Blending In, But Sticking Out

Jasmine Yu, 6th Grade

Everyone tries to blend into the crowd of people around them. In a way, everyone is like a drop of paint. Some drops are similar, they all come from one kind of color, but every single drop is the unique and one of kind. Once all those different colors are all mixed together, it seems almost impossible for that one drop to stay exactly the same. That’s what it’s like starting in a new place and trying the fit in.

I was born in San Francisco, but I was raised in South Korea for four of the early years in my life. Both my parents were immigrants to the United States, my mom from South Korea, whereas my dad was from Taiwan. When I returned to California for preschool, I was plunged into a completely different universe. Everyone was talking in a remote and strange language that I was completely foreign to. However, as I lived in the United States for longer periods of time, I began to start to become more American, but at the same time losing the part of me that was Asian. I started to remember less and less words in Korean and Chinese, and the same thing was happening to my parents. Yet, I was learning more and more English and quickly my knowledge of English overpowered my knowledge of Korean and Chinese combined.

It was impossible for me to keep my Asian side when I was living in an completely American environment. Of course, I still looked Asian, but I felt less and less Asian and more and more American. Again, it was the same for my parents.

Even now, I am not sure if this change was a good thing or bad thing. I became distant from my Korean and Chinese side, but I came into contact with many different cultures, races, and traditions. Really, I felt much more connected to the world I was living in, and I don’t regret this at all. I still love Korean and Chinese food, but now I love Mexican, Japanese, and traditional American food as well.

The world is a huge place, living in America helped me realize that. There are so many different foods, and people out there, so everyone should experience them all instead of just knowing one small part of it when they could feel and experience all of it.

If I could, I wish to give a medal to everyone in the world that stays close to their roots and past, but experiences all of the possibilities that the entire world, not just America, holds. Stay close to your past, but open up the future, and lastly, make most of the present. Keep your base color the same, but become apart of all the colors too.