An average student attending tuition is akin to a plump girl seeking to lose weight by going through the doors of a slimming centre. The average student and the plump girl are not stupid and unhealthy, but neither are they in the best shape in the intellectual and health departments too.
But we can’t have that now, can we? In this age where society only cherish the best and chastise the worst, it won’t do being in between. But no one wants to be “chastised”, everybody wants to be “cherished”. So off they go to tuition and slimming centres, in their bids to be a little bit smarter and a little bit slimmer (which would connote a little bit healthier, and a little bit prettier).
If we look at it from the surface, there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help to improve ourselves, mentally and physically. It is enthusiastically condoned, because good grades will ensure better opportunities in life education-wise and a slimmer figure could ensure all the other opportunities education cannot provide, like snagging a rich husband who is looking for a trophy wife / soccer mum (hey, wouldn’t mind being one, honestly). If you subscribe to this outlook, it’s perfectly reasonable and sensible. As the saying goes, survival of the fittest; only the fittest mentally and physically get the most opportunities out of life.
If you dig deeper, going for tuition and slimming centres aren’t just about improving ourselves, it’s also about conforming to society’s standards. Society only wants the smartest, the shapeliest, the prettiest, the best they can get. Okay, we can question, is conforming so bad when in return we can get a better paycheck, a better spouse, a better life?
The problem is that, tuition and slimming centres give people wonderful illusions, that they can, are capable of being smarter and slimmer with some help. But that’s the thing: with some help! It is one thing to seek help from tuition and slimming centres when we’re at the brink of an F in a paper or are too overweight, because in this context what we need is not only help, but also a lot of support and coaching to cope with our situation. Once we scrape a C or C+ and lost enough pounds, we should be able to handle studies / weight management by ourselves. But when we’re average and seek to be better through the help of tuition and slimming centres, it deceives us into believing that we’re fulfilling the standards by ourselves; that these tuition and slimming centres are mere outlets that inspire / force us to be smarter and slimmer. Surely it is not a statistic fluke that the majority of people who went to slimming centres gain back the weight they have lost after quitting the program? There is no such similar statistic for tuition because in Malaysia, once we start going to tuition we never stop until we graduate from secondary school.
And the reason the average person cannot maintain the standard that has been achieved with tutoring and slimming centres is simply because s/he had help. And this is where grades and figures start to deceive. Good grades achieved through tuition would deceive a prospective employer / scholarship donor, thinking that the applicant is naturally intelligent, only to discover that as an employee / scholarship recipient they are average students with boosted grades. Because this time they cannot go to tuition to make them “smarter”. Slim figures achieved through hard-earned money will have their illusions of beauty and health shattered when they realise being slim does not mean their cholesterol levels would go on a reduction along with their body sizes, does not mean their bodies will stay svelte forever because all these were achieved without any self-determination, self-discipline on their parts.
And that is why brains trained by tuition and bodies sculpted by slimming centres can be utterly deceptive.
If you got that A burning the midnight oil and lost those 5 pounds you’ve been wanting to lose by busting your arse off in rigid workouts, salute. You did it all by yourself, and you have the damn right to be proud of yourself and flaunt your grade / body.
If you’re still that average student and plump girl, be proud of yourself too. You’re honest by not creating false images of yourself. But also remember that average grades and an average body do not necessarily mean you are of average intellect and health / beauty. An average student can be an intellectual. A plump girl can be physically fit and attractive. Don’t let yourself be pigeonholed based on your grades and weight because intellect is not just about good grades, and being beautiful is not just about being thin.
Note: the blogger concurs she has made generalisations / stereotypes, and of course there are the exceptions to it, you yourself if that is the case. 🙂