Exciting news upon departure's arrival

Lake Worth Travel Blog

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All my packing is officially done, bag weights measured, and relevant documents printed.  *phew* 

Today was filled with last-minute preparations, but I also found out some extremely exciting news: I got the summer internship I applied for!!

Not only is it at the exciting company of Adobe Systems (heard of .pdf files or photoshop?), but it's in China!  Taking this into consideration, the following things are true:
  • I will have a week off after my Peking University program ends (to travel?!)
  • I will indeed be in China during the Olympics!
  • After I depart China on my way home, I will have been there for 6 months -- half a year!
It's quite mindblowing yet unsettling at the same time.  I'm super excited, as I wanted the internship as an experience to truly immerse myself in the local culture.  I know that the spring term will definitely be immersive at some degree, but I feel like it will be sheltering to a great extent: the Stanford students, together, in their separate dorm (no homestays), taking classes in English -- as opposed to being forced to take a subway to work, speak the language, communicate to co-workers, getting tongue-tied in having to express difficult ideas. 

I think the only way you learn and grow through travel is if you get lost, whether physically, socially, or emotionally.  You need that jolt in order to have a truly new experience.  Discomfort breeds greater awareness and knowledge, and that is what I seek.

I still haven't been able to successfully convey to my parents why this overall experience is a really good thing.  They question the fact that next quarter I won't be taking any classes for my major.  When I told my mom about the kinds of classes I would be taking, and the fact that I recently declared a minor in International Relations, she became concerned that I was changing my life plans.  The truth is, I don't know what my life plans are, and I hope to use this experience abroad to

a) have a neutral, "outsider" perspective on my life at Stanford so far,
b) use that perspective to gauge where I want to go from here,
c) have experiences that will help me determine what I want out of life.

I think that's fair and justifies my reasoning to go abroad.  And with the fact that this internship will be occupying my life after I study, I will have a fairly wide spectrum of experiences.  I'm stoked.
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Lake Worth
photo by: WildwoodCorgis