My family never let me feel my color. My mother let me be a kid, which meant that I'd get as brown as possible during the summers due to being outside all day. I had no concept of "colorism" until I visited the Philippines in my 20s.
Almost 80% of millennials have moved at some point in their lives—not including moves to attend college—and more than 30% have moved at least three times. The same transient lifestyle that may drive this generation to be more flexible and globally aware can also lull us into believing our footprints are only temporary...but they aren't.
As my siblings pursued nursing and business, I felt pressured to follow in their footsteps in order to become successful and to make my parents happy. So, I majored in biology in hopes of becoming an optometrist and owning my own practice. However, I felt as if though I had traded my creative mind for facts and memorization. I felt stuck.
I have never been particularly interested or involved in civic engagement. I’ve only engaged myself when it was specific assignment from a teacher, or when I was bored. I came across a BuzzFeed article discussing how Asian Americans have the potential to play a huge role in the elections because of our growing electorate. I decided then that perhaps instead of being passive about civic engagement, I should take a more active approach by joining a related student organization or by voting for the first time.
I am the daughter of two Filipino immigrants who came to the United States to work and earn a better living. As a first-generation Asian-American, my self-concept often made me feel like an outsider. I tried to find value in my experiences of identity and often searched for meaningful ways to bridge my American experiences with my Asian identity.