Ever since I was little, my mom would tell me stories about how her family left home for America because her mother wanted a better life for her children.
She’d tell me how she’d come to the United States and was excited to see a parade for her—“for the immigrants”—one New York City afternoon (she later found out it was for Thanksgiving). She’d tell me about growing up in Chinatown, about working in unpleasant conditions alongside her mother in a store after school, about finally graduating college and living out her mother’s dream of having a better job and a better life.
My mom dreams for me too; like any parent, she wants me to live a “happy” life, complete with a respectable job and lots of money. But I can’t do that if I don’t work harder in school.
My mom sees my lackluster grades and thinks I focus too much on RPI publications. She’s probably right, seeing as I’m always thinking about how to improve copy or what my next article will be. She also thinks I should spend less time on writing and “step down as an editor” on either The Poly or Statler & Waldorf, since “they take precious time away from studying the harder subjects.”
The publications might kill me for doing that.
But it is not the newspaper or the magazine that distracts me from my schoolwork. Rather, it is the love I have for fixing grammar, the pleasure I take in releasing my voice onto the page and having it heard by a reader in the Union some sleepy afternoon that keeps me from calculating the forces occurring at member A.
Like my mom, I have dreams for myself, too. Unfortunately, I am still unsure of what I want to be when I grow up. For me, at least, money won’t make me happy. I imagine if I had a simple life, got by just within my means, and enjoyed what I did, I’d be living a happy dream. And if it involved writing, that would be as joyful as a parade for me.