A year ago when COVID hit, most of my Vietnamese friends and relatives went back to Vietnam. “America is not safe anymore, my future is in Vietnam” they said.
“I just feel like America is not for me. In Vietnam you have clubs, cafe, fun nightlife and your friends and family are there. Why stay in America when life is so much cheaper there?”
I could not agree more.
Every time I heard these comments, it made me feel bad that I continued to stay in America. I felt sad that I was missing out on spending time with my family and friends back home. Seeing my friends post photos of Vietnam, the food, the fun social events on Instagram made me really want to buy a ticket home.
Vietnam did such an amazing job controlling COVID so things are back to normal, you can read here to find out more.
I thought to myself “well, how bad would it be to go home, spend time with family, do my online classes, and just live life like a normal person?” It sounded alluring and tempting but my gut was telling me no. I just had a feeling if I came back home with my parents, I would resort to the life I had before I came to America. I would not be able to grow and be challenged.
That is why I continued to remain in America despite so many people telling me to return home.
“Growth is a painful process and it can be extremely uncomfortable. But that is where you build skills and traits such as: resilience, perseverance and patience.”
I think you know what is best for you at the end of the day. Some might return home and that is good for them. But some might stay in America and that is okay too. What matters most, is that you are doing the right thing for you.
As an adult, you are smart enough to do things that you should do vs. things you should not do. But I guess no one wants to do things that are hard. After all, we humans love to avoid pain and suffering and seek pleasure by all means.
I want to challenge you to think about what you should be doing right now.
Start by closing your eyes. Think about what things need to get done right now. Think about what things you need to sacrifice now in order to be happy in the future.
When I close my eyes I see my future here in America because I know I will grow and learn so much. As a result of this, I need to give up short term things like: living with my parents, having fun in Vietnam and going to all the social events in order to stay here and grow. I know my future self will thank me.
After living here for 8 years I am going to lay out the good and the bad about living in America. I lived in New York for a 1 year then staying in Greenwich and Stamford, CT for another year. 3 Years in San Jose California and now 3 years in Los Angeles.
I hope you enjoy my extensive list of the pros and cons of living in America.
- Freedom to be me
- Growth Physically, Emotionally, Mentally, Spiritually
- Job opportunities
- Internship experience
- Open minded people
- Great higher education
- Americans are dog-lovers
- I am like a sponge here I can absorb as much knowledge and skills as I want without the fear of being judged and criticized by the public. Vietnamese society can be so critical.
- No one cares about how you dress and what family you were born into. Some Americans might care about this, but in general Americans are not like Vietnamese people. They do not care so much about wealth, status and your upbringing
- Work culture. Money matters and everyone works to survive. Whereas in Vietnam, there is a work and play culture. Here it seems like work culture dominates the play culture more.
- I am able to think long-term here about finance, savings and retirement. In Vietnam, spending money impulsively and not caring about what tomorrow might bring seems like a trend nowadays.
- Meeting all kinds of cool people
- Some Americans are very open and willing to talk about pretty much any issue: racism, sexism, feminism and more. I dare you to go to Vietnam and talk about these issues. People will not want to hang out with you and talk about these issues
- Entrepreneurship is easier here
- Culture Shock
- Not a lot of friends
- Hard to get along with Americans at times
- Driving is a must and can be exhausting. Walking nearby is unheard of. I live in LA and nothing is nearby. Everywhere is driving distance.
- You might encounter some people who have no idea where Vietnam is and that can be very shocking
- No nightlife, or hanging out in cafes. The cafes here are okay. Coffee can be a hit or miss.
- Small Talk can seem not genuine at times
- Everyone is busy
- Hospitality is not as good as Vietnam. I do all my traveling and shopping in Asia. I just know that I will get great customer service and hospitality.
- Racism within the Asian community. I can’t tell you how many times the Vietnamese-Americans think they are superior towards me just because they were born in the U.S. Intra-Asian racism needs to be talked about more. I’ll have to write another blog post about my experience another day
- Seeing family once a year
- Homesick during the holidays
- Authentic Vietnamese food is hard to find unless you have 7 hours a day to simmer pho bone broth at home
I find that the pros outweigh the cons in America. Weekdays go by so fast and the weekends can be a little boring and repetitive at times, because right now not much is open.
But, I try to make the best out of everyday and keep pushing through. The photo above is a great reminder of how far I have come. It was taken in 2016 when I was just visiting Los Angeles to check out USC and LMU. I only ended up having time to check out USC campus. It was a really fun day and I also got a chance to stop by the Ramirez Tran salon before flying back to San Jose. I felt very cool and “hollywood” that day 🙂
I am so glad I found that photo because it reminded me of the early days when I was just starting out in America.
Goodnight from Los Angeles. It is Valentine’s day weekend. I bought myself a big emoji balloon. I am having so much fun just looking at it float around my room as I write this blog post.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope that this list helps you in your college process and journey
I am offering 30min free Zoom consultations if you have any questions about life in America. We can set up a time that works best for you and I would be more than happy to answer any concerns that you might have. It does not have to be questions related to America but any other questions you might have about fashion, beauty, confidence and more. Email me at email@example.com. I look forward to meeting you 🙂