1. You’re not allowed to hang out with your friends.
2. There’s no chance that you’ll be able to go to the concerts, festivals, and sporting events that you desperately want to attend.
3. You’re always being compared to people in countries with superior test scores, like China, South Korea, and Taiwan.
4. Dating is out of the question.
5. Strangers are suspicious of where you came from and how you got here. “No, where are you really from?”
6. Your household’s most prized possession is the Costco membership card. Procuring bulk goods like 120-count packs of toilet paper helps alleviate the sense of scarcity looming over you.
7. Going to restaurants is a rare occurrence. You feel a little guilty whenever you dine out.
8. Shoes must be left outside or removed immediately upon entering the house. Those soles are teeming with filthy pathogens!
9. You feel pressured to spend your free time on skill-building activities, such as taking online courses, learning new languages, and practicing instruments.
10. Doctors are put on a pedestal.
11. You’re often somberly reminded that there’s no money to be made in the performing arts.
12. People love to give you unsolicited advice based on “facts” gleaned from questionable sources.
13. It’s so unfair that you abide by restrictive rules that aren’t acknowledged by other swaths of society.
14. You love your parents, but also try to minimize contact with them so that you don’t end up killing each other.
Growing up in a strict immigrant household: 1-14
Living through a pandemic: 1-14