Looking Ahead





I am in love with China, and hope I am able to come back to visit! As humans, we never appreciate what we have in the moment. At home in the states I didn’t appreciate all of the privileges I have and I took them for granted. While abroad, I can’t wait to go home because I miss those privileges. For me, I cannot wait to have a 9 to 5 job and start my career, although I know that one day I will wish that I was still in college. It is weird to think about, and hard to stay on track of where you are heading.

It is hard to put into words how I feel at this moment. I miss home more and more every day, but I am falling in love with China more and more every day. I would not say that I feel stuck here in China because my time here is flying by. It’s hard to express what I am feeling. I do not feel as though I am ready to be home and yet I am. It also gives you more appreciation for the people who are supporting you from home. I give my loved ones so much credit for supporting me while I live on the other side of the world from them for almost 4 months.

The other day I was talking to my mom on WeChat and she was pouring a drink from the faucet. It looked so foreign to me since you cannot drink the water here. It has become second nature to me to only drink bottled water. Also, not to drink the water when you are brushing your teeth. Non western toilets and no toilet paper being supplied is also becoming something that I have just accepted. I feel as though I am finally fully accustomed to everything.

It is sad to think that I have less than 2 months left here. This is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to be in a different country for 4 consecutive months. It makes me want to study abroad somewhere else after this. I’m so thankful that I had taken the leap of faith to study abroad. I especially appreciate my choice to study abroad in a country that does not speak English. I believe that it would be a completely different experience if you went abroad to an English-speaking country.

Going to a country that does not speak English as their first language is VERY different. This experience has taught me so much. It is also much easier to learn a language when you are submerged in it 24/7. It becomes a game to listen to others’ conversations and try to pick out words that you know. I understand about every tenth word. Speaking Mandarin is way more complex than I was anticipating. There are tones you need to know, pinyin, and the characters. The weird thing is I kind of love it. I will admit I did not like it at all in the beginning. It was very hard for me to grasp, and I would leave my mandarin class very frustrated. I began to invest way more time into it and now every day it is becoming more and more fun.