Carmen Tam
Dr. Winter
Arts and Arc 10; 1K Discussion
16 October 2009

Why do you do what you do?
Because I am afraid to fail

For as long as I can remember, my parents have always stressed the importance of education, from learning the alphabet in kindergarten, to deciding which university to attend during my senior year. They always told me not to end up like them—that is, “working 80 hour weeks just to support a family”—and that the key to that was to obtain an excellent educational background. Their logic stated that if I could obtain an excellent educational background, then I could obtain an “ideal” job, which would, of course, allow me to obtain a “good” paycheck. Their logic made sense, so I was determined to pursue their plan for me. To say the least, I have always wanted to please my parents, and to prove them wrong when they did not believe that I could do well. As a result, there was always pressure on me to do well. I felt more pressure when my parents compared me to my smarter, more driven, more successful cousins. So, when I did not do as well as they had hoped, they were not afraid to show their disappointment. I cannot look at the disappointment in their eyes; it is the worse feeling in the world. I hate to fail because I would “let my parents down,” and I would not be able to handle the lifelong disappointment. This is who I am—someone who strives for success. This is why I do what I do. I am here because I feel like I have to succeed; I am afraid to fail.

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