"Don't forget, you're Chinese."
My father's been reminding me of that a lot lately. It bothered him to hear friends and professors at my graduation from Yale in May say they can barely tell I'm not American.
I'm not American, and I don't know if I ever will be; America was supposed to be only a stop on my life journey, a chance to go to one of the world's most prestigious universities. But my experience here has taught me more than I could learn from my international relations textbooks.
At school, I faced the challenge many immigrants cope with all their lives--the difficulties of fitting into a new society.
But for me, fitting in isn't about learning the language or the culture. As a seventh-grader at an American international school in Taiwan, I was crazy about the New Kids on the Block; I went to every '80s dance in college. I could have been any American kid who grew up in that era.
For me, fitting in here is about learning how to be a minority. I feel the expectations that come with that label--to support affirmative action; to know what it feels like to grow up the way my best friend did, as the only Asian kid in an all-white neighborhood in Lima, Ohio.
The reality is, I don't understand a lot of the minority issues in America because I was born and raised in Asia--first in Hong Kong, then in Taiwan--where I was in the majority for 16 years of my life.
Learning to be a minority has confused me. I constantly question what my Chinese heritage means. And at the same time, I try to resist American society's labeling.
I feel as if I'm being pulled both ways. To the American minority community, I'm a "Twinkie," and to people from my home country, I'm a "traitor."
Shu Shin Luh, 21, is a Chinese woman who has lived in the United States for six years.