Part 5: APIDA Women: You Can Have Your Cake and Eat it All

Discussing the intersection of career and heritage.

APIDA Women: You Can Have Your Cake and Eat it All

Instrumental to overcoming these positive stereotypes in undergrad was the support of educators both within my cultural community and cross-cultural community. I was lucky that I could find a South Asian American woman professor in my campus’ Political Science program who encouraged me to pursue my interest in majoring in International Relations. I still remember her words, “the world is your oyster.”

Being a first-generation APIDA college student meant that my family wanted me to pursue a major which translated into earnings and eliminated the uncertainty of job security after graduation. Pursuing a double major was a matter of securing gainful employment in the private sector, a sector otherwise unfamiliar to my working-poor family. My loved ones asked me to remember where we started out and who we come from. Therefore, deciding to complete a double major was my way of balancing my filial duty as the eldest daughter of five children in a working poor APIDA immigrant family and their ideas around success with my personal interests in public service, or as I used to say “taking over the world.”


At Miami we love the poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, aside from noting our campus’ beauty, he also shared this gem,“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is an accomplishment.” Be yourself. If that means honoring your filial duties, honor them with pride. If it means balancing them with personal interests, do that. If it means rejecting them partially or entirely and being an entrepreneur (risk-taker) do that. But whatever you do, “be yourself.”

Simran Kaur-Colbert

Next – Part 6: Taking Risks & Overcoming Social Stigmas