By: Christine “ECKO”  Ho, Staff Writer

Loyalty

Being part of an Asian-interest sorority has enabled us to mingle and mix with different cultures of not only Asia, but of other parts of the world. However, most of us remain loyal to our roots—I am deeply proud of the fact that I am Korean, and will not hesitate to cry out, “KP!” (Korean Pride)

Because we have so many cultures embroiled within our organization, here is my challenge to you: I know that many of us may not have the funds nor inclination to travel abroad, but being part of our organization gives us opportunities that other people may not have. Go to the house of a sister of a different ethnicity (with an invitation of course), and take pictures of yourself in another culture. My own house is Americanized, but I have little things here and there: a Korean calendar, pictures of me in a hanbok (Korean traditional wear) at a young age, Korean food (kimchi, etc.). Think of it as a treasure hunt, and the more things you can find, the better. The purpose of this challenge is for you to remain loyal to your own culture, but not out of ignorance or simply because of your blood, but because of knowledge and understanding of other cultures. Loyalty should not come from blindness, but from knowledge of all things before choosing to remain loyal.

Honesty

Being honest is important because using lies will only end up in your own entrapment if you are unlucky. Lying to parents, friends, family and even strangers will normally have a bad outcome. But even worse than all that—-what about lying to yourself?

My idea for you: If you kept a diary or journal when you were younger, look through it. I have done this recently, and was able to point out several of my own personality traits that have changed over the years. It amazes me to this day some of the things I have written down, especially when I was a teenager. There were times when I had been selfish, petty and cruel. However, acknowledging that has made me see what I have changed into. I have acknowledged that in the same situation, I would have done things differently. So go through your old diaries and journals and be honest to yourself. What were you like before, and what are you like now?

Respect

Respect is perhaps one of the key ingredients in any relationship. Without respect for the other person, what is she/he to you besides a stranger? Respect takes time and work, building to different degrees with different people. A lack of respect results in a caustic relationship, usually hurtful to at least one side. The people that we should respect the most, I believe, are our parents. My parents have done a lot for me, and have supported me since birth. Of course, I understand that some families are different and the dynamic can also be dissimilar to mine.

So here is my idea for you: Pick two people that you have the greatest respect for, and plan a picnic. During the picnic, tell them what you respect about them, and ask what they respect about you. Write it down. Most likely, they will name characteristics you are proud of and wish to keep. Then have fun, eat and be merry, since you have at least two people you deeply respect, and respect you back for who you are.

Dedication

Anyone who knows me also knows that I am wholly dedicated to Harry Potter. I have decided recently that before the premiere of the last movie, I will be reading all seven books again in order to demonstrate my own dedication to the series to myself. I know I probably sound like a nerd, but there you go—my dedication to the series is wholly real and I will probably cry at the end of the movie.

My idea for you: What are you dedicated in besides the sorority? Perhaps you love your job and are working to get to the top of the ladder. Perhaps you are wholly dedicated to collecting jelly beans. Whatever the source, take a picture that represents your dedication to a certain thing or idea, and explain why you are so dedicated to it.

Integrity

Integrity has always been something that I feel is difficult to explain. Whether or not you have integrity has always been based on your actions.

My idea for you: Write a story that you think demonstrates integrity. Make up your own characters, but make yourself the lead character. Make up a fictional situation that could involve anything you want (history, fantasy, science, etc.) and demonstrate how you/your character would make an act of integrity.

Discipline

My idea for you: Take up a physical activity that you normally do not do. Yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, etc. Not only will it be healthy for you, but it will also let you try out new things to help discipline your body.

Academic Excellence

My idea for you:Pick a subject that has nothing to do with your major/former major (for those who have graduated). For example, because my major is English, perhaps I will pick the subject of math. Do something this summer that demonstrates your prowess in another area, or simply you learning something new. I believe that academic excellence is not only you thriving in your area of expertise, but also not being lackadaisical to other subjects as well. Ask your sisters to help you learn something about cellular biology—maybe just one formula. Take a picture of a solved math problem. Write a creative story. There are many things you can do with the many different parts of knowledge. There is nothing wrong with broadening your horizons. Consider this summer the perfect time to learn.