by Kristy T.
It was on November 19th, the day of my birthday, that I found out I was accepted into the China Maymester study abroad program. I’m never going to forget the feeling of extreme excitement and also the feeling of pure nervousness. After the initial excitement wore off, a ton of questions started to form. “How can I pay for this?”, “Who else is going?”, “Will I get along with people on the trip?”. It was honestly terrifying jumping into the pure unknown for the first time of my life.
Fast forward to eight months later, and it is now my last week in China. Over the semester of preparation for Beijing I constantly heard that it was going to be a life changing experience, and even though I believed it, I didn’t know to the extent that it would affect my life. After a month of using “squaty potties”, dealing with not being fluent in the language, and adjusting to an overall new environment, I feel like a completely different person. I learned how to be more patient and adaptable and most importantly, I became a lot more appreciative and grateful for everything that I have been blessed with.
During the past months I have made relationships that I know will last a lifetime. All of the people that I’ve met during this trip has given me a new perspective on so many different things and have influenced me in so many ways, and helped me become a better person. They taught me how to live, learn, persevere, and to see the world in a new light. They gave me so many memories and almost instantly became like a family to me, making Beijing feel like a home away from home.
I’m going to make the most of these last few days and take everything in before I have to get on the plane with all of the amazing friends I’ve made. Overall, I can honestly say that finding out that I was accepted into the program, was the best birthday present I could’ve ever received. So thank you to all of the friends I made during the trip, you will always be my Beijing family. I’ll miss all of you!