Welcomed Back: y so srs?
September 10, 2010 § 2 Comments
“How was China?” people ask me when I see them around campus. This question brings to mind images of the streets of Shenyang and Yiwu, places in China where I spent significant time. But I’ve realized that when they ask that question, they mean, “How was your time spent studying abroad…wherever it was?” Most people have the impression that I’ve been gone for a whole year and not just a semester, for which I don’t fault them too much. Time goes by quickly, and it did feel like a long time. Most people also make no differentiation between China and Hong Kong, lumping the two together into one “China” entity.
They could not be further from the truth.
I used to think that way too — during the 2008 summer Olympics, I was outraged that HK had its own Olympic team.
“Who do they think they are?” I asked indignantly. “Why can’t they just accept being part of China again? What’s their problem?”
But I’ve since learned that the few islands that make up HK are completely different from mainland China. 99 years of British rule is bound to have some influence, right? Apart from driving on the opposite side of the road and having a different common language & currency, people from Hong Kong can freely enter and exit the mainland while people from the other side seem to have more stringent regulations. People also look different in general…but there’s no way to quantify that.
It’s difficult to compare the two properly when HK is so much smaller than China, but just know that they’re dissimilar enough to be considered separate countries.
Anyhow, I’m back at Mizzou for senior year. Things changed while I was away; ACF management altered, AAA underwent some awful turmoil, the new student center is open and my secret study/nap spot in the J-school has been taken over by stingy secretaries.
I feel old.
I’m not, but I feel it. After three years of tabling for ACF, I just didn’t have the energy to do it for more than two days this time around. When I see the youthful faces of the freshmen, I feel too tired to meet and mingle with them. After all, how much investment can I make in them? I’m leaving in May! And when people loiter after meetings and social events, I just want to go home and sleep or finish my homework.
Studying abroad was definitely a good way to get all the partying and frivolity out of my system. I’m ready to bounce back to the real world and be a mostly responsible student! Although it doesn’t hurt that I have no class on Fridays :)
Anyway, I’m approaching this year with a weirdly different attitude than probably any school year of my whole life. How long will this last?
[HA HA I MADE A PUN IN THE TITLE because srs = serious but also seniors LOL ok I’m done.]