This week’s post was written by our former Global Ambassador Jiusi, who we all know by Jesse. We are so proud and grateful to Jesse for all his contributions to the DU community. He wrote a very insightful and honest post about the hardships and challenges he overcame during his experience at DU and all the wonderful people that impacted his journey. Check it out:
“On June 12th, 2021, I graduated from University of Denver (DU). A long-waited and full of obstacles journey at DU that made me stronger, more confident and grateful came to an end.
At commencement, while other domestic students had their own families witnessing this one-of-a-life-time moment, I had my “families” that I found right here at Denver. My real family was thousand of miles away, in China, celebrating this happy moment with us through FaceTime.
As a Chinese international student, long have I fought for this victory. During my past four years at DU, I battled COVID, heavy course load, homesickness, and, most important of all, loneliness. The loneliness of not having my family from China here and the loneliness of being a minority and not having a lot of people that understood the hardships I was going through.
In America, I battled being away from the support from my family, career opportunities, and familiarity with the American cultural norm. In here I am considered a minority. I struggled for a while making friends. I tried taking the initiative and said ‘hi’ to classmates, but saw my texts marked as ‘Seen’ and never replied. The first party I was invited to was only during my senior year.
I had to adjust to seeing my parents becoming two-dimension characters that appear only on my phone screen, rather than physical beings with warmth that I can touch and hug.
During COVID, I was stuck in my apartment, afraid of going out due to the increasing Asian hate, with my families on the other side of the world and my summer dream job canceled. Once I posted on social media about my loneliness, wishing that more people could talk to me, and a girl from Denver ironically suggested: ‘just get out more, talk to some neighbors, do some jogging to Safeway, play with some puppies. You will be fine‘. But I don’t think she understood what I was going though since she was going to dinner with her boyfriend and family and later celebrated with fireworks the Independence Day.
It was also a challenge to make it to the final rounds on my dream jobs interviews and get rejected. I don’t think it was because of lack of competence, but because some employers do not understand the immigration rules for international students and prefer not to hire instead of getting informed.
At moments I felt like an insignificant pebble within a wild current, unable to make any effort to bend the odds toward my favor. It was like having a million thoughts and feelings imprisoned within my own body, my own flesh, while no one outside could reach in. After all, no one can read your mind and understand you fully.
If you feel what I felt, my friend, please remember: despite your commitment, self-entitled and judgmental people may not give you empathy, sincerity, and/or care. Please, kick them out of your life. Kind and caring people are around you, relentless trying to find you, just as you are relentless trying to find them. You will find them by being your real, kind, and genuine self. Allow them to come into your inner world, let them understand you, give you warmth, and create memories with you. That will happen even if you are a minority from the other side of the world.
For me, the question is: would you be willing to do the same for them?”
Part 2 of Jesse’s impactful message will be posted next week. Make sure to check out Part 2 to see how DU and the community here really helped him turn things around! Let us know your thoughts in the comments!