Hi, my name is Matthew Chung and I am a sophomore pursuing a degree in Business with a concentration in Finance and Accounting on the NYU main campus. Ethnically I identify as Korean and I was born in Seoul, South Korea on January 18th, 1999; however, in regards to my nationality, I am American and have actually lived the majority of my life in the states, specifically in Irvine, California. I guess you could say that I’m a bit of a fitness junkie, but I’ll never pass up Korean barbecue which is my health kryptonite.
This semester I will be spending my fall semester studying abroad on the NYU D.C. campus. I have always laughed at the concept of studying “abroad” in D.C.; I mean, should it really be considered a semester abroad when I’m only a five hour drive from my home campus? To some it may seem as if I wasted an opportunity to actually study abroad in far-off places like Shanghai, Paris, or Berlin; however, I think that it is very important to recognize that while distance can facilitate major regional differences, no two places are entirely alike in their political, economic, social, and cultural compositions regardless of where they are located on a map. There is always something new to discover and you simply have to look even more carefully when you are traveling to a less distant place.
New York and D.C. are no exceptions. As someone who is pursuing a degree in business, it may startle some of you that I left New York, widely-considered the financial capital of the world, for D.C., the political capital of the United States of America. While that may be true, I strongly believe that diversifying the settings in which you study, work, and live are essential components of effective personal development.
Strangely enough, despite my self-perceived discomfort in immersing myself in new settings, I find that I unconsciously put myself into these type of situations quite regularly. For example, last semester there was a NYU seminar being held in Sydney, Australia, but I was not really interested in the topics that were going to covered in that seminar. Despite my seemingly lack of interest, I later found myself in Sydney as a part of that seminar and I had a blast experiencing the city and sights with new people.
Although to my knowledge I am an introverted person that tends to shy away from change, recently it seems as if it’s my instinctive nature to engross myself in unknown circumstances. Perhaps I am unknowingly in search for both self and anonymity; maybe as I grow comfortable with my surroundings I grow bored or dissatisfied with myself or my environment and consequently find new grounds to restart. Come to think of it, I had done just that when I chose what college to study at. As I mentioned before, I am from California but I’m studying here on the east coast. I made this decision because I wasn’t satisfied with who I had become and what I had done in my most recent years so I made the bold choice to come to these unfamiliar lands in order to acquire that fresh start. I also want to clarify that I wasn’t living a life of crime or immorality or anything of the sort, it was more so me wanting to find myself differently without my past identify altering that desire.
Now, this may not be my first time in Washington D.C. (it’s my third actually), but I am nowhere near fully understanding the city and seeing all the wonderful sights and experiences it has to offer. So far I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here as a part of NYU D.C. and I hope that throughout the semester I will have the courage and fascination to go out and create many new memories to last.