I don’t belong on both sides

Renee Chen,
Mission Viejo, CA

As a first-generation Chinese American, I found it increasingly difficult to be accepted by both cultures as it seems that I don’t fit in as either Chinese or American; I’m either too “white-washed” by my relatives or “too Asian” by my peers when I was younger. And they base it by the way I dress to the way I speak.

There’s a lot of racial standards that we have to uphold such as being more intelligent than our peers and use academics as a competition – wherein natural selection, “survival of the fittest” for the best education resonates among many Asian families. The pressure and anxiety that comes from within is looked down upon – why am I not allowed to embrace it instead? 


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