March Madness Weekends 3 & 4

Where do I begin with the two weekends full of adventures, laughter, and lessons?

WEEKEND 3 – Girl Scouts River Valley College Experience Overnight For High school Hmong/Asian – American Girls 

The 3rd weekend was filled with an opportunity to grow as a leader, to influence the younger generation to continue with higher education and also discuss their struggles as Hmong or Asian American women. HSA (Hmong Student Association) runs an overnight college experience with Girl Scouts River Valley. They come from both Minneapolis and St. Paul high-school districts. We held workshops, ice breakers, a college panel, a guest speaker, and also collaborated with HMSA (Hmong Minnesota Student Association). It’s always a great experience to hear the stories of these young girls as they continue their lives and education.

I’ve participated in this event as a group leader and also getting to be a part of the experience. And have received the opportunity to plan the event as well. Seeing the process from all ends and angles gave me a new perspective. It taught me what type of position I would like to be in, choosing between being behind the scenes or actively participating as a group leader with the girls. I loved seeing and giving the opportunity to other members to be leaders to the girls and showing/telling them about their lives and college experiences – as I was once in that position as well.

At the end of this event, just like last year, it really hit me how crucial it was that as college students we or specifically myself can begin to do more work with the younger youth. I’m not aware of how much college students do to give back time to elementary or high school students. But an idea or a solution to the stagnant statistics of, specifically, Hmong, Vietnamese, Lao, Cambodian, Karen, and many more Asian’s who fall below in advancing in higher education — is that we can begin influencing them to really think about college and share our experiences and struggles with them since we come from relatively the same backgrounds. I don’t know about you, but that’s my mission before I leave my undergraduate years.

WEEKEND 4 – Playa Del Carmen, APAA Lock-In, MAASU Mixer 

The 4th week of March, lets just say I was rebellious and went against my parents and left to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico after they told me, “NO!” And you know it, my family said no as well except for my aunts who were very understanding and told me that if I got into trouble they wouldn’t have any money to bail me out … so, thanks for even considering bailing me out if you guys didn’t have the money (Xong and Choua <3)

To keep it simple, short, and sweet. It was a disappointing vacation because I was expecting more authentic Mexican food. But I guess that’s what I get for staying in the tourist area/strip. The hotel was AMAZING since it was located on the strip and on top of their strip mall. Especially since we had access to the beach house down 2 blocks. But being able to witness the beautiful blue water and hot kissing sun in windy cool air just took me away. And eventually I got burnt as heck and turned into a lobster. But it was worth it and I made the best out of it!

To conclude this weekend, I ended it with being in Duluth. Specifically at the University. I went to APAA’s lock-in in hopes to bring something back to my organization(s) at Hamline. In all honestly, I’d give it a 8/10 although I didn’t stay long, it was fun and especially because we played games I used to play as a young kid. It was also nice to meet new people and feel welcomed! (warm and fuzzy feelings) Shout out to the board and general members for welcoming me and showing me a great time!

Besides that I also attended the MAASU mixer the next day and it really opened my eyes and gave me a taste of what MAASU could have been like this year if I had the chance to go – which I do wish I could attend after attending the mixer. But I didn’t take much away from the mixer, which, as weird as it sounds, I actually took a lot out from (contradicting, I know). Mainly due to the fact that the discussions we had I havealready had many times before and honestly every time the same solutions and frustrations came about. But like I said, I took a lot from it by learning more about what I could do and what the others also helped me and other attendees looked into for solutions.

For example, one topic that came up again was the Model Minority Myth. Oh, how much I don’t give one craps shit about this topic at all. I’m not opposed nor am I for it I just want to get rid of it! But as I thought about it, history has its way of repeating itself and what I want is that for these discussions to continue so we can all be aware of it, learn how to be one step ahead of ourselves in these discussions without running in circles (like I have before in these discussions) and educate others about these issues in our Asian communities. There’s a reason why things keep coming up right? To be fixed, to be changed, and to be learned from. And also, to empower our communities to be head strong and continue to prosper alongside our fellow brothers and sisters of color who face the same struggles as we do in this world. Lastly, all it takes is one step to make that change. And hopefully others can envision the same as well.

As March Madness comes to an end for me, I could say that I became burnt out. Literally, burnt. But now I can say that that burnt piece of skin turned into a new tan set of someone new! This lobster came out of it’s shell, into the light, and in a bigger shell! Okay, bad analogy, but the point I’m trying to get at is all this madness this month and all the fun that had me burnt out after coming home from my trip. But I’m not done yet! I have so much planned for my summer and I’m really excited to accomplish so much I have planned for myself and with others!

I’ve grew with these experiences and adventures and I’m growing to fit in some more!

Live in the moment and Love Life!


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