Pa Xiong is a Social Work major at St. Olaf College. She is from Saint Paul, Minnesota and is the first daughter in her family to finish college. Xiong was also Vice President of St. Olaf’s Hmong Women Dialogue. In the future, she plans to get more involved with the education system and the mental health field.
“I think that being Hmong has definitely pushed me to be less critical in a negative sense. I feel like women in our community is really policed on what we wear, what we do and how we are supposed to behave and stuff. I feel like having attended college it has definitely helped me develop a sense of just being more open, because I have definitely just comply with those kind things like “oh I’m not going to dye my hair because that’s poj laib (rebellious) or wear tight clothes. But ever since coming to college I feel like I have definitely learned that sometimes you just gotta let people do what they want to do and not judge them because it’s very superficial to just judge a person by outward appearance. “
“I definitely think that my role as a daughter at home and my role as a student definitely conflicts and I definitely saw it more this past semester when I went home to do practicum. I was a student and I had to put in hours for my internship but when I got home I was expected to you know to cook, to clean, to take care of the kids and stuff like that and so being home I had to compromise with my mom on my studies. It was really frustrating because I felt like she forgot that I was even a student and that made it really hard on me because I would really need to do my homework.”
“Things that would help me be academically successful, I think St. Olaf does a good job at providing the SSS TRIO program. I think it’d be cool if we had a mentoring program. When you’re a first year I think it would be really cool to have an upperclassmen mentor to help you with the ropes and somebody you can turn to when you don’t really have anyone. When I first entered college I felt like that would have been really helpful to me just because we are on a really white campus and you’re away from home and you want to feel like you’re at home but you’re surrounded by strangers and it’s not really stuff that you’re used to. So I think having that mentoring program would be an awesome way to transition into college. “