Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Your children will make lots of mistakes, make peace with it


Being the youngest sibling can often feel like you’re a tumbleweed. Always looking to see what other people are doing so that you don’t feel like you’re lost as well.

At least that’s what I feel I was conditioned to do. Growing up, I had five older siblings. That’s right, five. I was the typical younger sibling, following my brother and sisters around because I had nothing better to do.

When my parents noticed, they kept saying the same phrase: “They made mistakes so you better not make any.” What they failed to understand is that no matter how much I Iearn from other people’s mistakes, I am bound to make my own. Parents pressuring their children, especially the youngest ones to excel without preparing them for the human aspect of failing is a recipe for their children’s lasting and harmful failure.

I was born in the U.S. but from seven to 14 I lived in Sudan. I came back just in time for high school which is when my parents’ saying was amplified by 100. I was immediately put into Advanced Placement and PreAdvanced Placement courses and was forced to excel, not taught to.

The week before school started I went into my counselor’s office to solidify the classes I was taking, this is when I found out that volleyball was switched out for AP Physics.

I didn’t say anything because I was afraid of disappointing my parents. My mom was just admitted to the hospital for cancer that she wouldn’t survive, so I kept my head down and tried to focus on the class.

Except I couldn’t. It didn’t matter how long I studied or how much time I went to tutoring, it didn’t work. I was so focused on performing well in that class and figuring out how America runs.

I was too overwhelmed with everything, too busy trying to make friends, learning how to do small talk, learning American customs that I forgot, all the while acclimating to my new environment and processing how I felt about my mother dying.

I was so afraid of failing and making a mistake or two that I mentally barred myself from asking for help. Whether it be because I wasn’t used to the American education system or it was because I wasn’t ready for that class level, I knew for sure that it was because I was afraid to make a mistake. One that I inevitably made.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for parents to push their kids to success. Unfortunately, I think parents in the future will be a little pushy too when it comes to their students’ success.

A small amount of encouragement is good, but too much won’t build character. Instead, it’ll break it and it’ll be a minute before it’s fixed again. Just like I could’ve asked for help when I so obviously needed it, more understanding could’ve done wonders for my GPA.

I love my parents, and I’m so happy they decided to immigrate here, but understanding where I came from would’ve made my reality different.

So, if you have younger siblings or know younger people that are approaching a new stage in their lives, maybe don’t fearmonger them.

I have a good feeling had I been in regular physics the rest of my re-entry into American society would’ve been smoother. I would’ve been a killer volleyball player too.

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