Connie Jia Yue is a graduate of Central High School in Little Rock
Experience shapes every individual. It is the most effective way to gain knowledge. Even at my relative young age, I have obtained knowledge that I could never gain from the written word alone. There is not just one experience that has created the diversity I take to college. My single-most formative experience has been extensive travel to very different places.
When asked where I come from, I simply say, "China." After all, I look Asian and my parents are native Chinese. Although this is the truth, the answer is somehow inadequate. In fact, I have been shaped, literally, by travels beyond China. Most Asians think I appear to be a Japanese girl, which is an oddity because Asians can distinguish among Orientals. However, as a young child, I lived in Hokkaido, where I was dramatically influenced by the culture. Anime and Manga, typical Japanese Art, inspired me to draw and design, which have became my passions.
Japan and anime influenced my earliest years, but I returned to China during junior high, spending two years at a boarding school. At first, speaking Chinese was a challenge. Incomprehensible words and gestures swirled around me, followed by embarrassing laughter. To compensate for my language problem, I sank into piles of textbooks. Soon, I was able to speak and write Chinese fluently. In the process, the "Japanese girl" was absorbing Chinese traits.
Fate had even greater plans for me when my family moved to Stockholm, Sweden. The beauty of the drastic differences between the Occidental and Oriental worlds fascinated me, and I could not get enough of the openness of Europe and the Europeans. For one thing, my life in Sweden introduced me to a new passion - sports. There were swimming, skiing and soccer. I did not become a pro-athlete, but I definitely reached pro-amateur status. For another thing, traveling around Europe, I met a host of new friends.
The destiny of this Oriental-European gal was not finished. Three years ago, I came to America. Influenced strongly by a new community, I was able to think like an American. I went public with my drawings, which were no longer hidden in sketchbooks. My artwork was in demand! Much of my work has been permanently hung in classrooms, competition halls, and even on club T-shirts. Best of all, the more people liked my work, the more confidence I gained, and the better my work became.
Where am I from? I am form Japan, China, Sweden and America. I am the global society's poster child, multi-cultures to the extreme, representing diversity at its best. Flexibility in accepting new environments and cultures is the natural for me. Possessing an open mind, I've gained international values from four cultures and four languages. My travel experience prepared me for the global society awaiting me. I'm artistic, diligent, and vigorous. Confident and articulate, I meet no strangers. I come from worldwide destinations, and the path to my next formative stage clearly points to Hendrix College!