I have a very blended family. My dad’s from Lebanon, my mom’s from Indonesia and my step-dad’s from Trinidad. It’s almost every continent. When my family gets together, no two people look the same. I feel like that’s so American.

Every single one of my parents came over for school. My parents met at Wayne State and got married there.

My mom didn’t know if she was going to stay after college. She actually tried to get into dental school 3 times and failed the test all 3 times which is why she came to the United States to study engineering. She just can’t stand the sight of blood. She’s a very determined woman. She’s the only person from her family who left Indonesia, her 6 brothers still live there. She’s also the only girl.

As a mixed race, first-generation kid you’re caught in this fortunately unfortunate crosshairs. When I’m with my Arab family I’m not really Arab enough, when I’m with my Asian family I’m not really Asian enough, and when I’m with my White friends, I’m not ever really American enough. You try to make yourself seem exotic in order to draw attention to what’s different about you first so it’s not used against you.It wasn’t until I got some separation that I realized that doing that is just internalizing the racism that you get from the outside world. – Arti