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Honoring My Heritage

When I entered Villanova University as a freshman, I have discovered that Chinese appreciation was in a very poor condition. The university’s Chinese Club was last seen to be active in 1997 and despite the “sorry state” of Chinese culture education in the university; no one was doing anything to have a remedy on it. No one even seemed to notice or care about the situation. I have always been pro-active. When I see something that does not work, I don’t merely react. I choose to act. Words and emotions are not enough. There must be action; there must be change.

Recalling my experiences of multi-cultural services offered in a mentoring club in my high school, I set out to reestablish the verve for Chinese culture in Villanova. I wanted to have a venue where Chinese students could gather and a place where non-Chinese students could learn Chinese and to appreciate Chinese culture. The way to do this seemed easy at first; reestablish the Chinese Club and let the pieces fall where they may. However, what was an easy task in my mind turned out to be something I would fight tooth and nail for.

The first problem came when I found that there weren’t enough people signed up in order to meet the university’s requirements for starting a club. It wouldn’t work. But this didn’t deter me. I contacted everyone I knew who could have even the least bit of interest in the club. I soon had enough potential members for us to start a club. However, no one was supporting me. The only Chinese professor in the university told me that I wouldn’t be able to do it. The actual number of people who were truly interested in the club was too small.

It wouldn’t work. I had never done anything like this before but I was determined to make it work. I took it upon myself to do what needed to be done. I organized the necessary resources for the club and was able to find a room, a guiding professor, teaching and other materials, all of which would prove necessary for the club’s success. But again, my attempts proved to be for naught. People who were supposed to be helping took away from the efforts of the club. Instead of contributing they squabbled about leadership positions.

Fewer and fewer people went to the club. Again, it wouldn’t work. Again, I wouldn’t let the situation get the better of me. Moreover, there was even an incident that I confronted the upper class students because they say something against my culture and telling other classes that there is nothing good in knowing it. I tried to understand them but they push me to the limit; thus, they question why I wanted to rebuild the club when it was the least of the university and saying unpleasant words about my culture right before my face.

So what I did, I confronted them even though I knew the act itself will isolate me. I know that the people around me would not commend of what I did but in my own point of view, I just did the right thing. It is all right with me if they insult me personally but not my culture. I did it to protect and to promote my culture and to show that was what we should do. Anyways, it turned out to be good, so I am glad I did it. It further strengthened my abilities – leadership, organization skills. And I also made a lot of friends.

Using the internet as a tool, I made a web site and gathered interest about the club through online advertisements. Club membership soon grew. I did not give up and today, the Villanova Chinese Club is growing strong and considered to be a popular club in the university. No matter how hard it was in the beginning, despite many reasons for me to think that it wouldn’t work, I pushed and fought. In the end, the success of the Chinese Club has proven to be one of the most rewarding accomplishments I have ever known.

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