Identity is such an interesting topic. As a little boy, I was always told by adults that had their lives completely figured out that I needed to figure out who I was. They said to me that junior high was the most important time in life because my friends will help determine who I was going to become. They said the same about high school and college. One thing that I think I have realized as I have grown up is that we are always self-identifying and that it can change. How I identified myself as a 12-year-old has changed as a 24-year-old. It’s not necessarily a good or bad change, it’s just different. One thing that is also interesting is that my identity has stayed the same as well. My skin color hasn’t changed in 12 years. My nationality hasn’t changed. However, my parents got divorced when I was 14 and that changed part of my identity. Within 2 years I had cracked my skull, broken my jaw, fractured my ribs, and torn ligaments in my shoulder. These negative things changed how I identified. I am the first sibling in my family to attend and graduate college. I was the first sibling to get a full-time job and stick with it for more than 3 months. (this is important because I have an older sister that has a tough time with keeping jobs). I became self-dependent without having to rely on others first. All of these positive things helped me identify myself. Yet, when I am asked what is my identity, who am I, I still have trouble answering. There are so many parts of who I am and so many layers of my identity that I think a complicated answer to such a question deserves a long and thought out answer.
I have been thinking about the 2 hours of service that I have so far and the thing I have learned is that meeting with students who don’t seem like they want to meet, is very difficult. I can’t force the ESL students to meet with me, but I also do try and push to meet with them. The reason I haven’t tried to work with refugees yet is that I tore my ACL and am still in the process of healing. I did work with an associate about a year ago at Google that worked hand in hand with refugees. I plan on reaching out to him in order to find more opportunities for service.