BY JENNA LEE
Back at home, I felt like I never found my group of people. As the only Asian growing up in a primarily Caucasian school, I felt lost. When my mom would pack me authentic Korean food like kimchi fried rice or kimbap for lunch I would hide and hurriedly devour it under the stairwell. If my mom spoke to me in our native language in front of my white friends, I would glare at her and tell her not to speak to me in our language. I felt judged by my own “friends” as I did not share the same customs and values as they did. Coming to Syracuse has been the greatest culture shock to me. Never have I been around so many people who are the same color as me. I’m having hotpot and Korean drama nights with friends. As we all sit around the table, our moods are lightened by the delicious food surrounding us– we soak the different kinds of fish balls, various types of meat, and Asian vegetables like enoki mushroom and bok choy in the mala broth. Once we stuff ourselves, we flick on the tv and put on an episode of Nevertheless. As we become immersed in the show, I catch myself speaking ‘konglish’, a mix of Korean and English, to them as I can’t keep the excitement in. It’s such a misfortune that I missed out on so much in my early years. It’s been a long journey, but I think I finally found my lost self. Komawo, Cuse. Thank you.
Jenna Lee is a junior studying Biochemistry on a Pre-Dental track. Outside of class, she can be found getting involved in a variety of student organizations, especially with her sorority hosting cultural events and doing volunteer work.