Travel Journal #9 – Choices & Questions

A common piece of wisdom from the elderly in my world is that life is all about choices. My grandfather in particular is always reminding me that the choices that I make now are sure to affect who I’ll grow to become, and if I don’t make the right ones I may not like how I turn out. Isn’t that piece of advice horrifying? Every choice has a consequence; every action, an equal and opposite reaction. That’s a lot of pressure to make the right choices, and I’m certainly feeling that pressure now.
With course decisions to be made, internships to apply for, and midterms all coming at an alarming rate, it seems that all I’m doing lately is making choices. Possibly life-altering choices…and it’s terrifying! This week some of the Centre-in-China students went to visit All Step Learning, a growing Chinese education company where Logan and Ashlyn are interning. We were introduced to the founder and CEO of the company, John, who was kind enough to tell us his story and offer some advice. Can you guess what that advice was about? CHOICES! Why are you learning Chinese?…What do you want to do after graduation?… How are you going to get what you desire? John voiced the questions that I’m sure we all have been pondering for some time now.
These were the questions that I’ve asked myself while studying for a character quiz late at night, while I’m waiting in line at my favorite street vendor, even when I’m lost downtown. They are my constant companions, always buzzing through my mind begging for an answer. They play on my insecurity about my Chinese abilities, my homesickness, my fear of making the wrong choices, and missing opportunities.
These questions induce worry and anxiousness, because although I have dreams, desires, and hope for the future, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just working with the knowledge that I have at my disposal, and frankly it’s hard to make a decision without the full picture. So where do I go from here? I’ve always been told that our choices are what ultimately define us. I have made the choice to come and learn in China, work hard, and devote myself to my education. I just hope that I can still be my best at school and still live with no regrets. And with decisions about real life (i.e., post-graduation) fast approaching, I hope that I choose well who I want to be.
by Morgan Whitehead ’15, currently participating in the Centre-in-China study abroad program. Learn more about study abroad in China.
PHOTOS: A rooftop view from the All Step Learning company where Logan and Ashyn had an internship (above right); Centre students with John (fifth from right) from All Step Learning (top of page).

By |2013-11-04T14:50:22-05:00November 4th, 2013|News, Study Abroad, Travel Journals - China|