Ruby Xiao and Her Overcoming The Feeling Of Loneliness:
An Interview By Cristhian Gutierrez
Table Of Content:
Video Segment 1: Introduction Of Self And Family Background.
Video Segment 2: What Brought Me Here, Education And A Family Apart.
Video Segment 3: Adapting To Being Alone And Independent.
Video Segment 4: The TV American Dream, Gossip Girls.
Video Segment 5: The Uncertain Future.
Ruby Xiao was just a girl that sat in front of me in accounting class this semester, for weeks we would casually exchange smile but I sensed a disconnect. As the weeks went on I slowly began to drag small conversations out of her. After some camaraderie and mutual distress in accounting I asked to interview her. Ruby is a soft spoken 23 years old student who was born in the Hunan Province in central China. Ruby has been studying here in the United States for 2 years, with a goal to eventually graduate but beyond that she's uncertain.
1. Introduction Of Self And Family.
In this segment I introduced Ruby Xiao a recent sojourner who's been in the United States for about two years. Ruby tells me about being from China, from the Hunan province and describes her family life and housing from back home. She talks about growing up from a middle class family and makes mention of being an only child but having a close cousin she considers like a sister.
2. What Brought Me Here, Education And A Family Apart.
In the following clip Ruby shares the reason she came to the United States and her mother's support to study abroad. She also shares her living condition that because of legality she's forced to live separate from her mother. Ruby later comments that because of her previous life in China the transition of living alone here in the Unites Sates has been difficult, causing her to miss her friends and family back home. She also comments about having to show appearances to her grandparents how happy she is here so they won't worry.
3. Adapting To Being Alone And Independent.
In this clip Ruby and I discuss her experience here in the United States in the past two years and her mixed feelings about being here. She goes more into detail about the transition of going from a family reliant upbringing in China to the forced situation of being self reliant. Ruby includes a personal story of the first time she was shocked and realized that she had no one she could depend on. She goes into a explain how she deliberately distance herself and her difficulty making genuine connection with classmates, but ultimately on the positive has taught her independency which she is grateful for.
4. The TV American Dream, Gossip Girls.
In our fourth clip, I ask Ruby about her original idea of the American dream and what expectations if any did she have. Ruby goes on to comment about how American television and her favorite show "Gossip Girls" gave her a false image of what true life was here. She believed that like the show everyone was so into fashion and spent most of their days shopping, but once here, she realized America was more relaxed. By this she explains that people in the United Sates aren not so caught up on what they dress or follow fashion or what is current as strictly as in China. The notion that Americans wear what makes them comfortable, perhaps more individualism while in China social norms force people to dress a certain way otherwise they are seen as possible outcast.
5. The Uncertain Future.
In our final clip Ruby and I discuss her short and long term plans, she feels like she's at a crossroad looking at all her options. She talks about possibly going from sojourner to an immigrant because she feels that she has changed so much from being here that she might not fit back home but at the same time she feels some disconnect with her friends back in China that might lead her to build a new life here. In addition she feels she has more opportunity here because China is much more competitive especially with the separation and lost of friends makes going back less viable. Ultimately her short term plan is getting her degree but beyond that she feels uncertain about everything.
For Ruby growing up in China where friends and family is a very close knit concept where everyone does things together. The transition to the United States has had its growing pains along with some cold reality. Ruby transition from China in the past two years appears to be a lonely one where she struggles to adapt the style and pace of life here. The idea that yes we build friendships here but ultimately everyone moves at their own pace and direction unlike China, by Ruby's description everyone runs parallel and at the same pace. Ultimately Ruby's feeling of belonging is uncertain for her because she feels like she doesn't totally fit in here given past attempts but also acknowledges that she has also changed were if she was to go back she's not sure she could fit in back in her country's lifestyle. Even though this is on a larger scale I feel that the feeling of belonging and its uncertainty is one that people feel everywhere in the world. It is a battle that people face daily no matter of race, gender or location. Another theme I noticed was the natural idea of life's uncertainty. People and this false notion of having to have everything planned, I believe that yes long term plans or goals are good but sometimes can be overwhelming depending on when asked. Like Ruby short terms plans are a good way to go because they lead to progress and through these we will find answers to long term goals eventually.