I am excited to officially announce that I will be studying as a direct exchange student at Tsinghua University for the spring 2012 semester. During my time abroad, I plan to take 15 course credits, reunite with relatives, and explore the ins and outs of Beijing and Shanghai.
I studied abroad in China summer 2010 at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) with short trips to Xi’an and Shanghai, and since then I knew I had to go back. A month was simply too short to take in the history, art, and food these cities have to offer. After my trip to Taiwan, I’ve learned that I can’t stay in one place for long periods of time and that there are times when I absolutely need to be alone to accomplish my goals. This fresh start at a new school, away from the hustle and bustle that I somehow always fall into at GMU, is just what I need.
It’s been over a month since I’ve updated here, partly because I wanted my first post for 2012 to be significant to what’s ahead in the next few months. Then I remembered coming across this phrase a few months ago on Nancy’s Tumblr, Just Little Things, and I thought it would be the most appropriate way to start my blogging year:
Over this winter break, I’ve had multiple moments of insecurity of where I was going with the decisions I’ve made so far. Even with my dreams and long-term goals, I still have no clue if what I’m doing now will get me where I want to be, or how long it would take. Sure, I can tell myself that I still have a year and a half to figure things out, but I know that the rest of my junior year will fly by, and senior year will creep up before I want it to. Part of me says I can’t wait to finish college, but another part of me panics and says, “Well, what are you going to do afterwards?” because I still can’t answer that question.
Last week, Just Little Things came up on my Tumblr dashboard again. Her ability to appreciate the smallest things that may pass over our heads let me check back into reality. I needed to stop worrying so much about things out of my control and realize how fortunate I am to be attending one of China’s most prestigious universities with a lineup of impressive alumni leaders. I’ve come a long way from wanting to be everything in the world to refining my career goals in the last year. I’m now much better with prioritizing my needs than I was in the first two years of college. I’ve made friends whom I can count on to be positive influences and motivators to help me improve, and for me to want to help them achieve their success.
There are plenty of things I should be happy about, but I recently let a few things greatly discourage me. Frustrated can sum up my mood since November, because every time I finished one step, there were complications in the next. The ambiguity of my acceptance to Tsinghua University made me stress out to the point where I felt lost and hopeless of any plans being confirmed for the spring, whether it be abroad or at GMU. Inconsistent and unreliable communication was a bear, but when is it not? I learned that if I really want something, I have to handle it myself instead of waiting for others to reciprocate. This way there is less room for error and if mistakes do come up, I’ll have a better idea of how to prevent them in the future.
A recent event taught me that mishaps like this will never stop occurring. When it is necessary to work with other individuals or groups of people, things will not go as planned, expectations can be let down, and others won’t feel the same way as you do. The most important thing is to prevent from enlarging these problems, keep a positive attitude, and focus on the task in a professional and composed manner.
With this direct exchange program, it’s the same. I’m still waiting on administrative items, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m going to China regardless. Everything is slowly, but surely, coming together. And it will all work out in the end.