Being an International Student at Marian
During my Freshman orientation, I stood among the crowd out in the parking lot and not surprisingly found out that the only person I knew there was myself. I looked at the unfamiliar faces which would later become familiar; I uttered the clumsy phrases that I knew from the book but never truly utilized; I compared the dream which I had when I was across the ocean with the reality I was facing among the people I did not know at all. I was not lost, indeed.
I started my first day of school among the unfamiliar faces and culture as an international student three years ago, and three years later, I came to the same kind of orientation. So much had changed, but so much had stayed the same. I could almost say that I found myself in all new faces this year- especially those of international students. I found myself when someone asked me what to do in a lunch line, when someone asked me if I could speak Chinese, when someone needed my help to open their locker, or even when someone just looked lost. For all of us who were born and raised in a different culture with a different language, it was incredible how we could adjust to become world citizens. I remembered how shaky I was to sit at a random lunch table and share a moon cake with the unfamiliar faces; I remember how confused and awkward it was when there were things that everyone else treated as routine, but I treated as novelty. It was hard to take a first step on the journey, but who could deny the importance of such a step on these days of globalization?
The lunch tables shouldn’t be what divided us; the languages shouldn’t be what impaired us; the cultures shouldn’t be what concerned us. I truly saw diversity, and I truly saw globalization when people from all over the world created this Marian community. People come and go, but what the Marian community has brought me and what the international students brought Marian has endured.