Social identity is something I never really thought of and I do appreciate that the social identity wheel activity brought myself to a more profound reflection of my own identity in terms of various aspects.

For me, social-economic status is definitely the one that especially means a lot and I believe for a large number of Duke students. Duke cultivates a very career-focused atmosphere that everyone has been immersed in it. It is like a strong wave of the ocean, you could not resist but follow. On the one hand, I began to think about my future career in the very early stage of my college which is beneficial for my future endeavors. On the other hand, sometimes it could be too much for me. As for now, I feel the pressure of applying for all kinds of internships for the next summer since everyone around me is doing so. It is so important for me that I always overlook my other needs and social identity while pursuing the best for my social-economic status. I gradually realize that the wheel of social identity would be a great analogy as we do need every section of the wheel to make the wheel keep going. Any difference between every part of the wheel would cause an imbalance, which means my attitude toward different social identities should not be significantly varied. And I do believe a day-to-day awareness and reflection on every part of my social identity would be especially helpful for me to grow and learn as a well-rounded person.

That being said, I do treat different social identities completely differently in practice and the influence of different identities changes all the time, especially before and after I came to the US for college. Before, I grew up in China, a highly homogenous country. I never thought about race and ethnicity as everyone around me has a Chinese face. I don’t understand what it means to respect different races. However, studying in the US completely changes my perceptions of race and ethnicity as I somehow become a minority in terms of race and I have to be more understanding and aware of other races’ cultures and norms.