Chinese Student Rejected From College Because of Disability, Reminds Us Not To Take Education For Granted

 

As any high school senior would know, applying to college can be in itself a stressful situation. Just thinking about the application process, financial aid and, of course, waiting around for the letter that will ultimately determine your future, is enough to cause a whirlwind of unnerving emotions.

In the grand scheme of things however, it’s easy to forget that most of us are lucky to even have the option of going to college at all. Especially when we live in a world where girls in other countries, like activist Malala Yousafazi, are banned from going to school under the Taliban rule because of their gender.

 

 

Fujian student Liu Wanling, a bright girl who regularly achieved high grades in her classes, unfortunately faced a huge obstacle when she applied to Jiang Xia College. Though she had scored 549 on her gaokao (the national college and university entrance exam), she was denied admission due to failing a physical test, because she is handicapped. For those of you unfamiliar with the gaokao test, it is the ultimate test that determines a student’s placement into university. Unlike the SAT, the gaokao can only be taken once a year, which means it is the only shot that most Chinese students have at attending their dream schools.

 

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According to Shanghaiist, Liu received a phone call by the university, who asked her if she would be willing to change to a less popular major. Liu agreed, but after a meeting was held by the school, as well as a discussion with doctors, they came to the consensus that she would not be able to attend the university. Disheartened by the news, Liu told reporters, “I’ve already prepared myself for the worst, but even if I try again next year, will I still be denied admission?”

Liu’s story was later posted by a user on Weibo, and immediately attracted the attention of many Chinese users. As of today, there are over 600 comments from angry netizens on the trending topic, defending Liu and even calling China “an abyss that kills people’s hope.”

 

Asians Taking Over American Colleges? The Fung Bros Breakdown The Asian Myth

We all know the stereotype. Apparently, Asians taking over American college campuses.

It’s no surprise that for many of us, education has always been portrayed as something that must be taken seriously. Many Asian immigrant parents (not all, of course) sacrificed a lot for their children. In fact, many of them left their homeland simply because they wanted us to have better lives than they did. According to them, a way we can achieve this dream of a better life is by obtaining a good education.

So many of us have felt the pressure. We’ve felt the pressure to make our family proud and the pressure to give back to our parents. After all, we’d hate to think they sacrificed everything for nothing, right?

But there’s a problem with all of this.

While interviewing UCLA students, The Fung Brothers were able to uncover a number of flaws with this Asian myth.  For instance, the stereotype that all Asians are smart. Obviously, this can’t be correct. In fact, it leaves a number of Asian students feeling overwhelmed and left to live up to high expectations. Even worse, good grades isn’t seen as a student working hard. It’s only “because they’re Asian.”

So The Fung Bros decided to ask it all. What about the various types of Asians and the fact that some subcategories of Asians are largely underrepresented? What about the stereotype of Asians being disinterested in sports? What about the Asian Greek life?

Check out the video below.

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RACISM ALERT: University of Illinois Chancellor Gets Cyberbullied For Not Giving Students A Snow Day

People are now starting to call the University of Illinois one of the world’s most racist, sexist and spoiled universities. How did something like this happen? It all began this past Sunday evening when the university chancellor Phyllis Wise sent an email to the students saying that Monday, January 27th, would not be a snow day.

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With temperatures reaching 30-below, we can understand why some students may have felt a bit grumpy about their missed snow day, but we certainly didn’t expect students to begin cyber-attacking chancellor Phyllis Wise.

The hashtag #fuckphyllis quickly began trending as the students poured all the blame on their chancellor. Because blaming your chancellor for the cold weather is logical right?

Although mean-hearted, the tweets began rather innocently. The students simply seemed aggravated that they had to attend class in such conditions. This quickly escalated to cyber-bullying.

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Much to our annoyance, the tweets began targeting her race and gender. Here are just a few.

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A number of fake twitter accounts were made for Chancellor Wise in an effort to further her cyber-bullying attack. Luckily, as the #fuckphyllis tag got more and more intense, the amount of people sighing in disappointment increased as well. Many people pointed out that if the students were so upset about the lack of a snow day, why not just skip class? Why do they have to publicly insult an individual using racist and sexist words? Others have pointed out that the students are privileged to attend and afford a college education. The uproar simply seems childish.

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The student body president Damani R. Bolden has released an apology on behalf of his fellow students. Unfortunately, the university has not been able to avoid the public backlash towards their insensitive comments.

Racist frat parties, blackface music videos, racist youtube rants and now this? Can anyone really say racism is only something of the past?

