I’m in the midst of witnessing my kids in cyber schools, and let me tell you, education is really overrated. As an Asian American, I come from a background and culture where education is highly valued. But today I find myself wondering, if I were to do it over again, would I take the same route? Don’t you feel like something was missing from your education?

My Education

Education provided me with a false sense of security and confidence that I didn’t necessarily have to begin with.  As an immigrant 1.5 generation Korean American, my start to the American dream life was a far cry from the dream life.  It was riddled with anxiety and fear of not fitting in.

I understood very little about the ways of the world. Soon enough, I found myself doing everything I can to “fit in.”  Standing out was the last thing I wanted to do. In fact, as an Asian woman, it was not encouraged.  Look down, work hard and get the grades to get into higher education was the “trap” I bought into for a long time.  As if the license, degree or certification was what I needed to validate my place in the world. 

As I witness my sons going through the education system, I’m having real conversations with my older son who is a super smart, overachieving, typical Asian kid who wants to “get in” to the school of his choice.  

Many of you know my sentiments with the various educational systems. I believe there’s a better way to get educated and it require you to think outside the box.  I do value education, and I would like my sons to go to college and pursue higher-level education. But not because I said so, but because school teaches you structure, discipline and various ideologies that you wouldn’t otherwise get exposed to.

Even with the internet boom, my higher education provided me the resourcefulness to look in the right places to make decisions on which programs to choose for further education. I have to say that when I learn from someone, I want to know that they know more than me in the field of study that I’m pursuing.  

How to Think Outside the Box

Having been through the education system allows me to think more strategically about how,  what, why and when I will learn and apply the knowledge.  But school doesn’t teach you to be resourceful, think outside the box or think on your own terms.  

That is what’s missing in the school system or just about any education.  Every discipline or teaching that I’ve partaken in teaches me to stay in my lane. It requires me to buy into the dogma and drink the Kool-Aid.  But every time I try and immerse myself, I found something that was lacking.  It only provided me with a limited perspective. And it lacked the bigger vision and impact that I was seeking.

Look around us today. Nothing is stable, dependable and reliable as the end-all be-all approach.  In recognizing such limits we must look within ourselves to elevate the way we practice our given profession. Then we will get empowered to think on our feet and truly embody what we are in everything that we do.

How we do anything is how we do everything. If you’ve been in the traditional education system, you’ve been indoctrinated.  We’ve all be indoctrinated all our lives, and we were discouraged from thinking outside the box.  But today, we must think outside the box to create innovative solutions to our current affairs in just about every industry.  Specifically the health industry.

I want to know what was your education?  What do you feel was missing from your education?  

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