Musings

Unlike most of my previous posts, this one is more of a deep and insightful (I guess) one.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, having had an insane amount of time to kill whilst travelling and it makes me feel old for some reason. I’ve just realised how old I am…how old I’m going to be on my next birthday which makes me sound like some spoiled brat not wanting to grow up. I’m all for growing up, I know I can’t be a kid forever (as hard as I might try) because I’ll have to get a job, buy a house, get married, have kids and so on. Every Boxing Day (save for last year) when my family goes to visit my best friend’s, our dads always act like children. And her mum is very, very competitive. So much so that sometimes we feel like the adults and our parents are the kids. So do we ever have to ‘grow up’?

Another thought was about jobs, as grown up as that sounds. I’m at university at the moment and most of my friends are worrying about what to do after we graduate. Some have internships because they want to go into something specific like banking or consulting, or just want a shot at getting the job at the end of it. Others are set on teaching and some, like me, just aren’t really sure yet. I’d like an internship, it would be nice to get a feel of the working world and if it’s really for me. And if I get a job on the back of that, why would I complain? Then I get told that we’re too young to start thinking about our careers…but then a lecturer will say to start thinking now (sometimes, they go ‘start thinking from now’) which is confusing and fine for them as they already have a pretty safe job. Who would fire a lecturer? I mean, if they haven’t retired it’d be hard to fire them as they’ve been there for so long, and we would all miss their musings about the good old days. I guess this was brought on because I have an assessment centre tomorrow and *fingers crossed* I’ll do well and have a chance at something when I graduate. It doesn’t stop me being nervous, even though I’ve been told it’s ‘strength-based interviews only’ and it’s a fast-track so I have a first shot at this compared to other people who have to wait until applications officially open. I don’t think I’ve been this worried about interviews since applying to University…

Ah, University. Four years of my life studying a subject I love with a random language module here and there. Sometimes I wonder if I should have chosen to study a joint honours course with a language because then I could be so much better at the language and could go abroad for a year. To somewhere cool like Japan…that would be awesome. I’m taking a Japanese module at the moment and am very envious of my friend who’s going to Japan next year! But then I’m also glad I do a single honours course as I get to study it in much more depth, and have a slightly more stable group of friends instead of having a set in each faculty but not knowing them as well as I’d like to. My current friends are great. We have great banter and it being a male-dominated course, lots of guys in our group. Last year we noted that we should find more girls to join our group, but as there aren’t that many and they all stick together, it hasn’t happened.

 

Yeah, this was quite random and somewhat very deep for me. My friends would not recognise this as me :/

Final days of Study China

So this will be the last post about Study China and I’ll combine the last few days into one, slightly long post. I’m actually surprised how long it took me to document this all, as it’s only 3 weeks and it’s been just over 3 months since I got back…but anyway. (it’s so late that the next lot of study china participants are coming home…)

After the trip out with our host family, we still hadn’t finished shopping and decided to return to the night market. This time I went with different people though, and I somehow ended up being the only girl going…which was weird, to say the least. Earlier in the day we had a presentation for our economics course which went okay as the professor asked us questions so I think that’s a good sign? At the night market we ate some Beijing hot yoghurt – yoghurt with honey but it’s warm so it’s really nice, and cheap. You have to return the pot though as one of my friends nearly walked away and the vendor went after him. I think I mentioned earlier that it’s slightly easier to haggle at the night market, but even so one of my friends didn’t think the prices were cheap enough when we were buying scarves. He managed to get a deal that we’d buy two scarves for 34 Yuan after getting it down from one scarf for 25 Yuan. I bought one for my mum, as did the others because they were pretty.

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Outside Wangfujing near the night market.

 

The next day was our HSK 1 mock test, which everyone did well in and most people are planning to take sometime later this year. I scored 100 after many attempts (and so did a lot of other people) but my friend called me a know-it-all anyway (amongst some other inside joke names) and said ‘we’ve only known each other two weeks and we can already have all of this banter’ which I think that’s one of the great things about this (note: nobody was offended by any banter whatsoever). We’re thrown in with 50-something other people and live with them, see them every day so close friendships form really quickly. The graduation ceremony was good even if we had an awkward song but everyone loved it, there’s a video on YouTube somewhere but I won’t post it here…our Chinese teachers loved it and that’s what matters as they had spent lesson time helping us with the pronunciation. We then had a last meal with our group and Pan, who’s one of the student helpers. They were all so nice, and I’m so glad they were looking after us. After the meal we spent the last of our money on junk food and stationery to take back home before crowding in my friend’s room to watch movies. (We only managed Rush Hour before everyone decided to go to bed, although this was 1am by then)

And that’s all there is, the next day was my last and we all woke up at ridiculous hours of the morning to catch our flights and say goodbye. We were all a bit too sleepy to be emotional and alot of that had been dealt with at the graduation ceremony, especially with the volunteers who had put up with us for 3 weeks. 

And that’s that.