Humans of INKspire

Vincent Chou

“There is the ridiculous notion that millennials are lazy, which I think stems from an ignorant body of people. Usually the people saying that don’t really understand the scope of the problems we face today — whether it be the disasters we see occurring in the environment or growing wealth inequality or rising tuition costs. It doesn’t help that our traditional indicators of success are usually measured by material wealth which further propagates the image of being unconcerned, even though for most it is improbable to reach the financial peak the previous generations have seen.

I think that a large portion of the material used in millennial stereotypes are generated by social media, and how the worst of us are constantly flaunted on social platforms. The ones that people typically see, but more importantly, remember, are usually given their wealth and tend to be unconscientious and inattentive. It’s not really a fair generalization of youths around the world since the media doesn’t cover young adults that work 60 hour weeks; they don’t cover those struggling to pay off student loans; and when they do it’s not as memorable because it’s not entertaining. Ultimately there’s nothing you can do to change the media, but what you can do as a youth is to make yourself presentable around your community, become more educated, and just focus on bettering yourself. Don’t worry too much about those that are more or less talented than you because truly wise people will recognize the diligence and persistence you exhibit!”

Vincent Chou

“Who inspires you?”

“I don’t really focus on a particular person I just see intelligent people and I guess I think, “Hey, maybe I could be as smart as them at some point in my life.” I think having role models are good but there is only so much time within your day to follow all of them. My inspiration is really a collection of traits or values that I see in successful people that I encounter — rather than a specific person it is more of an abstract idea of the ideal version of myself!”

“You’re from BC and currently you are living in Downtown Toronto. Do you miss your friends, family and living back home?”

“I think I truly adopted a ‘work-hard, play-hard’ attitude after moving to Toronto, I do miss my friends and family, and being away from them is definitely hard at times. However, living in Toronto really augments my experience of visiting home, since changes that I normally wouldn’t notice become apparent. Going back to BC and seeing those changes and asking friends and family what they’ve been up to is a super cool experience.”

“What motivates you everyday?”

“I just I want to beat my dad. I was talking to him about how he used to do in school and he would always brag about how he didn’t have to study to do well and the other filler that smart guys tend to talk about. Some of what he says is definitely embellishment, but each and every exchange motivates me to push past his achievements in terms of salary, education, community impacts and grades. I like to think I’m pretty competitive so the banter we have always sparks great challenges.”

“Are you competitive with your sibling?”

“I have an older sister that’s 10 years older than me. I was also fairly lazy in high school so she often commented on how I wouldn’t succeed if I continued my habits. Unfortunately for her I got into the school that I wanted to go to and she never really spoke about it again. She was right though — my behavior in high school definitely wasn’t sustainable in university, so I’ll give her bonus points for old person wisdom.”

“Was your sister bashing on you made you work even harder or?

“I think what prompted me to start working super hard is when I actually got Into university and met some peers that were ridiculously smart. Being lazy simply didn’t cut it anymore, but I also didn’t really take too much interest into school either. In the beginning I spent a lot of time deciding what to learn about. Eventually I sort of picked up some online courses on programming and went from there.”

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