My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
9/10. so i know i said i didn't like who i was in high school, but i can't deny that i really enjoyed the experience. i didn't stress about academics like my peers. i don't know why. i never harbored aspirations to attend a top school. i just wanted to be a writer and smoke pot. which i did. in spades. i got in trouble with teachers from time to time, but i think i was generally well liked. looking back, i really wish the high school me was more forward thinking.
Grades in high school
A's and B's. i did fine. i didn't study much, but i think having low stress was good for me at the time. i graduated with a 3.3.
English, History / Social Studies, Performing Arts
math. being asian-american, this is anathema. i remember one semester a good friend of mine challenged me to "try" harder in calc, and i pulled off an A- for a quarter. that quickly slid to a C+ after i realized i'd rather socialize than study. i simply wasn't motivated. smoking pot didn't help either.
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
i went to a mid-tier university on the east coast.
i studied english literature and history.
Post-graduate education or training
i went to an ivy league school for my master's.
Places lived in US
California, Massachusetts, New York
Current occupations / past occupations
i am currently a consultant in an industry i did not study. but i'm good at it. i got lucky. i didn't do well in high school but applied myself in college and grad school. before this i was a busboy, a sales clerk at Gap, a barista at Starbucks, and a part-time tutor.
Industries I've worked in
- Retail Trade
- Educational Services
- Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
- Accomodation and Food Services
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
sort of. i studied literature and history. i like talking to people. that's why i'm good at consulting.
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
i have other goals that i'll get to in time. i'm in no rush. but i never foresaw myself doing what i do right now. pretty trippy.
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
being healthy, having friends and family, and making time to do what you enjoy.
My definition of success has changed over time.
well, ironically enough, i realize the importance of financial stability. not to say money=success. but, y'know.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
this will sound lame, and perhaps antithetical to the purpose of this project, but making a decent income has been a great boon to me. to qualify, this income has allowed me to help my parents with their mortgage and knock off my own student loans, and i don't expect to make this much money forever. in the last four years i've paid off $170,000 in student loans. i'm pretty proud of that.
oh, and i've had minor accomplishments in publishing poetry and fiction in a few prominent journals. i like to think my best accomplishments are ahead of me, though.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
i really didn't keep in touch w/ a lot of people in high school, save for a few friends. part of this is because my parents no longer live in palo alto. another part is that i made a new life for myself on the east coast. and another part is that i don't really like who i was in high school, and know people associate me with that person. but i regret cutting people off because the PA community is really close-knit, and now i'm just another outsider looking in. bummer!
An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
both my parents lost their jobs in the recession. suddenly, i was taking out enormous sums of money in student loans just to finish my undergraduate degree. my parents thought they'd be able to help by the time i graduated--but no. they're still sporadically employed, trying to live in a house they clearly can't afford. all of this stress hovers over me. it's made me hyper-aware of finances, which i didn't care for as a high school or college student. it forced me to abandon ideals too. i couldn't just be "creative" and hope to sell a novel.
i think many palo alto families are reasonably affluent. mine was not. only much later did i realize how influential this would be on my work ethic and future outlook. luckily, i impressed the right professors in college and graduate school, and i found a job that pays well. i realize i'm extremely fortunate. being a pothead "dumb kid" in high school made me into who i am today, for sure. it showed me who i didn't want to be for the rest of my life.
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto