Tuan’s Personal Growth Project
Tuan Hoang Nguyen
California State University San Bernardino
My name is Tuan Hoang Nguyen, you may call me Tuan or Nelson and I am a 19 years old male. I’m Chinese-Vietnamese, my mom is Chinese descent, but she was born in Vietnam and my dad is Vietnamese descent. I was born in a middle-class family. I wouldn’t consider me living in lavish life however it was enough for my family. My dad was a very strict man, I hated him so much when I was a kid because he always yells at me whenever I did something wrong and he would never let me do things I like. I used to think he hated me because I have always been asking for things, but as I grew older I realize that every time he punish me, it’s tough love. He doesn’t want me to grow up thinking I’m the priority and spoiled and I think he did an excellent job. Now I’m able to live on my own, be independent and always think for other people, not only myself. Not only living environment built by my father defined who I am now, but religious also plays a big part too. Buddhism and Catholic are the two main religious in Vietnam and my family believes in Buddhism. Buddhism basically believes in the existence of Buddha and he was the one who give us life. At home, we burn incense and pray and put flowers on the altar on special memorial days. Buddhism taught me a lot about always think for other people, help other people and be humble at the same time. I was a short-tempered kid, I can get angry with everything that doesn’t make me happy or even talking to someone that disagree with my idea, but as I grew older and applying Buddhism teaching in my daily life, I became more and more ease with everything I encounter. I always take a deep breathe, think about it carefully before I do anything. A lot of people say every religious is different but to me, they are the same. Maybe the way we pray are not the same, but the deed is similar. No matter what God each religion worship, we all want people to be nicer to each other, be humble and be generous.
I was born in an Asian family with 4 members in my family: my dad, my mom, my older brother, and me. My dad is a very strict man when I was a kid, he always yells at me and my brother whenever we did something wrong. He sometimes even punishes us with the broomstick, and yes, Asians do it all the time. I still remember when I was five and my brother was ten, we got into a fight over toys, my dad was furious about that. He punished us by making me and my brother kneeled with arms crossed for 2 hours for what we did. I would say, “authoritative parent” is a term that fits my dad perfectly because he always has grand expectations and goals for me and my brother. My dad gets frustrated sometimes when we fail and doesn’t say anything if we succeed so to me, relationship with my father back then was not very good. The relationship between me and my dad could have been better if he spent more time with me at home rather than work, the only time when I could only see him is dinner time. Of course, me and my dad talk more as I’m an adult now, I hope that we would spend more time to sit down and talk about our perspectives in life. I would use a term called “helicopter parent” which mean over-protective parent to describe my mom because she doesn’t want me to do anything, but she will do everything for me. According to Mia’s story (pg. 58), my mom is also a constant worrier, she was so worried that she wouldn’t let me go to a public school because the environment might not be good enough, so she ended up put me in private school instead. She’s still protective but the ratio had decreased somewhat as I am growing up. I would not say much about the relationship about me and my mom because to be honest, it gets hot and cold sometimes. Most of the kids were born and raised by their parents but I’m an exception, my aunt was the one who took care of me when I was born, and she was the one who held me for the first time too. My relationship between me and my aunt was very good, and it is still good today, she is my best friend, a mom whom that I can share everything with. Whenever it is sad things, happy things, or it could be normal daily basis things and I would tell her everything. She always encourages me, make me feel better whenever I’m in a bad condition. My aunt is also an ultimate constant worrier, more than my mom obviously because she wouldn’t let me do anything that is too much for me. I have been convincing her to let me join the U.S Army when I came to America 2 years ago to study, but she refused to let me do it. She always cries when something bad happen to me, I remember that I got into an accident 3 years ago and it was a bad one. My aunt took care of me most of the time I was in the hospital, she asked what I like to eat, how I feel and talked to me to keep me company, the bond between me and her couldn’t have been better. Living with my dad, my mom, and my aunt taught me how to be an independent person, not to rely on people when you can do it yourself, all those yells just to keep me from being a spoil kid. I learned that not because me and my dad didn’t have much time together, but because as I grow up, I would want my kid to have a better future thanks to me being responsible. I can think more mature now, every decision I make now will affect my future, be a responsible person, and I will spend more time with my kids.
Most of the population around the world neglect exercising and eating healthy, but they have no idea how important exercising and eating healthy is. There are so many benefits of exercising that you can’t even list them all out here, so I am going to talk a few benefits that stood out the most. Extend you energy levels or stamina, why’d I mention this first? It is because in this fast-paced world, young people need to work and enjoy fun things in their life, they need to extend the energy levels, so they can balance between two things. For me, studying and working at the same time is essential because that is what all college students do, so exercising has increased my energy levels so much that I can work and study through out the day without feeling tired. Two years ago, I didn’t know anything about exercising nor the gym. I have a bad habit that the majority of people have-eating unhealthy foods (fast foods), I would eat it every day after school, the habits stay for quite a lengthy period of time. Until I realized how people been talking, judging about my body, and then gym came to the rescue. After I talked to my personal trainer, cardio was the first thing he wanted me to do, it was hard at the beginning because my weight back then was measured at 180 lbs. You probably know how a fat kid felt on his first day of running on the treadmill, it felt like hell, I couldn’t even breathe and I almost fainted. After that day, I always wanted to give up because of the tiredness, but I thought back about the comments that people gave me as a motivation, so I started to go to the gym and haven’t missed a day ever since. Within a year I managed to lose 55 lbs, and I feel more confident whenever I socialize with the people around me. Competition is what I use to motivate myself at the gym, I would set a record this time and I will try to beat that record the next time I went to the gym, and the feeling you get when you beat your record was pretty great I’m not going to lie. The other benefit of exercising I would like to mention here is to prevent heart disease, the number of people die because of heart attack has increased over the years because they don’t exercise, so the blood pressure becoming too high, and the heart would stop working. Exercise is not the only important thing, diet is also important because exercise and diet are like best friend, and you need to combine them to get the desired body image you want. There’s a quote in the book that say, “You are what you eat”, and there is nothing wrong in the quote. If you eat unhealthily, combine with exercise you still look unhealthy, but if you eat healthy and combine with exercise you will sure look healthy. Exercise and diet play a vital role in my life, it keeps me motivated, stay healthy, and eat healthy. I would definitely keep this good habit of mine to maintain the healthy status.
I am sitting here, imaging my perfect future and writing it down. Everyone has their own perfect future imagination about becoming a soccer player that make million of dollars a month or becoming a doctor to save many lives. For me, my future goals are getting a PhD in cyber security at CSUSB because technologies are my forte, get a job at Google or Facebook then marry a beautiful woman that always support me, and buy a house with big back yard to make a garden. When I retire, I hope my children will have stable job and make lots of money and live a happy life. There is one characters flaw that I need to overcome is laziness. In school, I would get A’s in all the class that I’m interested in, I will surely spend hours a day to finish homework or projects and try to memorize all the materials. In contrast, if I show no interested in some certain classes I would procrastinate for days. I have always waited until the last minute to do it and get stressed. This is my major flaw that I need to overcome because when you work there will be things you like and things you hate, so learn how to deal with them equally is the best way. My character strength is if I do something I will try to finish it no matter what even If I hate it or I will feel anxious if the work is not done. I will try to apply my advantages in computers and combine them with my character strength. My first step to achieve those goals are college as I am planning to graduate within the 4 years period, so I am taking 16 units per quarter, I am not going to lie, and it is not easy as it sounds but I will try to bear with it. I will surely try to get all As or at least Bs in all of my class because who doesn’t want their resúmé to look good when applying a job at a place like Facebook or Google. Having a good resúmé is not good enough because you need to have experience too, having a good resúmé means that you have 50% chance of getting that job, and experience is the 50% left for you to actually get the job. Regarding that, working as an intern doesn’t sounds so bad-being able to work in the CSUSB Technology Support Center is a great example, or participate in the technology fair too. During my four years at CSUSB, I will make sure I learn as much as I can about computers, security measures. I want to be prepare with good amount of knowledge because who know what will happen especially protecting people private information online is very important