Today is one year since I left for China. That is so hard to believe. A year ago I took off not knowing what I was getting myself into and it was without a doubt the best experience I’ve ever had.
The experience of going to China to teach was amazing and I am so thankful for all the people who helped me get there: Co, Marsha, Martin, and all the other professors at BSU who really encouraged me to pursue it. It also wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome without the wonderful staff at CIBT: David, George, Season, Joy, Stephen, and all of our TAs who did such an awesome job every day.
I think most important though are the friends I made while there. They really helped me to come out of my shell and blossom into the person I am today. By no means was my time in China the easiest or best 6 months of my life. Between ending up in the hospital right away and going through a tough breakup, I was in need of support and was no where close to my support system. Each and every one of my friends was there for me with words of advice, a shoulder to cry on, a new adventure to go on, and lots of laughs. I love them all dearly and to list them would take a bit of time…not to mention that I would probably forget someone and insult them unintentionally. So if I knew you/met you while in China just know you made a positive impact in my life and you will forever be in my heart even if our paths don’t ever cross again.
Why is it important to me to thank all these people? Because they all helped shape me in ways I never could have imagined. Writing this today I am a much stronger, kinder, understanding, more intelligent, more culturally aware, more open-minded individual. I am no longer afraid of being on my own, traveling on my own, traveling to places I don’t know the language, making new friends, and trying new foods (after you’ve eaten a few bugs and some dog you really can eat anything). I now know that as long as I can find a job there, I can live anywhere in the world.
Going to China has also opened up many doors to me since being home. If I didn’t go, I would have graduated in May and would never had gotten a research job on campus (giving me experience). Never would have become an Herbalife distributor (learning more about business, helping people, and working on my own personal development). I would have never made some of my really good friends that I’ve met this semester. Now I will be applying for jobs and I know my resume looks much better than it did a year ago. I have learned more about the world, myself, and others in the past year than I ever could have imagined. I am so blessed to have had that experience and am so blessed for all the wonderful people who have came into my life.