Cool Asian

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May 31, 2021

Like a kid in a marginalized, discriminated community it can be very discouraging. I remember being not being able to go to school and going behind on my school work. My peers said my work ethic was not good and they were surprised how un-Asian I was due to my work ethic. Work ethic is a racist stereotype of Asians harming the perception where Asians are seen as naturally hard workers. I just was too mentally stressed and needed a break yet my peers only saw the Asian side of me and not the real side of me. I also remember being labeled as too cool to be an Asian due to my excellence in sports. Part of me was guilty that I did sports to be labeled as the cool Asian.

In toxic culture, Asians are labeled as unattractive and unappealing and I wanted to prove everyone wrong. Now I realize how wrong I was. Asians come in all types and shades and are all fundamentally equal. No one is better than the other and the world needs to wake up and see that. Asians can also participate in whatever extracurricular they want. There are a diverse array of extracurricular Asians can do and all Asians have different types of interests. Asians don’t have to just do math or science. They can also excel in other non-Asian labeled fields and aren’t necessarily constricted.

I personally love the liberal arts which are English and history and am doing good in those. However, I am proud to be an Asian because of its amazing history and outstanding inclusion in the community. Without the support of my family and friends, I would not have finished 13 years of education and successfully graduated from high school. As an Asian girl, my biggest inspiration is Jeremy Lin. In a sport, with such few Asians participating, through his hard work and efforts he rose up the ranks and gave Asians a boost in morale and spirit. He didn’t have the easy way up through connections or natural talent. It was all due to the naturally determined and resilient spirit that he has gotten to the successful self to where he is today.
What encouraged me is my Asian peers around me. They never give up and always go the next mile in work. When others are doing the bare minimum they are always never failing to exceed expectations. Moreover, what is inspiring is when I fall down they build myself up. Racist remarks hurt them, but they don’t necessarily show it. This spring, I had the chance to go to an Asian American protest in Washington DC for the seven lives that were massacred in Atlanta. I felt proud to represent my heritage and to stand up to bullies. I gained a lot of valuable insights from the protest I stood for 3 hours.

My challenges are coping with my depression and not being too upset. I also have depression episodes making studying hard to focus. How I worked past these challenges was thinking positive thoughts. I meditated and focused on my goals and how I could meet these goals. My favorite Asian tradition is when I and my family can together on Chinese New Year. The whole spirit and energy are amazing where we are close and can bond over food and jokes and red packets. I love my family members and the love is radiated from the unforgettable night once a year.

The tradition has made a lasting impact on me. How my Asian heritage makes me stronger is Asians are often put into narrow boxes and stereotyped by society. They are seen as unpathetic and uncool often portrayed in Hollywood movies playing bad roles and negative spotlight. I want to show people Asians are athletic and cool and fit into more than one category and are not just fit into one or another. Society has conformed Asians into hate stereotypes perpetuating racism. Asians should be able to express their American side and proud to cling to their Asian heritage. Asians can be anything they want as long as they are determined and work hard and that is what I set on to prove to the world. I also want to show how awesome Asian heritage is by highlighting the diversity of the cultural traditions and the entire history of Asian culture. Just being part of that center and defending the culture, has built me into the determined and resilient character I am today.

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