Lessons from a Banana

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, please share your story.


Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates are credited with helping shape the way we perceive the world and life within it, but certain philosophies lie within fruit as simple as a banana. The banana, an unlikely philosopher, has taught me valuable life lessons in discovering what being Asian-American means to me, one peel at a time.

To imagine a time before I began living in America is quite difficult, almost impossible. I have spent seventeen years living in a suburban town in Massachusetts with my white parents and older sister. For ten months prior to my move to America, I lived in Beihai, China, unknowingly awaiting adoption in my crib at the Beihai Social Welfare Institute. Left abandoned on a street corner, there was no information regarding either my identity or my birth parents. A few photos, legal documents, and travel itineraries are the only tangible forms of connection I have to my life in China.

My adoption story is something I both enjoy and dread telling people, mainly because the conversation could go in two different directions, one of which often makes me rethink my decision to do so. Those who do not grasp the emotional and technical complexity of adoption often ask, “Why didn’t your parents want you?” and focus on...

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