Moving to The City of Diversity
Hey! My name is Genie Jang–given that, you could probably guess that I’m Asian. And you’re right, I’m Korean to be exact.
Until now, I never paid much attention to the fact that I’m Korean. After all, I’ve spent my entire life talking, breathing, and socializing with Koreans and pretty much only Koreans. It’s not that I discriminate against people of other ethnicities in any way. It’s simply that Koreans make up more than 98% of the population in South Korea, making it the second most homogeneous country in the world (first being North Korea, no surprise there). Trying to find a foreigner in Korea is almost as hard as finding an NYU financial aid officer willing to give adequate student aid.
That being said, it’s an understatement to say that the US–commonly described as the “melting pot”–is the polar opposite of my home country. With most of my extended family members residing in the US, I’ve visited the country a multitude of times throughout my life. However, I can still never familiarize myself with being able to overhear conversations going on in various languages in one grocery store.
There’s only about a week until I get to move-in at NYU. Out of excitement, I sometimes scroll through the NYU hashtag on Instagram, and the NYU 2022 page on Facebook. When I see my fellow classmates posting from various parts of the world, I see them introducing themselves as from places I’ve only read about in textbooks–That’s when I really start to realize the fact that I’m about to attend the most diverse university in America. That I’m not going to be sharing the same facial features as the girl next to me on the street. That I’m actually going to get to talk to people who aren’t Korean.
And I’m so excited.