Now that I’m back in the US, it’s time to look back on the whole of my trip to China. Unfortunately, it’s one of those experiences that goes by slowly, but then is over far too soon. I really enjoyed the trip, and I look forward to going back to China one day, whether for school, work, or just vacation.
When I arrived in Beijing, it took me a little while to adjust to some things. I’m not terrible comfortable in large crowds of people, and I don’t like to draw attention to myself, so the sheer mass of people everywhere in Beijing, and the fact that I stuck out like a sore thumb no matter how much I tried to fade into the background, was unnerving for a while. But eventually I got used to it.
One of the things I feel most grateful for about the trip were my teachers. Wang Laoshi and Zhou Laoshi were absolutely fantastic teachers: patient and understanding, interesting, and very good at explaining things. And since Aleeya and I were the only two students in class, the atmosphere in class every day was very relaxed, it was easy to form a closer connection with our teachers. I look forward to keeping in touch with them, and hopefully getting to see them again before to long, either in the US or China.
Although sometimes things got busy, and my fieldwork project not working quite the way I wanted it to caused some stress, I feel like everything about this trip worked out well in the end. I know I’ve grown as a person, had some amazing experiences that I’ll remember forever, and made some friends that I can spend more time with at William and Mary this fall. (Not being a very social person, I may never have met them if not for this trip!) Glad though I am to be back home in the US, with my friends and family and American food, I can’t wait for the day when I get to go back to Beijing.