Through the summer months, I traveled most of Southeast Asia, concentrating the bulk of my travels in China. It was here that I was able to see, first hand, my racial history. It did not strike a too-significant impression on me – I felt a bit like the “Outsider” here, as well. I did not speak the language, I did not dress like they did. I could hardly, at first, even order a spring roll, or use public transit. This experience added to my desire to understand, truly, what the Asian-American identity meant, and if it really should or could have any significance to me.
The most basic reason that I would like to major in Asian-American studies is a narcissistic one: I want to understand myself at a deeper level.
Being “forced” to perceive myself as different has had its positive and negative impacts on me, but, more importantly, has left me with a grip of unanswered questions about what “race” means, how “race” applies to me, and how to integrate a larger identity into my own..