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Mindy Kaling’s Comic Strip!?

We know Mindy Kaling as the popular actress, comedian, writer and producer most known for her role as Kelly Kapoor in The Office and for creating and starring in The Mindy Project. Of course, here at Audrey Magazine, we also know her as our Winter 2011-12 cover girl. 

As it turns out, we’ve all been unaware of another talent under Kaling’s belt.

The 2001 Dartmouth college graduate apparently had a popular comic strip in the Dartmouth school newspaper titled “Badly Drawn Girl.”

“There were times I was at The D at like 3 a.m., outside in my car while it was snowing and I’d just put my blinkers on and sit there drawing. I don’t know how I kept up with everything.” Kaling tells Dartmouth Alumni Magazine who claim that the comic strip quickly made Kaling a “campus celebrity.”

Lucky for us, some of Kaling’s comic strips have been making its way onto social media. You may not recognize Kaling’s birthname Vera Mindy Chokalingam, but you will recognize her notable wit and humor sprinkled throughout her comics. Check them out for yourself.

 

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You Won’t Believe How They Paid For Their Son’s Tuition

With the rising cost of education, many families are left wondering if they can even afford to send their children off to college. The Asian community, however, is known to endure many obstacles in order to ensure an education for their children. Why? College is seen as a necessary step towards a better life- one in which parents will do nearly anything to achieve.

This appears to be the case for Jiagu Zhu and Jianying Liu, a couple in Hengyang, China. The couple realized early on that they would have to work hard to get their children into college in hopes of an easier future. To reach their dream the husband and wife rented a factory unit  in 2004 and got to work.

How was the determined couple planning to send their sons to college? By collecting and recycling over 180kg of plastic (about 7,000 plastic bottles) each day.

According to RocketNews24, the couple must both work tirelessly everyday to make a living. Mr. Jiagu Zhu rides through the streets on his tricycle and alleys to collect discarded plastic and Mrs. Jianying Liu separates and cleans the collected bottles.

“Having it tough is a fortune in disguise, as after the bitter times there will be sweet times. After putting in hard work, you’ll reap good results. We’re countrymen, there’s nothing we’re afraid of. We’re not afraid of leading a hard life, we’re not afraid of exhausting work, we can carve out a happy life with our bare hands,” says Mr. Zhu.

After ten years of hard work, the couple has been able to send both their sons to college and one to Germany to pursue his PhD. To them, all their hard work was entirely worth it.

 

Throwback Thursday | The Ultimate Guide to Annoying College Roommates

I remember it all too clearly. I squished myself and a cart full of luggage into an already-packed elevator, walked down the hall to my dormroom, placed my hand on the doorknob, took a deep breath in, and silently prayed that I didn’t have a horrible roommate.

Let’s face it- your college roommate is usually a hit or miss. Can this person potentially be your best friend and future bridesmaid?  Yup, I’ve seen it happen. Can this person irritate you so much that you spend most of your year complaining about how horrible it is to live with her? Yup, I’ve seen it happen.

If you’re one of the unfortunate souls who fits in the latter category, then have no fear. We have a few ways to try and counter this seemingly horrible situation. The following are a number of roommate horror stories that we’ve encountered and ways that we would handle it. Read on for The Annoying College Roommate Guide:

 

5 Ways to Address the Annoying Roommate

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“My roommate during my first year of college was the worst! I once came home to strangers making out on my bed and a bunch people sitting on my stuff. My roommate decided to throw a party in our dorm without even telling me.”

SOLUTION: Speak Up
Here’s the crazy thing- despite how obviously rude they are being, there are actually times when your roommate may have no idea that they’re doing anything wrong. It’s important to be vocal and let them know when they’ve made you feel uncomfortable. More often than not, they will be taken by surprise that they were being rude and they will mend the situation. And if they were aware that they’re being rude, but did it anyway? This lets them know that you won’t passively let it slide.

 

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“I had my schedule planned out perfectly. All classes were in the afternoon so I could stay out late without having to wake up early. My roommate, on the other hand, decided to take 8am classes and was sooo loud getting ready in the morning. So much for more sleep.”

SOLUTION: Know their schedule
It’s inevitable that people will have different schedules. If you have a plan to sign up for late classes, let your roommate know. There’s no guarantee that they’re going to change their schedule, but at least they’ll know to keep quiet.

 
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“My roomie had absolutely no shame. He would bring a different girl every week and lets just say its not easy to get studying done when you’re sex-isled as much as I was.”

