Culture Corps Program - University of Minnesota

Culture Corps Program - International Student and Scholar Services - University of Minnesota

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The vision of the International Student and Scholar Services Office (ISSS) is to have an inclusive and engaged international lea

Operating as usual


Essay series: Some Type of Love
Pt4. Loving Your Past, Present, and Future.

Some Type of Love, This series contains four different essays. Every essay will include personal experiences and each essay has its own topic. The author of this series Some Type of Love is a graduate international student at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities and willing to share honest feelings when it comes to love.

FB no longer has a NOTES section, so we are sharing the last part of Some Type of Love as a regular post!

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She had this bunny looking doll next to her pillow every night. Although, I said it was a bunny shaped doll. It aged with time so long. I could not recognize the original shape of the doll. It was barely hanging itself together with a couple threads. She still uses it because she cannot go to sleep without it. She still uses it every day, every night – since she was a little kid.

When we were together, I used to get upset with her emotionless words. She only talks about her position and makes me feel like I am the wrong person. She always shows her emotion straightforwardly. I always felt like how she was lacking empathy and never quite understood some of her actions towards me.

Many nights, she took her medicine to go to sleep. Without it, she will be up all night. Sometimes, I tried to fit her sleep schedule and habits. I couldn’t help her at all. So, she took her prescription every night just to be in sleep. On social media platforms, some people joke about what is wrong with these Americans. They have so many allergies and pills are necessary. Some people say how weak these people are. They are seeing doctors because they ain’t strong enough. Although, I am from a nation where we share those cultural aspects, strong enough to not find a doctor. I supported her journey to find the right medication and to find the right therapist. Because, just like we check up our body once and a while, we also have to check our mental or inner body too.

However, our relationship was volatile. Thinking back about our entire communication and emotions, she tried to meet several therapists and try new medications. I felt like her emotion was up and down. But, I always blamed us about how we are not a good match. I never once questioned about the side effects or the aftermath of medicines if the medicine is not a right fit for the person. Those thoughts never came across in my mind because it is just so unusual to see therapies and psychiatrists in general to me. So, I never questioned or even asked to try different types of medication. We just got upset and we ended it.

Fast forward to present, we are still good friends and talk about where to visit before we become grannies. And, we still talk about finding the right therapist and how it is like dating a person in US. But, a couple months ago, she started to question her symptoms and told me that she might have ADHD and how doctors were wrong all the time. Misdiagnosis with wrong medications for years. It sounds so far-fetched idea that doctors can get wrong but we more than often talks about how doctors don’t believe the patients, us. None of her therapists or psychiatrists prescribed ADHD to her yet. But, she did tell me that she might just have ADHD after all these years. And, I believed her because the individual knows their body the most, not the third person point of view person like, doctors. But, again, I didn’t do anything with that information because I didn’t even know what exactly was ADHD. Because, it was just an unusual concept to even have a mental health disorder.

Couple weeks ago, I watched this one video about child psychiatrist doctors advising parents who have troubled children. I casually watched this show to find out what was wrong with my parent’s education and trying to catch up with those times. Maybe it will help me to develop as a better person by fulfilling what I missed. Then, I stumbled upon one episodes about a child who has an ADHD. The video shows so many things within a short time. The doctor said that this child has an ADHD, lacks the ability to control themselves and is unable to inhibit themselves. She exemplified how 6th grade children meet a bigger guy in the elevator. But, usually, children won’t comment on weight because it will hurt other people’s feelings. But, ADHD children cannot hold their words because they are lacking inhibition skills. And, they ended up saying the guy is fat which causes society to call them as a troublesome kids. The video also showed how the child cannot go to bed every night. She cries over how she is scared to go to bed. The doctor said because these children are lacking skills to control themselves which lead to them being unable to fall asleep or to be awake at school. And, how insomnia is highly related to ADHD kids. The normal things aren’t normal things to ADHD children. But, then, the doctor said, if this problem continues, this can be a “life long problem.” If the parents’ cannot catch them early and to resolve the problem, this will be turned into an adult ADHD. Although, the solution of ADHD insomnia children was very simple, such as cuddling them until they fell asleep. Seems like a very simple solution. But, I just assumed that parents left their children in their own room to create boundaries and independence at an early age especially in the US which becomes a reason why this nation does have a great individualistic culture to drive the nation. However it is a double sided sword. If parents can’t catch the ADHD early enough, it soon becomes a child’s burden for life.

So, I asked my friend, she, about how I clicked the video because she mentioned ADHD previously and I wanted to ask some questions. She answered all of my questions and said how she can’t go to bed at night and then, at school, she had to eat, doodle, or do something else to be just awake at school. When I realized that she might be really going through an adult ADHD, I was a little choked up by many things like I was a bit sad that she probably had many lonely nights and only thing that she could hold on to was a little bunny since she was a child, even if her disorder could have been resolved if her parents cuddle with her most of the night with her. I was also ashamed of myself because I complained to her about how her words hurt me inside out when she didn’t mean it. I also am upset about how my country created shame or to build a wall of ignorance toward this mental health disorder which forced me to become an ignorant person in this particular subject. Because of this ignorance, I almost lost my friend. We talked about it all night and I promised to be a better friend for her by reading books about it or doing research of my own. And, it has been three years since. I feel like I am more educated than. Because, now I am afraid to love someone’s whole life; past, present and future.

Thank you for joining us and spending time reading our dedicated Culture Corps blogs, and look forward to inviting more guest authors to our program!

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Our Story

Make a student appointment here:

The vision of the International Student and Scholar Services Office (ISSS) is to have an inclusive and engaged international learning community. One of the ways ISSS helps international students become more active on campus is through the Culture Corps Program. International students can provide unique perspectives and new insights to enrich cross-cultural understanding at the University of Minnesota.

The Culture Corps Program provides monetary awards to international students willing to share their experiences.

Culture Corps was created in 1998 by Dr. Mohammed Bari to provide international students the opportunity to share their cultural experiences and their knowledge with the University of Minnesota campus community.




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