Reality over fantasy

I think I’ve watched too many “a day in the life of a US high school student” vlogs on YouTube, or “American” teen movies that involve romance between a football player and a cheerleader and crazy pool parties. As a high school student in Korea watching those, I was so jealous of the kids in the US. I didn’t want to miss all the fun that I absolutely had to immigrate here. (I promise I had academic aspirations too when deciding on immigration.)

But of course, life isn’t a movie. All the fantasies I had about “American high schools” collapsed. Iowa, a place where there’s nothing but corn, was a huge disappointment to me. I was just left with an F for a socratic discussion because the shows I watched had never taught me how to discuss AP Euro. I hated it here. 

Four years passed, and a lot has changed except for my short height. I could still be shy but now I speak up in discussions, socratic or not, when I want to. I give advice to underclassmen on registering for classes. I survive through AP classes. I actually miss going to school. I enjoy being here in peaceful Iowa. 

I thank all the teachers who made me feel confident with my English. I thank the friends who made me laugh and gave me a chance to experience those American high school moments I’ve seen in movies. More than anything, I thank WSS for making me feel included and important, for giving me the opportunity to be part of something so special, for being the most hilarious, quirky, and inspiring, and for embracing my ideas and designs. Last but not least, thank you mom, dad, Hojun, and Youan for being the best supporters in my life.

Fantasy and reality collide. But I’ve learned that reality isn’t always worse than or inferior to fantasy.

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