Rashanna Butler: Almost Does Count

Later this week I will approach a month in China. I must say that I am extremely lucky that I have not experienced a great deal of home sickness or cultural shock! I believe the key factor is fully immersing myself in campus life.  So this particular blog will be mostly comprised of advice. I will briefly speak on family, food, culture, trips, and attitude.

Firstly, I am positive that every single person here has multiple people that they’re missing from home. Students must keep in mind that we are only in China from about three months. If you spend even half of that time mentally and/or emotionally omitted from the China experience, you have cheated yourself. Your loved ones want you to enjoy the thrill of being in a new country.  Read on to find out ways to not miss your kin (as much).

Food, food, and more food. There are plenty of Sichuan comfort foods. Are you adventurous enough to try different things? As you can imagine, eating Western foods will ease homesickness; on the contrary, it will hurt your pockets in the long run. I especially have enjoyed trying unusual snacks. My personal favorite snacks are the double chocolate Oreos, stump bread, sugar cane, and fried rice balls. In addition, there are many foods that you will come across that taste similar to foods from home.  If you are willing to step out of box, I can guarantee you won’t be going back.

Chinese culture is not the polar opposite of America. There are indeed noticeable differences, but the key to not having culture shock is straightforward. Instead of comparing and contrasting, accept the culture as if it is the only one you know. I’ve realized that EVERYTHING in your everyday life will become easier if you go with the flow instead of questioning it.

Who doesn’t love trips!? g-MEO provides a plethora of events, trips, excursions, or whatever else you would like to call it. I was able to see parts of Chengdu that I would not have traveled to on my own. These outings are a great way to bond with classmates and great backdrops for random photo shoots.

Lastly, attitude is always the most important ingredient to stay afloat. A smile and a positive outlook can get you far in almost every situation. Getting to China was the first step. Enjoying your time here and remembering your purpose is the goal. Keep in mind that you must reap the benefits while their ripe. Home will be waiting for you, but China will not. Let your hair down and hold several thoughts to be true. Your family wants you to enjoy yourself, not spend your days and hours moping around. Find foods that remind you of home or at least entice your taste buds. Don’t judge the culture because it is different, just accept it. Go on each and every trip you can. And always remember that your attitude is your perception.

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