Growing up as a Bengali-American within New York City, the melting pot of the world, there are
numerous pieces of advice to give to the youth. My favorite piece of advice that was given to me
at an early age was given to me by my older brother, who also played a big role in shaping me
into the person I am today. He told me, “If something were easy, everyone would do it.”
I still carry myself with this philosophy, and it continues to help me grow. As first-generation Bengalis,
it can be difficult dealing with cultural ideologies while also striving to make a name for yourself
in whichever field you choose to go into. Having the ability to be understanding is a critical key,
in my opinion, for us first-generation kids to be successful.
As a cliché example, I’m sure everyone’s parents would love for them to pursue a medical field or perhaps any STEM field. It
is completely normal to feel the pressure of these cultural obligations without thinking of your
own wants and needs. In other words, don’t feel like you must do what your parents want you to
do; feel open to pave your own path.
On the other hand, understand where your parents are coming from; understand the psychology of their minds as if they are human and not just your
parents. Our parents grew up a certain way in which security is everything; from their
perspective, the best way to attain this security is through education, and they definitely aren’t
wrong. I myself thank my parents every day for pushing me to do well in school, which
inevitably enabled me to have a free mind while also being rational with every decision I make.
To our beloved parents, please understand where your child is coming from, why they think the
way they do, and please be open to the idea that this new generation has even greater aspirations
than we could imagine.
As my final piece of advice to the youth: be great, be inspired, be
creative, work hard, and I promise you will see the fruits of your labor, and it will feel better than
anything you could imagine.