It took me about 13 seconds to think about what I wanted to write about for this blog. I have been very agitated lately and I finally realize why. As a Senegalese-American I am constantly dealing with blending my two cultures. No matter how much I try to pick and choose what I like about both, its inevitable–they constantly clash. The most annoying thing about my identity is the expectations placed upon me. So I am 19 and apparently I am ready for marriage—! Fulani girls (my ethnic group) usually get married at 17-19. However, I have different goals and priories in my life. Marriage is nowhere on my list. SO yes, it is very annoying when my distant relatives make comments about me wasting my time in college. It used to bother me but honestly now I find it sad. I know that in many third world countries a girl’s education is not held as important as a boy’s. I am fortunate to have an amazing family that values my education among all other things. To think that I’d leave school to become someone’s traditional Fulani wife is BANANAS! I think all this is coming from the fact that my best friend (shes 19) is getting married in December. It happened really fast and it has me thinking a lot. I am really happy for her; I just hope that she is truly ready. Earlier this morning I had a long conversation with a Pakistani girl that I had just met. We talked about her sister’s wedding and she is dealing with the same pressure that I am. Although she is only 20 her family back home thinks that she should return and get married. Our conversation was short but we ended up laughing our asses off. I have always loved belonging to two cultures and am very proud of both. I hope to one day get married and have children. All I know is that when I do it will be on my own terms. I refuse to throw away my goals and dreams to please others. I just wished that girls back home had the same mentality. For my English research paper I have been doing a lot of research on wedding practices in west Africa. I cant believe that in 2013 young girls are still being forced to drop out of school and get married. I could only imagine what I would do in that situation. I think that WILL has really helped me find my passion in wanting to fight against oppression. I have learned so much and can take what I have learned back home to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.
After the conversation I walked into the bathroom and saw this, thought I’d share it with you all because it definitely made me smile 🙂
Assie Ly is a second-year Business Economics major and a first-year WILLer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.