There’s nothing like running from the subway just in time to catch the train to get your adrenaline pumping on a Saturday morning. A couple weekends ago, we went to Suzhou for a day.
My favorite part was the Humble Administrator’s Garden. When walking around China, I rarely hear people talking in English, so when I overheard some English speakers, it was so refreshing that I sat down where I could hear them, and listened to them talk. It was just soothing that I could actually understand them. Plus, the garden was really pretty. Since it was such a nice day, there were a lot of the people in the garden, and all the sudden I had a thought. I was walking by a man, and I thought, what if that’s my biological dad? It was really strange because I’ve never thought about what my biological dad looks like, but it was such a jarring thought that I looked around at all the other people for a couple minutes and thought about the fact that in the past two months I could have passed by biological parents, but I will never know.
Even though I will probably not solve that mystery. I did make another realization after reflecting back on our trip to Suzhou. I realized that it isn’t where I go, but who I go with that makes the difference. I suppose I already knew this because I have heard it before, but experiencing it is so much different. I might go to all these cool places, but my favorite things I have done so far in China are my favorite because they were with cool people.
Although it has been a lot of fun to get to know all kinds of cool people, I’m an introvert at core of who I am. Sometimes it is really hard to admit to myself because it’s not popular to be an introvert, but it is something I have been dealing with recently. I want to do everything, see everything, and meet everyone, but sometimes I can’t handle all of that and I just need to lay in bed with a good book. I feel bad for doing things that I can do just as easily in America, like read a book or go to the movies, but just like saying goes, I have to learn to dance in the rain. My rain cloud is probably different from the person next to me, but I have to accept myself and my rain cloud.
I think that is an important thing to know about studying abroad. Even though I am in such a cool place, and I don’t know when I’ll get to chance to come back to China, it’s okay to do things that are familiar to me. It’s okay to not always be on cloud nine. I think people, me included, expect studying abroad to be this almost out of body experience where everything is amazing, but there are highs and lows like anything in life.
At this point, I’m just waiting for the light behind the clouds, and I think I already see it. It didn’t come on it’s own, but I created the light for myself because I wanted something to look forward to. Therefore, with some last minute planning as per usual by us, the other IES Abroad students and I are going to Beijing next weekend! I’m really excited because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to see the Great Wall, but we’re all set to see everything we can see in 22 hours! Did someone say sleep?
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<p>Hi all! My name is Lucy Swett, and I am a sophomore at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. I am majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Chinese. I was adopted from Hubei China, when I was one year old, raised in the United States, and now I am excited to go back for the first time! I hope you join me in my adventure!</p>