As a first generation immigrant, my self-identity was perpetually teetering between two worlds, one entailing a long and arduous process of assimilating into the U.S. and the other a struggle to find a sense of belonging between two vastly different cultures.
My journey as a Filipino American in this country was not an easy one. I recall my first time walking into an American classroom and feeling a sense of awe and bewilderment at my blue-eyed, blonde-haired peers. I knew no English, I knew no one, and for the first time ever, I experienced what it felt like to be a minority.
Fast forward 16 years later, and I am now within four weeks of graduating college, a unprecedented feat in my family. I realize now that my struggles were not in vain and that my parents’ sacrifices have led to my fruitful success. However, I feel that I should also give credit to those who have embraced my family as fellow Americans.
Those who share my journey can attest to this country’s tendency to scrutinize immigrants but I think we should also acknowledge its potential to be a welcoming community.
Amidst my reservations in attending EC, a predominantly white college campus, joining The Leader was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Comprised of perhaps the most diverse set of individuals at EC, The Leader has demonstrated the highest level of acceptance.
Production weekends stretched out until 9:45AM on some publications and while the rest of the world was fast asleep we worked together to make the most out of the long nights in this tiny office nestled within the basement of Dinkmeyer Hall, bloodshot eyes and all.
Serving as The Leader’s Opinions Editor for a year and half was a profound achievement in my college career that provided me with a sense of belonging, camaraderie, and life-long friends. For every slight against my previously broken English, The Leader has provided me with the opportunity to prove myself tenfold. I wish nothing but the best for every hardworking editor and staff member of The Leader.