My fourth artifact is the 2019 VSA Culture Show. At the end of my freshman year, I took over my term as the new Philanthropy Project Chair for the Vietnamese Student Association. This role challenged me to change the way I had approached leadership positions. This position was a weekly responsibility of close to 12 bours in the months leading up the show. I struggled to balance my academics, personal life, and mental health. I kept wondering if I had made the right decision by taking on this responsibilty because I began to sacrifice parts of my life for a student organization. I reached the darkest and most difficult time of my life this past winter.
I decided to persevere because I had too much respect for the other leaders to give up. I remembered the reason I joined VSA in the first place. I grew up knowing nothing about my culture except for which foods tasted good and how to greet my grandparents when they walked in. VSA helped me to rediscover a large part of my identity and it made me proud to be Vietnamese-American. Traveling with VSA provided me with lifelong friends I never knew I needed and a greater appreciation for Vietnamese culture.
The theme of our 2019 show was One Day. One day, I will realize how far I come and remember when I thought it was impossible. To be able to smile because I’m proud of myslef and the person I’ve fought to become.