Dear Asian Youth,
Whenever I listen to someone nag me, I tend to lose focus on what they are saying, and start hearing the teacher’s voice from Charlie Brown, “Wah wa WA Wah WA wa.” It may be inevitable throughout life to avoid a friend or family member who may find fault in what you do and decide to nag you enough to the point of insanity. For example, in third grade, I had the habit of forgetting my deadlines. My parents then barraged me with questions every day, after school, to remind me of any due dates. Even after I fixed that habit, they still nagged me about my deadlines and kept reminding me of what happened in third grade. After experiencing many scenarios like this, I have thought of a solution to hold on to my mentality when a person constantly tells me to do the same thing or calls me out on the flaws they think I have. I hope my tips can also come in handy for my Asian brothers and sisters who may also undergo the immense academic pressure that comes from nagging. So, how can you deal with these naggers?
To give a proper walkthrough of my solution, I will use an example some of you might have gone through at least once in your lives. The two words, “Go study” have been the two most prominent words of my childhood.
1. Approach with enthusiasm. Whenever my mother walked upstairs and saw me read a comic book, she would frown and say, “Go study instead of reading a silly book!” Now, if I refused to do anything about this incessant reminder, I would only waste more time. Thus, my first step: you should try to approach the nagging with enthusiasm. Try not to overlook the situation that just transpired. Instead, see this as an opportunity for you to improve. If not, you will end up making the same mistake again and have another person nagging you again in the future.
2. Take a break but don’t forget. After listening to my mom lecture me for around 15 minutes, I decided to finish my book. Why? I didn’t want to feel bad throughout the day just because of a 15-minute lecture I had just heard. Instead, I recommend keeping the nagging in your mind so that you can recall it, but don’t let it affect your mental and emotional health for the remainder of the day.
3. Set goals and follow them. After I ate dinner and had time to rest my stomach, I set goals for myself: study for school and study for the PSAT. Hence, my last step was making goals, then following them. This step is, personally, my most challenging step because I tended to forget the goals I set forth for myself. If you seem to also have this issue, I recommend your buying sticky notes and keeping them on your desk at all times. Make notes of your goals on the sticky notes and post them near a place where you can see them, so you don’t forget your goals. You could also use the sticky notes app on your computer.
4. Personalize. One way to make this procedure less organized but more enjoyable is to make it personalized. For example, when I grow up, I want to be an engineer. Therefore, I should focus my studies primarily on math and science. However, if I were told to study my language arts and writing, should I really put much effort into making it an A+? Personally, doing that may not be the best use of my energy when I could focus on other subjects I am more excited about. It would be best if you put enough effort into where it’s good enough for yourself. You don’t want to fail a language arts class, but you don’t have to perfect it.
One point I would like you to remember is that you make your own path in life. Remember William Earnest Henley’s words, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” Please try your best not to be dragged around the expectations of others.
What You Shouldn’t Do
There are many things you should not do when trying to deal with your typical naggers.
● Do not lose your cool.
● Keep your mentality straight.
● Do not be their puppet.
● Do not think that it’s not okay to cry.
● Do not badmouth the nagger.
● Do not forget who you strive to be.
After experiencing and seeing many other people around me succumb to negative feelings because of educational pressure, I decided to give some tips to other people so that they might help.
Joshua Ha, a high school sophomore who dislikes wasabi and likes to eat kimchi, is a fun-loving and shy Korean-American. He strives to be an engineer someday and enjoys talking to his friends, playing video games, and playing outside in his free time.
Cover photo source: Richard Gunther https://www.christart.com/clipart/artist/richard-gunther