The GoGlobal Blog

Being Home is Weird. (my last China study abroad blog post)

Being Home is Weird. (my last China study abroad blog post)

Hello again! Welcome back to, unfortunately, my last blog post. I wanted to get this up sooner but was running into technical difficulties getting it up…

Throughout this post, you will find some pictures I took while in China. They have no correlation to what I am talking about (lol) I just want to share them!

Jing’an District, Shanghai, China: My friends and I on the way to a jazz performance.

From my previous post, you all know that there is a virus that is spreading around the country and is reaching other parts of the world. It, unfortunately, couldn’t get contained as fast as most had hoped. Because of that reason, my study abroad program has been canceled.

When we all first got the news that we had to book our flights out of China ASAP, the day was full of panic, sadness, and rapid-email-sending. Honestly, the top five worst news I’ve ever received. I would have never expected my study abroad experience to be cut so short, nor would I have ever expected to be evacuated out of a whole country!! I feel like I am living in a movie, and part of me still doesn’t want to believe I will not be going back anytime soon.

The Big Lawn, Shanghai University Yanchang Campus: My friend studying Chinese outside because the sun was out for a little.

In a way, I am grieving. And although I don’t like sounding dramatic, I’d much rather be honest about how I feel. There were more things I didn’t do than I did. There were so many relationships with people I was so excited to see develop, but now we are all separated. I was so excited to improve my mandarin skills, but now I have lost the opportunity of immersion. I am hurting for all of the families in Wuhan and the Hubei province that has been affected by the virus, have lost a family member, and that cannot get access to decent health care. I am sad for all of China that they are unable to celebrate the Spring Festival and welcome in the new year with joy and celebration, but instead with isolation and sadness.

Gonghexin Rd: Usually a bustling street filled with traffic, people, and electric scooters; practically empty due to people going home for the New Year and staying inside because of the virus outbreak.

I am home now, but the transition back has not been easy. I have been extremely jetlagged and emotionally drained. It has been incredibly hard for me to sleep. I feel like I should not be home; something about it feels wrong. When things end, I think that most people need some level of closure in order to feel accomplished or a sense of completion. I did not receive this closure, so, I am currently feeling dissatisfied. Also, I am nearing the end of my self-quarantine – so, I have been incredibly bored, hahaha! Embodying the true Jesuit spirit, however, this time inside has given me much time to think and reflect on all that has happened.

I am beyond grateful for the time I did get to spend there. I have fully fallen in love with the country and its people. The friends I made, the experiences I did get to have, and everything else will stay with me forever. All the things I did not get to do just give me a reason to go back (which I am 100% planning on doing)!

Xitang, Zhejiang, China: Group photo at the water village!

Life is not going how I expected. At. All. But I will not let this slow me down! With this new free time, I have much more possibilities for self-growth. I have some plans and hopes for the next few months that I think will keep me sane. I hope to continue learning the Chinese language here in Seattle because that is a skill I refuse to lose. I am going to travel to a few places around the world because if I have the time to do so, why not? I am going to start working again which will help relieve some financial burden off of my family who has already done more than enough for me since I have been home. I also love working so that will be good for my mental health. Also, with this semester being canceled it pushes me back academically, but the mantra that has helped keep me sane is that things happen for a reason.

Shanghai Pudong Airport: Not the greatest quality picture, but this is the last picture I took in China – a beautiful sunrise from the airport window.

I appreciate you all for reading my blog, and this post especially. I really wish I could keep writing about more crazy adventures I would be having (maybe I’ll start my own blog?)!! For me, this is just the beginning of more adventures to come.

 To close this post, linked below is a short video I made about my time in China before the virus outbreak. I was not going to share this, but I thought you would all enjoy it!

Until next time!

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