Here's Why I Opened My Middle School Yearbook | Op-Docs

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Published on 6 May 2021, 23:00
As I approach my late 20s, I find myself constantly swimming in thoughts about my future. The anxiety I feel is amplified by how monumental this period was for my parents: At 26, they left behind their community in Taiwan in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their children in America. I’m now the same age, and I can think of little that could convince me to uproot my life and seek opportunity in a faraway place.

Maybe that’s the single greatest privilege of my life — because of my parents’ sacrifice, my biggest challenges lie in navigating my sense of identity, fulfillment and the pursuit of my own dream of being a filmmaker, the sort of dream they never had the luxury of having.

In the short documentary above, I revisit a more innocent time in my life: middle school in Fremont, Calif. Flipping through my yearbook made me curious about how old friends who signed “H.A.G.S.” (Have A Good Summer) and doodled Sharpie penises were handling adulthood and the uncertainty about the future — so I decided to call them and find out.

- Director's statement from Sean Wang (instagram.com/seanswang/).

Read more: nyti.ms/2RPa6Zg

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Op-Docs is a forum for short, opinionated documentaries by independent filmmakers. Learn more about Op-Docs and how to submit to the series. Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NYTopinion).
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