A “Great” ending, or rather, beginning

A “Great” ending, or rather, beginning

Sarah Halter My life has been renewed in ways I can’t even fully discuss at this point now that I’ve lived in China for a month.

During the bus ride (June 25) to the Great Wall, the distant mountains loomed in the brightness of an iridescent blue sky, and spurred in me a deep, reassuring sensation.

Though this China experience was nearly over, an exciting new chapter of my life opened before me. Limitless opportunities in East Asia hopefully await my future.

I want to return to East Asia to teach English, perhaps at SDUT after I graduate from BU, or through programs in Japan or South Korea.

The Great Wall was a physical obstacle as well as an emotional one for me. The climbing process reminded me of all the confusion and chaos that often rampages through our minds, regardless of ages or lifestyles.

We all feel lost at times, and we often have to fight to overcome such obstacles, or to find the answers that we’re seeking for ourselves. When I reached the peak of the section of the wall we climbed, I smiled and gazed upon the seemingly endless scenery into the distant mountain and Beijing skylines and was lost in the moment.

I am humbled and blessed to have been able to attend this trip and fall further in love with East Asia. The Chinese language, culture, and people are beautified in such simplicity and mystery, which draws me further into studying their culture and language.

When climbing the Great Wall, I thought of all the times where I was confused about many things and the moments in which I was waiting for a new direction in my life. I was unsure of where I wanted to go after graduating from BU, and other personal matters.

I remember the day in which I obtained the application for this trip. One day in February, I had the urge to study abroad. I looked into programs through the international studies office, and China was the only summer program I had time to do before I graduated.

I also had been fascinated with Asian culture for quite some time. I knew people who had spent time in East Asia, and I wanted more than anything to learn about the cultures and languages. So China was certainly an excellent starting point.

I accomplished so much over the past month. I expressed myself through music by singing for an English class and playing guitar for the Foreign Languages Festival at SDUT. I played sports and talked to my Chinese friends about sensitive issues like politics and student relationships.

I embarked on a trip with seven other students whom I barely knew, and we all became friends. I put aside the customs and lifestyle I was used to and successfully adapted to new ones. I made some wonderful Chinese friends with benevolent qualities unmatched by any person I’ve known in such a short time-span.

I helped my friends of all ages (all of the Chinese I met) practice the English language in providing conversation. A sunrise of reassurance enshrined a path that will lead me to my next step in life’s journey. And today, I climbed one of the world’s seven wonders.

My interactions with the Chinese enlightened me by confirming a desire for a future with East Asia. I want to continue learning languages, find work, and possibly living among the people — whether in China or other countries, for an extended period of time.

All of my memories of my first trip to China are eternal, and I could not be more content as I type this final blog.

    — Sarah Halter, a senior English major