I joined MiC because when I got to college, I really wanted to find a space where I could be myself and pursue my passions while surrounded by like-minded people. I have always loved writing since I was a kid, and being able to put forward my truth through my writing has always been important to me. Last year, I joined MiC as a columnist. This allowed me to write about social justice issues that I was passionate about, such as the fetishization of my race and the model minority myth. Joining MiC this year as an editor, I feel that I can read other people’s pieces and also become inspired by their stories and their truths, not just my own.
In high school, I was always passionate about politics and social activism. I was co-president of my school’s American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) chapter. Something I’ve always believed in is the right to free speech and free press, so of course, I wanted to join an organization that valued those freedoms by writing for The Daily. MiC, in addition to allowing me a free and creative space where I can fearlessly write about my own personal experiences and relate them back to the world in a broader context, has given me a community to be with people who feel the same way and want to make the world a more socially aware and better place. Growing up, I have explored other identities such as that of my gender and sexuality, but there was rarely a place where I could focus on my racial identity and how it intersected with my other identities. MiC has allowed me to write through a more intersectional lens and realize that different communities can find similarities and differences among our struggles.
All throughout my life, I’ve felt that I was seen as “American/Western” by my family in China, and “Chinese” by the American peers I grew up with despite being born and raised in New Jersey. I played piano for 14 years and was in the orchestra almost my whole life, something that marked me as “super Asian” in high school, despite the fact that I tried so hard to not seem like the stereotypical good Chinese student. Every time I complained about my parents not letting me go out or invading my privacy, or being overbearing, people would just reply, “Asian parents, I guess, right?” This was extremely hard for me to grapple with. I never felt that that kind of parenting or behavior should be associated with a certain race, and this made me feel like I was “different” for the wrong reasons, and didn’t fit in with most of the students at my small private school. Even after coming to college, I’ve noticed that I don’t quite completely fit in with the Asian-American community either.
I joined MiC not necessarily because I wanted to fit in, but because I wanted to be comfortable expressing myself and my life in a space even if I didn’t. I want to be able to be myself and voice my beliefs even if I don’t fit into the mold of the typical liberal, social justice activist college student. Joining MiC as an editor will allow me to learn new things about others’ experiences and their lives, and I would love to contribute by reading other people’s writing while also having an input. I want to help people achieve their full potential by writing personal stories, and I want to achieve my full potential as well in making these experiences and truths seen as powerful and important not just throughout campus but throughout the world- because they are.