My Side of Story

This entire project is about my dad’s life. However, I want to describe myself in order to explain the life of an immigrant student is like.

My name is Taejoon Park. It is a typical name in Korea. It means, ‘become a successful man.’ I personally believe I transformed three times before I became the person who I am right now. In every transformation, my personalities have changed and have become stronger.


First stage: Before Coming to US

When I was living in Korea, I was a sensitive and soft-hearted kid. I easily got stressed and easily got upset. However, I loved hanging out with my friends, received an average grade in the school, and always had a lovely smile on my face. I never complained about my life. I was a happy little boy who never bothered to care about the future.

My family decided to move when I was in middle school. My parents announced we are moving to U.S. to provide better academic experience for my brother and me. I could understand what it meant to move to US in my head, but my heart could not understand because I had been living in the same place and attending the same school for my entire life. I did not know what it meant to live everything behind for the new life.

Second Stage: Living in US

I do not have any present memory in US for the first few years. I could not interact with anyone because no one seems to listen to me, and wants to talk to me. I became more and more introvert every time I interacted with people. It was a time I felt solitude. I missed my old friends, but I could not contact them because it was the time when human was using a flip phone. At this point, I started to build up a fantasy about Korea as my homesick level increased exponentially. My mind appeased when I think my identity belongs in Korea and everything will be fine once I go back to Korea.

We moved to Georgia when I was a sophomore in high school. Fortunately, my life became little easier in Georgia. I started to interact with my peers. By the time I became junior, I had many friends around. However, I always had a feeling of vanity after spending time with them. I had no common subject to talk about with them other than the school subject. However, like a rainfall during the dry season, I made a few Korean friends. We helped each other for the projects and coming up tests. They became an anchor to me. But because they were friends since elementary school, there was a distance that could never be narrowed. I put in the enormous amount of effort in order to be a part of them. Despite the effort, there was always a huge barrier between them and me. For example, they contacted me when they were studying but they never invited me when they were going to some event. I found out they went to some place without me after it happened because they casually talked about it in front of me. When it happened I hid my disappointment and smiled. I always hid my emotion by smiling.

During my early senior year, my resentment explored (maybe) because of my inferiority complex. I had a huge argument with one of the Korean girl (It was my first fight). I lost everyone after the conflict because everyone was on her side rather than on the newcomer’s side. After that day, I avoided all the relationship, and I kept focused on my studying. From my three years of high school experience, I thought nobody can disregard a person who is intelligent. At this time, I only had studying friends. Additionally, I only slept few hours every day which helped me forget about everything that is happening around me. I was a walking zombie with a huge dark circle on my eyes.

Third Stage: Becoming a Student of University of Georgia

My raising point of my life definitely started after I become a college student in UGA. After became I college student, I suddenly had so many time for myself. I started to listen to podcasts and interact with the new people during my spare time. The new people I met were completely different. The people in Athens were easygoing and relaxed (Maybe because they are rural people…….?). Now, I lost my fake smile, and I am enjoying my life the way I want to. I love being part of Athens family, and my first year in UGA was the greatest year I had so far.

This was my part of the story. Now let me introduce my dad who led me to a lovely place.

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