I grew up in the east side of my city. I grew up where 65 degrees is too damn cold. I grew up with bars on my windows. I grew up with 7 people in a single story, 4 bedroom house. I grew up in the same house for 18 and a half years. I grew up in a neighborhood of color. I grew up on a corner house next to one of the busiest streets in the area. I grew up looking for the best value in the food I bought, not its appearance or by how healthy it was. I grew up eating rice for dinner almost every night of my life. I grew up not wasting anything. I grew up wondering if I was hearing gunshots or fireworks on the 4th of July. I grew up not as a minority. I grew up hearing half a dozen languages a day. I grew up wishing for things, then wishing some more.

I grew up where I was the same as everyone else.

I live on campus, in the north end of my city. I live where 50 degrees is normal. I live on the third floor of my dorm. I live with a roommate, on a floor with 50 other people, in a building of nearly 200. I live in a place I call home, even though it’s only been 2 months since I moved in. I live where the color palette is lacking.  I live next to the stairs, the busiest part of the building. I live eating food from the Diner, paid for by loans. I live wondering when was the last time I ate rice. I live eating everything on my plate. I live wondering which room is blasting music. I live where I’m a minority. I live hearing two languages, only because I have to take a class for one. I live wishing for things, then getting it on Amazon.

I live where I am different than everyone else.

Note: I just want to make it clear that I don’t resent anyone. I wrote this because I noticed and increasing number of differences between myself and the people around me and wanted to share them. These differences aren’t bad things, just… things, I guess.