Stacy Chen ’18: Unexpected


Stacy Chen embraced her personal change as it led to her arrival at Darlington in eighth grade.


“I moved from the state of Illinois to Georgia because Illinois was too cold. My parents wanted me to go to private school, so I came from going to a public school in Illinois in like a corn field to this rural backwoods of Rome and it was a transition, let me tell you,” Chen said.


Chen had a supportive group of students that welcomed her into the community.


“Jamila took me in even though I was very awkward and I didn’t have any friends. I was the only Asian in eighth grade but I became friends with all the other new students and we were really close. I really enjoyed my eighth grade year,” Chen said.


Chen noticed the cultural differences when arriving in the South.


“I ate Thanksgiving food, the southern Thanksgiving food, for the first time and I did not enjoy it. I don’t know, it’s just cornbread doesn’t really appeal to me that much,” Chen said. “Thanksgiving cooking is not for me. I like the turkey somewhat, but other than that I think my favorite is going to have to be corn casserole that’ll be it.”


During her time at Darlington, Chen gained confidence and learned to accept her differences.


“It has been hard to embrace your awkwardness and stand out,” Chen said.


Chen enjoys the amount of inspiration her teachers give in the classroom or in rehearsals.


“I really look up to Ms. Daniel, she just has this character to where everyone loves her. We have so much respect for her yet whatever she says has so much power and the way she leads really inspires me,” Chen said.


Always wanting to make a positive influence, Chen wants her impact to be detached from stereotypes.


“I just don’t want to be viewed as the typical Asian nerd. I just want people to look at me with no baggage and a fresh perspective,” Chen said.


Chen had surprised herself with personal growth and unbelievable accomplishments.


“If you told me when I was in eighth grade that I was going to be brave enough to audition for the musical and have leadership positions that I have never dreamed of I would have laughed at you,” Chen said. “I never saw the power and bravery in myself to step up and out of my comfort zone to be someone I didn’t think I could.”