Embracing My Culture

Holi Image © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar
Image from © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar

Growing up, I was always, in a way ashamed, of my culture because of the ridiculous stereotypes that came along with being south-Asian, so I never really wanted anything to do with being south-Asian. I remember my parents always trying to force me into listening to Hindi and Bengali music or fit me into traditional attire and I was having none of it. They would be so angry, that I was trying “so hard to become American”. Although they never understood that it was not because I wanted to become “American,” but rather, it was because I did not want anything to do with the stereotypes. To me, Hindi music was always something foreign because of the very different instruments and rhythm used. Not knowing Hindi was also a major setback because I had no idea what the singers were singing about. My parents used to play the core Bollywood classics like “Kal Ho Naa Ho” or “Tujhe Dekha Toh Yeh Jana Sanam” to the point where I have the words engraved in my brain but I have no idea what they meant. Continue reading “Embracing My Culture”

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What Happens When You Let Other People Tell You Who You Are?

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Image taken from: http://howigrewtoday.com/2013/10/how-i-grew-today-19/

I heard it, I felt it, and then I took ownership of it.
The label was my enemy, and my scapegoat.

When I was in fourth grade, I was called dumb for the first time by a classmate. I was called dumb because fourth grade was the first year I was put into a reading help class. I could not read as fast or as well as the other kids. I specifically remember sitting in class one day during reading time and looking over to see the girl next to me reading Harry Potter and then looking, shamefully, back down at my Junie B. Jones book. I could not even fathom trying to read a Harry Potter book. Harry Potter looked like a dictionary compared to the books I was reading. I know it should not have, but this set the tone for me for the rest of elementary school, and even followed me through my high school career. Because of that, I always felt behind everyone else. I was always struggling to keep up, even with the extra help classes. Continue reading “What Happens When You Let Other People Tell You Who You Are?”

MyStory Mondays 6-19-17

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MyStory Mondays is a weekly digest of our latest posts.
We are all done for the semester, but we are going to go back in time and share some posts that, we hope, will be useful to our new Danes!
New Danes – Make sure to complete your course request form and register for Orientation at www.albany.edu/welcome.

This week’s installment of MyStory Mondays focuses on identity.  As you gain more knowledge about the world and become exposed to information that will help shape your future, you are also developing – shape-shifting in amazing ways. This is a time to decide who you are and who you want to be. Several students have shared what this growth was like for them. Check it out!

Find out more about our students and how college has impacted their personal growth my clicking on the pictures below.

Brittany Newell


Franshelis 2017


The following two stories were posted by UAlbany Student Affairs on their Facebook Page. Click on the photos for more and like their page!

Chill

“I am a first generation college student. I attribute my success to myself, but mostly to my mother. She was a single mother who raised me and my brother and I watched her break her back to make sure we had everything we needed to get through life…
Click here for more.


 

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“The Honors College is fun. It fits me. I’ve come to appreciate the community of like-minded people. There’s this perception that school only teaches you what you need to know to work in the real world. People don’t look enough at how schools shape people as human beings…
Click here for more.

Somewhere over the Rainbow

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The rainbow flag is a symbol of hope, pride, and solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community. The designer of the rainbow flag, Gilbert Baker, recently passed. He was a very important member of the gay community, leading as an active member of the San Francisco Gay Rights Movement in the 1970s. He was also an artist, an army veteran, and an avid drag performer. Continue reading “Somewhere over the Rainbow”

Breaking the Stigma

cisgenderSociety has a huge part in shaping who we are today. The majority of a society forms the norms, or the behaviors viewed as acceptable by society. In America, some examples are tipping your waiter,  shaking someone’s hands when you first meet them, and being a cisgender heterosexual person.

We live in a predominantly heteronormative society. As a result, being on the LGBTQ+ spectrum can be overwhelming. Whether you are trans, gay, or whatever the case is, you are not within the societal “norm.” This has affected, and confused me in more ways than I’ve cared to realize. From having to come out as gay to feeling a little weird for holding a girl’s hand in public, the social norms instilled in me have to be constantly broken. Continue reading “Breaking the Stigma”

The Chronicles of a Queer Afro-Latina

Fran Dom 3I grew up in an immigrant household. My parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic about twenty five years ago. Being that they both grew up in this country, they have a very specific way of viewing life. They brought their culture and traditions to this country and made it a point to immerse me and my brother in it. They raised us with the intentions of teaching us our history. My father used to make me read books on the formation and birth of the Dominican Republic. My mother made it a point to teach us how to read, write, and speak Spanish, the native language. They raised us listening to merengue, bachata and salsa, and taught us to dance. They sent us to visit our family members in the Dominican Republic every summer.  Continue reading “The Chronicles of a Queer Afro-Latina”

Labels are for Soup Cans

“It’s insane to assume that everyone who identifies as one thing, has the same understanding of the world. I feel like labels really discourage individualization.”

491b925d5f7d6577b50df588fd18ffd5If you found the title of this blog to be clever or amusing, I did too. That’s why, when I first started to open up about my sexuality and everyone just had to ask the age-old questions: “What are you?” “Are you a lesbian?” “Do you still like boys?”, I simply answered by saying one thing: “I’m Fransexual.” It took me a really long time to be able to identify as anything. I wasn’t sure how to call myself, because I didn’t understand my sexuality just yet. But the pressure of everyone asking so many questions made me anxious to pick something—anything, so that it felt real. Continue reading “Labels are for Soup Cans”