As I sit here in the hotel next to the airport, getting ready to leave for my flight in a few hours, memories from these past 2 months keep racing through my head. I’m so excited to go home to see my family and all my friends – but at the same time leaving this fantastic country is one of the last things I want to do.
Ever since my time in China was cut short in middle school, I had longed to come back. Since that time, the most important decisions I’ve made in my life have revolved around that 1 year. Studying Asian Studies and Chinese language in college, coming on this Summer Abroad Program, internships revolving around China and more.
I’d have to say I’m relieved to be done with classes, finals period certainly wasn’t a breeze, but it’s done, and I’m grateful for that. But Chinese classes were always a great time, the teachers put so much effort into the class, and truly wanted us to become better with the language. Exploring the city was my favorite thing to do – just diving in and seeing what you could find without any idea of where you were going.
Probably my favorite experience was Inner Mongolia and all the bizarre things we got to do. Riding horses, the yurts, fireworks in the grasslands – it was all a great time. The excursions that we went on during this trip certainly made it unforgettable, and the people even more so.
All in all, it’s hard to truly explain how I feel right now, with the excitement of going home, yet the sadness of leaving. But probably the most cliche word to do it would be “bittersweet”. I know I’ll be back in China, and I’m glad I still have a passion for the culture and language, but until then, I must say 再见。
P.S. I want to say thank you to Professor Wilcox, and Fang Laoshi for organizing such a fantastic trip. You guys rock!