3 things I wish I knew when I was 16

It has been 3 years since I left my hometown, Macau, for Seattle. The best part about leaving is seeing what the rest of the world is doing. Traveling challenges my old beliefs. Along the way, I have met people who’ve helped me shape my values. I am beyond thankful for them. Here are some of the things I wish I knew earlier.

  1. Talent is overrated

Skills are developed through practice and mistakes. In school, I remember feeling jealous of the good dancers, fluent English speakers, and the high scorers. I compared myself to them and thought I was stupid, or helpless. My culture celebrateS the achievements, but often forgot to tell us about the hard works and countless frustrations behind the glamours prizes. Most talents comes from a learning curve, and mostly because of the environment and who the parents are (more at the second point).

2. Our parents and the social status predict how successful we will be

Lives are not like movies, where the hard-workers are the winners. Movies and the TV shows I grew up watching forgot to tell the cruelty of the reality, rich parents are very likely to have richer, and more successful children. That might be a little harsh after I learnt this fact from my sociology class. I still believe that our determination to change can affects how far we can go, albeit our less wealthy starting point. Be grateful for what we have, and be hungry for other resources that help us be our best version.

3. Social life matters

In fact it limit or widen your possibility to success unless you are a science genius. Opportunity comes from friends and relatives. I learnt from a psychology class that if a mother has a good social network, the child of hers has a better survival rate or better future (whatever that means I kinda forget the details.) Anyways, it is very important to get out of my comfort zones, try to challenge my shyness and make some connections.

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