How the Asian-American attacks undermine my parents’ sacrifices and our immigrant journey

A vigil in Washington D.C. last Wednesday night. Photo by Shuran Huang of the New York Times

I was born in the very northeast of Mainland China, in the city of Harbin. I remember my harbored resentment towards my parents for making me move to a foreign country without any language support, but as I grow older, I understand their intentions behind doing so. With the latest Asian American attacks denied for their race-based intentions, I wonder if my parents regret their last 20 years uprooting their lives and moving to the U.S.

As my parents’ generation in China starved as children, seeing China at its current, developed state is unimaginable for immigrants who have chosen to…

Unconventional learning, gaps in our education system, and how to navigate learning as an adult.

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Captain Fantastic is a movie about a family who lives in the woods, isolated from the rest of society. A father teaches his six children to be self-sufficient: hunting and foraging, providing academic material above their “reading level”, and challenging them with physical exercises. In doing so, the kids are more knowledgable, analytical, practical, and stronger than their respective peers who grow up in more “traditional” households. Naturally, these kids are uneducated about pop culture and brand names. However, they can synthesize, summarize, and explain a myriad of topics such as classic literature, string theory, and the Bill of Rights.

Couples embracing, collective misery, and imagination as empathy.

Photo by Sean Benesh on Unsplash

Two days prior, we were made aware of Italy’s second wave of lockdown that would last a month from today. After 2+ weeks of room-bound COVID quarantine, I decided to take one final walk before lockdown. The night before it began showed me what a unified population looks like. While a shame that the common emotion we shared was despondency, gloom, and dread, the longest night of 2020 was among the most enriching.

Love in the city

All throughout the city, I saw couples embracing and sharing their love in a way I had never seen before. With masks removed from their noses, they…

Rediscovering consciousness in 2020

Photo by Samuel Austin on Unsplash

Wherever you are in the world, you’re probably feeling helpless about the global pandemic, America’s elections, Hong Kong’s national security law, France’s yellow vests, Chile’s subway fares, or of course, the not-so-subtly gnawing fear that climate change will or has already destroyed your family’s homes, businesses, and livelihoods.

That’s the thing about current events: they come in waves, never-ending and cyclically moving. It feels impossible to digest so much negativity around the world, whether or not it directly impacts you.

To cope with the entirety of 2020, I’ve taken to an unhealthy approach of emotionally numbing myself to my surroundings.

A Grey, Passive Dulling

Language barriers, racial fetishization, and international hookup culture

Photo by René Ranisch on Unsplash

Disclaimer: My hetero pronouns are not meant to isolate any community, but simply a direct reflection of my personal experiences.

I’ve had the privilege of living abroad for most of my life. I was learning new languages, making new friends, maintaining old contacts across time zones, and always navigating 4 phone numbers, 3 passports, and 2 currencies all at once.

However, my most exciting overseas stories often are related to dating. …

It’s about more than being unable to message family/friends.

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

If you’re Chinese and living overseas, your sole platform of communication to friends, family, and even work colleagues located in China is WeChat. Unlike the U.S. where messaging platforms are less monopolized, a large range of users are able to choose from Facebook Messenger, Instagram PM, WhatsApp, iMessage, GroupMe, and more.

However, whereas different American messaging platforms have particular social contexts attached to them — Facebook for your grandma, Instagram for your current circle, WhatsApp for international classmates, iMessage for iPhone users, — all of these are condensed into one: WeChat.

It is important to note that the ban (currently…

Hint: “Get off your phone” isn’t one of them.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Here are the strategies you’ve heard over and over again:

  • Pomodoro Method (25-min on, 5-min off)
  • Prioritization
  • Willpower and self-discipline that shove you through your to-dos you don’t want to do

As someone in between a Millennial and Gen Z, my daily screen time probably exceeds your nightly sleep cycle. Those “strategies” listed above are what I’ve been told time and time again. And not once have they ever worked.

Let me reframe this topic: because technology distorts our focus, we must rewire our mindset to work around those particular distortions.

According to Curt Steinhorst, a Forbes columnist, world-renowned focus…

American experiences for “non-Americans”

The divide between immigrant parents and their children

I am a first-generation immigrant. After coming to the U.S. at age 7 without a word of English under my belt, it took 2–3 years before I stopped failing all my elementary school classes (except math, of course). My mother taught me my ABCs, while my teachers re-explained the 123s I had already learned in kindergarten.

The understated complexity of first-generation immigrant parents AND their first-gen children is difficult to grasp. We empathize with American-born Asians in some ways: not being Asian nor American enough. …

The COVID-19 outbreak seems to encompass 85% of most countries’ media outlets. For reference, for every 7 New York Times articles I see about COVID, there are maybe 1 or 2 about other current events. This is because the entire world feels the financial, social, and personal effects of nation-led quarantines, enforced business closures, and the thousands upon thousands of losses.

However, what about the political catastrophes that only affect a particular city? A single country?

“One death is a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic.” That exact tragedy ensued last November in Hong Kong.

In the U.S., I’m Chinese.

A little bit about WBB — World Bachelor in Business

I signed up for an unparalleled experience at three universities for three degrees on three continents. The World Bachelor in Business program attracts curious, cosmopolitan students who choose to forego a traditional undergraduate experience. Instead, we opted for four years of structured business curriculum amidst unpredictable cultural immersions, intense academic rigor, and extracurricular traveling with a group of ~45 in which you meet your friends-for-life.

World Bachelor in Business

Considered an American student (since I came to the U.S. when I was 8), I sought an all-American experience during my first year at USC…

Jenny Lee

First-generation. American and Chinese. Moderate current events enthusiast. Studying abroad in the World Bachelor in Business.

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