about the best way to succeed during application period. Sometimes, students who get to agencies earlier in high school do extracurricular activities out of their suggestions. It seems that the applicants who do not have an agency but apply by themselves are heretics, and even my community of international applicants make a term for this – DIY applicant. I am not completely DIY, though; I just use another way to aid my application, that is to ask help from seniors and my own school’s counselors. They are totally free and are glad to solve my problems.

We bourgeoisies are really not in advantage about these matters. However, we have different mindset from those of rich students which put more emphasis on intrapersonal intelligence. To make ourselves more self-aware is to make ourselves more outstanding.


New Beginnings

As an active student in high school, I am very concerned about college. I’m trying to do everything right: I keep my grades up, participate in a few extracurricular activities, prepare for standardized tests, even perform community service. I spend most days thinking about the future. Hoping that I’m on the right path, I do my best at everything I can.

Being curious about the field of biology, I get good scores as well as a great number of awards. However, I feel myself too nerdish since I only approach biology through book knowledge. Besides, I am interested in pursuing career focusing on this subject. So I decided to try to secure a spot as a volunteer at the local hospital. It would be the best of both worlds: helping people while gaining valuable on-the-job experience. I put on a nice pair of trousers, a shirt, and some comfortable shoes and went to visit the business office. Fortunately, the hospital director was quite willing to let me help out, and he said I could start that summer as soon as I finished my finals. I accepted his offer immediately, thinking to myself that here lay all the opportunities I could ever want!

Soon enough, I showed up for my first day at the hospital. The director gave me a brief tour of various departments as he told me about the primary focus of each, an expert himself in every facet of hospital administration, until we stopped right in front of the maternity ward. “This is where you’re going to work,” he said, ushering me through the brown double doors. Thinking I was going to give a hand to infants, my enthusiasm rose up my mind.

But initially, things are not what I expected. Walking into the ward, I was overwhelmed by the sounds. Women yelled and newborns wailed. Nurses rushed around to adjust medical instruments that screamed for attention. I felt besieged in the center of so much action and wondered if I had been too hasty in seeking out such a difficult service project.

Apparently my fear must have shown clearly on my face as I looked around because the director said, “Don’t worry. You’ll get used to the pace up here. You are going to help in the laboratory.” With that, we walked down a hallway filled with bright blue and pink balloons, and into the room full of experimental instruments. The pastel colors provided a quiet backdrop to the humming of machines and knocking of test tubes. A doctor, the one in charge of the lab, welcomed me, thanked me for volunteering, and asked me to start recording the data presented by an incubator with a cute baby sleeping inside of it. The director gave me a questioning look, which I returned with a quiet nod. I got right to work.


Who Am I For Ben Franklin?

There are lot of things to say about one’s personality and individuality based on different classification systems. Due to Franklin’s theory, I am classified into both those that are movable and those that move, depending on in what occasions I am in.

Generally, when I am in businesses, I “move” by actively participating in the work while pay as much effort as I can to have my job done well. If things can get better, I do self-encouragement, which is the best way for me to dedicate much more into the work. Introspection is another way for reducing such mistakes and taking more viable actions. Though sometimes, I may not be the most leading factor for propelling the process, I still would like to devote myself to improve the efficiency and the result.

But as I am getting close to others, I naturally behave phlegmatically and do not put to much emphasis about my self-interest while forget about others’ feelings. Instead, carefully listening to others’ points of view may trigger more open discussion and topics for us. Therefore, I become “movable” in this time. As people get along with me, I pay attention to their will, following their interests if they sound not bad for me. In my opinion, the development of relationship is due to catering to each other, and such things could be “moved” when they come up with consensus.


Open the Window

I was not courageous enough to desire sunshine. It was so grandiose and beautiful that I always quietly respect it in my heart, like worshiping divinity. However, I also feared it, feared about its grandeur and beauty. I was afraid that one day, I would be softened.

But I felt curious. “What is out of the window? Is it dim light filtered by leaves? Or a drama mixed by wind and rainfall? Or a terrible python waiting for me as a dish?”

Everyone has a window and desires what is out of it. However, few really meet sunshine. I heard that, “You should look for happiness yourself.” Indeed, although during the process of welcoming sunshine has a lot of troubles, but as I open the window, I will see a blue sky.

As a result, I stared at that mysterious window, and walked straight to it. I immediately pushed the window and, in a moment, beams of dazzling sunshine came in from the gaps of trees. The dark room instantly became so bright. To my surprise, I saw a vivid scene out of the window: Birds were singing, grasses were dancing, and the tranquil lake – touched by a naughty dragonfly – rippled again and again…

I felt fortunate that I opened the window.