Hello! My name is Lauren Aung, and I’m from Austin, Texas. While I was born and raised in Texas, my paternal ancestors lived in Yunnan for over 500 years. Our hometown, Tengchong, is just an hour by plane from Kunming. I hope that this year helps me answer how and to what extent I can inform my identity through my Asian-American heritage. One pressure point for this question is linguistic. I never learned to speak Chinese, a skill that starkly separates me from older generations of my family.
This year, I will grow in understanding of not only my heritage but of my character. Through a year of service and of new experiences, Bridge Year will hopefully shape my vision of who I want to become, not necessarily in terms of career or concentration but of values and principles. What roles do I want service, reflection, materialism, spirituality, curiosity, and travel to play in my life? As Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” Taking an experiential approach to learning will foster personal growth unlike anything a classroom could promote.
I love studying the humanities, specifically Latin, Ancient Greek, and postmodern literature. Because of my life-long interest in reading and storytelling, I also developed an affection for writing, and I created a blog, https://aungabroad.com/ , to share my thoughts during Bridge Year with my friends and family back home. I am incredibly grateful to have been granted such a unique opportunity to discover both the world and myself. Here’s to a year of learning about things “worth knowing”!