Dylan Luong


Alex Ozeran

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Alex (Interviewer): What is a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of?


Dylan (subject): Recent accomplishment, hmm. I think for me, it’s finding community. Working at a cultural center, community is kind of big with my work. But, for my own personal life, I feel like I’ve finally acknowledged and realized that I have a community and a group of friends that like and accept me and it’s pretty good. Because before, I used to not have that, and it was kind of hard to acknowledge that. But that’s something that more recently has changed and I’m grateful for everyone in my life. That’s kind of an accomplishment.


Alex: Yeah, it’s good to have people in your life. How do you believe the world can be a better place?


Dylan: I think one thing that I see as an issue is that a lot of people aren’t able to see the other side of a story and aren’t able to understand each other. They kind of take their own personal biases and it prevents them from seeing the other person as just another ordinary human being. So I think being able to understand their point of view – like not necessarily agreeing with – but just being open to how that person perceives issues can, I think, help a lot. I feel like we’re pretty polar, like the world right now.


Alex: I get that. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?


Dylan: This is a hard one. I think for me, it’s being okay with failure. And that life, it’s kind of like, you don’t need to figure everything out in the moment. I think because we’re so focused on being perfect and doing everything correct, that we’re too scared to go out of our comfort zone and fail. When we fail, being able to get up when we fall down is where we learn the most.


Alex: Was there a person in your life who gave you that advice or is it just something you’ve picked up along the way?


Dylan: I think I picked it up from when I did URSA, which is like a science internship sort of thing that introduces students to research. My lab that I was in, it was about Buddhism and tying Buddhism to science and seeing the connections between the two. So we talked a lot about Buddhism itself and the philosophy of it. Something that my professor talked about a lot is just how everything is in flux, and there’s these ups and downs, and that’s just life. We focus a lot on like, trying to make it always up, but when something down does happen, it hits us pretty hard. So he taught us, you know, failure is okay because that’s just part of life. And I was like, wow, that’s good advice.


Alex: Are you religious at all?


Dylan: I am not religious, but I grew up Buddhist. Like my family wasn’t super religious, but I’m even less religious than they were. So yeah, I’m not religious.


Alex: When was the last time someone told you I love you?


Dylan: That’s a good question. That is a good question. I would say, I don’t think I’ve ever heard my family say that.


Alex: That’s relatable.


Dylan: Yeah, it is what it is. I guess, honestly, I think – it’s kind of a red flag but – my ex. You know, we were dating at the time and, you know, the “I love you”s started coming out a bit early. But yeah, that was probably the last time.


Alex: What is your biggest regret and why?


Dylan: I think my biggest regret is not being open with myself and not being good at – Like growing up, I used to be really not wanting to reach out. I kind of grew up in a strict environment where it was kind of hard to like grow and be more open with people. So I think my biggest regret is not realizing that I should just be who I want to be and just be okay with what happens.


Alex: Do you have a motto or something that you live by?


Dylan: I guess it’s kind of basic, but just be yourself. Yeah, just be yourself and be okay with who you are.


Alex: Authenticity. I like that. Last question, what was a turning point in your life?


Dylan: Definitely entering college. So much freedom. I can do whatever I want so it’s a fun time.


Alex: Where did you grow up?


Dylan: I’m from Beaverton, so that’s not far away from here. But I had strict parents. I went to a pretty small high school that was very academic focused, so everything was just so like, within this little fence you know? But then going to college I could do so much more. My graduating class was 85 people, and I was there for seven years, so I got to know people really, really well.

Alex: Almost too well?


Dylan: Yeah, too well. But in college, you meet someone and you can make a mistake, because you probably won’t see them again. You can do whatever you want.


Alex: Do you have any closing thoughts or anything you want people to know?


Dylan: Come visit the Asian Pacific Culture Center. We’re next to the Linc. Come say hi!

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