How Student Life Should Be
In contrast to the lifestyles of students in Asia, Western students' lives are full of freedom. Anyone observing students in Asia can easily see how busy they are. They go to school early, leave late, go to cram schools afterwards, and then rush home to do homework. Teenagers in the US, on the other hand, have it much easier. They have free time after school to play sports with friends or relax by watching TV. Students in the US also don't have as much homework and are under less pressure to do well on tests. They have more choices, too, including deciding which majors they will study in college.
I believe that both Asian and Western student cultures have their strong and weak points. Therefore, I think that a mix of Asian and Western educational styles is the best option for educating students. For Asians, this means interacting more in class and being more creative. It also means taking more time to develop interests outside of school. For US students, this means being more focused and hard-working in school. In short, I believe that US students should be a bit more like Asian ones and vice versa.
It should come as no surprise that Asian students lead different lives from those of their US counterparts. The hallmark of US student life is freedom. US students have time to engage in their own extracurricular interests, and the freedom to choose what area of study they want to pursue in college. However, the defining characteristics of Asian students are certainly not liberty and independence. Instead, they are loaded down with burdensome homework and the expectation that they should excel at everything. Also, they receive a lot of familial pressure to excel on all examinations.
This is not to say that the US educational system is necessarily superior to the Asian one. On the contrary, Americans often point out that students from Taiwan, China, and South Korea routinely perform better on exams than their own sons and daughters. To my mind, the best academic model is one that combines the positive aspects of the Asian system and the strong points of the US system while minimizing the drawbacks of both.