Physically, I am an Asian boy with somewhat a smooth hairstyle. I’m relatively chubby with about 168-centimeter height and 80-kilogram weight. Working out every single day and trying to build a ripped body aren’t my things. However, I do love sports, a whole lot. Basketball, table tennis and swimming are hobbies that I enjoy doing real much whenever I have some free time or I simply need a stress reliever. The way I look and the way I speak may make people think that I’m an Asian American, but I’m not.
I am originally from Vietnam and I left Vietnam to study abroad when I was 16, studied at a boarding school for the past 3 years. And somehow on the way I lost a tiny bit of that “truly Vietnamese” look and accent. Anyway, I’m a big believer in the quote “Never judges a book by its cover”, so I hardly emphasize on how I appear to be. It does not matter if I dress up as a hipster (which I usually do) or if I decide to have a simple day with casual and comfy clothes on, it’s who I truly am not how my physical appearance that highlights my identity.
Economically, I am fully aware of the way I spend my money as if I am having a job as some sort of financial manager. In fact, my major is finance. And to certain extent, the fact that I am having such challenging and economically related major does manipulate and affect my way of dealing with economic issues. I’m the kind of guys who would spend much time doing research and comparisons between similar products in order to give the final decisions of which product to buy with the best price and benefit.
I would love to get busy going on Amazon. om and eBay to try to find the same textbook with the best price instead of just going straight to the bookstore and spend a couple of hundreds of dollars for books that I might no even need them that much. But I am also the kind of guy who would use up almost all of my savings in order to throw a party or buy “big” goods such as musical instruments, a new sound system, or a cool-looking suit. I was born and raised by the lessons from my parents of “using and controlling the money economically as well as reasonably, not penny-pinchingly”.
And I found those lessons very helpful and logical because if I save more money on something that doesn’t really need to be so costly, I would have more extra savings to use on bigger and more important products. So simply speaking, I’m the “save Smalls, spend Bigs” kind of guy. I’m a straight up emotional guy, no kidding. There are guys who cry to the movie “Titanic” even though they have watched it for the fifth or sixth time. I am one of those. I’m easily touched and moved by various types of things.
From a novel with a sad ending, a movie with the nice character having to die, to a close friend of mine facing a difficult family issue, or even the people whose lives were severely damaged and destroyed by all kinds of natural disasters. There are indeed many people who look at a emotional guy, like myself, and making fun of the fact that I am too “girly”. However, I personally think being emotional gives me uncountable amount of advantages. Being emotional makes me want to care about issues that are happening around me and around the world.
Being emotional makes me want to share and listen to people and their lives’ stories. Being emotional brings more colors to my life. In addition, emotionally wise, I smile for more than ninety percent of the time you see me, even in the very far corner of your eyes. I believe that one’s smile can be really viral in bringing the others happiness and spreading out the positive looks on people’s faces. And simply, I love smiling. With the natural love for smiling, I am able to look at almost everything through a relatively positive lens so that there should be no “dead end” or extremely stressful problems.
I’m not one of those guys who love to hang out with people twenty four seven. I’m not one of those guys who socially active so much that I would dedicate eighty percent of my free time reaching out to my friends and any new people to get along and start chatting. I define myself more as a person who would not rush for the amount of friends I have right at the moment but I rather concentrate on building up strong bonds with my close friends right now and slowly meet new people in situations that I feel more comfortable and confident such as in organizations, clubs, projects.
I enjoy listening more than talking. Not that I was born loving to be silent and listen to people’s stories. But I realized that talking only gives me opportunities to make lots of new friends whereas listening brings people closer to me, in the most truthful and sincere ways. On the other hand, I am a true music lover as well as a person who love to make people happy. Integrating those two aspects together I found myself enjoy sharing my music openly and entertain people with my acoustic guitar, my ukulele and my limited knowledge of music.
Since there is no doubt that music is one of the most common and popular language that everybody speaks, I thoroughly believe that using music as an approach to connect with the society is my strongest key to be sociable. Talking about my passion towards music and my identity socially wise, I have joined, performed, and organized several concerts with various of purposes: charity, fund raising for student council, or a simple relaxed music session on a Friday night that is opened for all musicians, students and faculty members who want to get away from stressful work and enjoy real music.
Taking on this hobby, I would love to join musical clubs as well as organizations where I can help out with community services. That’s me on a social aspect. So who am I? I’m a Vietnamese boy who decided to study abroad and have a life relatively apart from my entire family because I wanted to pursue a better educational program where I can truly be me and expose myself at my very best in many possible ways.
Being quite independent, I got used to dealing with problems and overcoming difficulties without my parents beside. It was tough, but I was not alone. We, international students, were on the same boat in my boarding school back in New York: homesick, shy, excited, studied in the language that is not our mother language, having several cultural shocks with brand new experiences in an unfamiliar country. But I survived; we all managed to get through those seemingly impossible challenges.
And now entering my freshmen year of college, is a whole new story: Meeting real American friends, walking on campus greeting to old faces and smiling to thousands or new faces, studying much more independently, being more responsible, being ready to make mistakes, trying to find a job that I really wanted, and a whole bunch of unrevealed chapters. Of course, at certain points, I was lost. I couldn’t figure out what is the point of getting through all that jazz. I could not see why I had to use so much money from my parents in order to pay for the education that I did not know what I wanted from it.
All of those confusions and misdirection kept building up and I once thought I faced the biggest tragedy of my life: living pointlessly. The piece of story of how I got through that catastrophe is not important. The result of that campaign was just beautiful. I knew the utmost meanings of doing things that I have done: to live a life that I want to. If someone says he is doing his homework continuously and keep nailing A after A after A in all of his classes with the purpose of having a highest-paid job out there and make unbelievable much money for the rest of his life, I respect that. But I don’t care.
The beauty of the real ultimate goal of my life that I have always been fighting for is simply: to make everyone, my family, my friends, and myself happy. Studying hard, making friends, joining organizations, taking care of my family, playing music, trying new things, all that jazz, are all oriented towards one, and only one, point: creating such harmonious happiness that everyone love to live in. It sounds cheesy. It does. But it is true. And from now on, no matter how crazy those upcoming challenges might be, I know where to lean on, I know what I want, and I know what IS the POINT. I know myself.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 2 October 2016
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