As part of the Division of Student Affairs’ initiative for Diversity and Inclusion, we at I Am Rutgers have started the #RUIDProject to highlight the many diverse identities, experiences, and reflections of the Rutgers student body. Students featured in this project share how they choose to identify themselves and how Rutgers either helps them express their identity or has helped shape their identity. If you would like to be featured in this project, share a picture of yourself and how you choose to identify using the hashtag #RUIDProject on Instagram or contact us via email.
Photography by Pat Nadolski
Moving from country to country since I was seven, I’ve considered many places home. At each point in my life, no matter how transient, I felt like each of those places was home for me. Yet somehow, I always found myself stuck in this area where I was too foreign and somehow not foreign enough. That’s where the concept of the fragility of home began to rear its head. I’ve always wondered how many places one can consider to be home before they stop being home and just become fragments of the past that contain a handful of happy memories. Through these fragments I have attempted to formulate a sense of identity and carve my path.
I have spent my time at Rutgers involved in many different media-focused organizations while working towards completing my STEM major, constantly trying to find a balance between the two. I’d like to say I’m a completely different person now than I was when I started here, however I’m proud to say that’s not true. I’m just better at balancing and prioritizing what inspires me over what is expected of me. I’m no longer knee-deep in a rubble of different identities, trying to find the one that fits. I’m slowly learning that there is no “finding yourself,” only creating yourself; As I mold the world and people I interact with to fit me, I say to myself, “this fits who I am because I want it to fit.”
Through my time here at Rutgers, I’m happy to have found a small space here to call home and the opportunities I have received to create myself. My sense of validation doesn’t come from others anymore, but from the feeling of having been a part of something bigger than myself.