99% of the feature stories about someone who has achieved “success” are because they have a special talent, create an awesome product, do something fantastic, or are hit by a brain wave which goes on to reach millions of people and change the world.
There are very few stories about people who succeed and inspire just by smoothly living their lives, being themselves and following a steady trail. This is one of those stories…
Kris Hui is #goals and the next-generation graduate. She entered college sporting a quick mind, a healthy confidence plus a solid set of personal skills and gifts. Her time on campus added layers to her knowledge and worldly experience. Since graduating, she’s displayed all the flair and talents she had before college, as well as the business, tech and life lessons she learned while there.
Smart and kind and genuine, Kris arrived where she is today the old-fashioned way…with effort, a positive ambition, personal drive and riding on a piece of the 21st century wave.
Her success is well-earned and also well-timed. It is a path which has taken her from fresh-out-of high school student to new college graduate with a ladder of happy life possibilities and choices ahead.
Lesson number 1: Work hard and live in the present moment.
Kris Hui graduated from San Jose State University last year. Her major was business. Her minor was marketing. Her real degree was in life + college + growing up in modern times + filming her journey. Tuition at San Jose State is $30,065**USD and the university is ranked 10th* best in California for undergraduate teaching. The location is a picture-perfect 154 acre mix of modern buildings, Maya/Aztec style walkways with fountains, desert palm trees and camera-ready Mexican buildings from the early 19th century.
It’s just the kind of place of higher learning any clever, young person would want to attend and be a part of for the next four years of their life. (** Source: US Dept of Education. $15,259 USD with scholarships & grants)
Lesson number 2: Find a place where you can learn and grow.
Here’s a true fact: Outside of the Los Angeles bubble, young + Asian + living in California means academics are kind of a given. It’s in the air and in the culture, just like the sunshine and oxygen. It’s also a good thing if you have goals, are focused and (self) motivated.
Kris has every one of those qualities. She brought all of them plus her “A game” to SJSU, and two others things… her camera and a small YouTube audience.
Many are called to YouTube. Few stick around for the late nights and editing. YouTube is very much like school. Progress is slow. There’s a long learning curve. It requires dedication, creativity, a sense of purpose, together with time and money. The benefits come later on down the line.
Starting in high-school, Kris has been on YouTube since spring in 2016.* Last month, she passed 15,349,437** total views. Being a “creator” is now rewarding Kris in a rainbow of ways. Like most, her channel began as a cool teenage side-project. As it turned out, YouTube became the ideal real life term paper, and now is playing a leading role in her progress. (*Source: YouTube. **Social Blade)
Lesson number 3: Embrace technology. Today’s fad could be tomorrow’s business tool.
Ms. Kris Hui is from the bay area in San Francisco. Her username on Instagram is @sanfrankrisco. Driving to San Jose takes only about an hour. The difference is night and day.
San Francisco gets the cool headlines and stays up late. San Jose is HQ for Cisco, PayPal, eBay, Adobe, Samsung, HP, Zoom and where the “work” happens.
From from Move-In day, Kris filmed the full school experience.
In dozens and dozens of videos tracking her day-to-day routine, Kris created and uploaded Q & As, vlogs showing college weeks, life updates, lists on college essentials, cues to classes & studying, dorm life, campus life and all points in between.
The collection is a close up at the front-to-back reality of nu-skool learning and a full-length college lifestyle guide/handbook for the modern female scholar!
Here’s another true fact: On the outside, the fantasy of student life is a shiny halo of learning, growth and adventure. On the inside, the struggle is real. Business school can teach you how to run an already existing business, it doesn’t teach you how to get there. TAs and counsellors can give you stacks of “related” info. The question is, how do you go about making the right choices?
Also, the algebra for growing-up-girl in today’s age is…complicated.
Each year there are 900,000+* new US female students who enter university and millions more around the world in the same position, different backgrounds, individual situations and situation-ships, each dealing with adjusting to life away from home, balancing a full course load and starting on a new phase into adulthood.
(* Source: National Centre for Education Statistics)
Beyond the fun stuff of which eye shadow is #trending on social and the cute guys in the frat next door, the hurdles, snags and issues get deeper and darker for female students.
Top Issues for female students:
Debt. Depression & Esteem. Social Anxiety. Emotional & Physical Trauma. Body Image. Disorders. Expectations. Time Management. Stress. Conflict. Physical & Relationship Issues. Gender & Sexual Identity.
(Source: Alderson Broaddus University)
Sadly, not everybody has loving parents, a cool aunt or confidante.
What do you do when you don’t identify? What if you’re stuck in a tricky spot? What happens when nobody will listen? Options of who or where to turn are limited. The consequences can derail a promising life.
Kris is a Capricorn. It’s an elegant sign known for being responsible, disciplined and leading the way.
From her own example, in chatty vlogs, Q & As and life updates, she frequently turned the camera on herself and detailed her coping strategies, shared knowledge on nutrition and shined a light on self-image/self care. The power of YouTube cannot be underestimated. The platform has a global audience of 2.3 billion.* Penetration among users age 18-25 is 81%, and it is available in 80* languages. Sharing similar struggles, choices and conditions with a group creates bonds of intimacy and trust. These are the type of likes, views and shares you can’t fake or buy.
Lesson number 4: Knowledge is power.
In the movies, this is the point where Kris connects with a whole generation, writes a book which sells millions and rides off into the sunset. This is a real life story…
Copyright (C) 2021. RaphaelClarence/La Source Online. All rights reserved.
Photo Credits: Buddhist Temple San Jose, Derek Wolfgram. Kris Hui. San Jose/Saint Joseph, Alberto Alvarez Perea. Text Books, Janet Lindemuth. San Jose City Hall, Thomas Hawk.