SOLUTION: Rules
Don’t hesitate to sit your roommate down and make rules with each other. You’re not being uptight- you’re just making sure they know what’s not okay. Of course, this shouldn’t be one person dictating what’s allowed and not allowed in the dorm/apartment. You both live there so you both have to agree on these rules and abide to it.

 


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“My roommate had a bad habit of studying late into the night AND she could only study at her desk. She would keep the light on all night long.”

SOLUTION: Compromise
For any relationship to work, there has to be a give and take. Maybe your roommate could use a smaller lamp or try studying in a lounge. Maybe you could start wearing an eye-mask. Find a give and take system that works for the both of you.

 

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“I kept noticing that whenever I left my wallet, I would end up missing money. At first I thought I was just being neglectful with my spending habits, but once I almost caught my roommate in the act of stealing my cash. Never ended up feeling safe in that room again.”

SOLUTION: Talk to your RA
When matters get serious, you need to handle them accordingly. You know when things have gone too far and you need let other people in on the situation. Advocating for yourself is not “tattling”. Besides, if your roommate is going to act like a child who doesn’t know better, then they may as well be treated like one.


 

Of course, all this may not even apply to you. You may have the perfect roommates who cleans after themselves and shows all signs of proper courtesy. Its important now to stop and take a good look at the situation. Are you being as nice to your roommate as she is to you? You may not even realize it, but the annoying roommate could even be you.

 

5 Signs that YOU Are the Annoying Roommate


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-You keep taking your roommate’s food. 

You didn’t get to go grocery shopping so you decide to take a cereal bar from your roommate’s stash. No biggie right? Your roommate tells you that he/she doesn’t even mind so you feel like you’re in the clear. Soon enough, you’ve continued this for a week and before you know it, all the cereal bars are gone. Don’t be this person. No matter how kind your roommate may be, they will still feel some sort of resentment if you eat all their food. Keep it to a minimum and make sure you pay them back some how at a later time.
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-You sleep through your alarms.
I am horribly guilty of this. For your sake, I hope you don’t fit into the category of deep sleepers. Known for our instinctive habit of hitting the snooze button or worse, our bear-like ability to sleep through all of our alarms. If you have this habit, you are warned- your roommate will hate you in the morning. If it takes sleeping with an alarm next to your face to ensure you wake up to it, do it.

 

 

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-You add an additional roommate.

So you have a new significant other and you two can’t get enough of each other. In fact, you two are now connected at the hip. While your roommate have no problem with your relationship itself, this is still another person taking up the already cramped up space. This is another roommate (except one that doesn’t pay) and non-stop third wheeling for your roommate. Stop. Even if its your friends that you constantly bring over- its hard enough trying to get alone time, don’t ruin it further.

 

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-You don’t understand study-time. 
You need to be mindful that you’re living with someone that does not have the same schedule nor the same study habits as you. If you’re on the phone, you may be interrupting.  If you stumble in late at night drunk from that party, you may be interrupting. If they have their headphones turned up to the highest volume possible just to avoid hearing you, you may be interrupting. Be polite and respect their space.


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-You don’t clean up after yourself. 

When your clothes start piling over to your roommates side of the room, you have a problem. If you’re wondering why your roommate never has people over, it may be because they don’t want their friends to see the jungle that you two call a room. Clean up your own mess!

Drastic Changes in Asian American SAT Scores

The results are in and you are warned– they’re not pretty.

American highschools, as a whole, are entering a downward spiral with their SAT scores. Since 2006, SAT scores have fallen by 20 points,  dropping from 1518 to 1498 in 2012. The decrease is hitting all three portions of the test: reading, mathematics, and writing.

What could make matters worse? These changes in both the SAT test and the resulting scores are hitting minority groups the hardest. The National Center for Fair and Open Testing reports that the average score for white students has fallen by 4 points. How have the minority groups fended over the years? The average score has fallen by up to a staggering 22 points.

There is, however, one very large exception to this trend. Asian Americans have not been affected in the same manner over the years. In fact, they’ve had the opposite outcome. Since 2006, the SAT scores of Asian Americans have risen by an astounding 41 points.

Researches, such as those from collegenews.com, have tried to look at the various factors that may have contributed to this strange phenomenon. They pointed out that Asian Americans excelled particularly well in mathematics, but they believe this is due to the fact that 47% of Asian American SAT candidates took advance mathematics courses while only 31% of Latino students and 25% of Black students took similar courses. So the explanation is that study prep is the reason behind the staggering disparity?

Asianweek‘s Andrew Lam also took a look at these results and argued that a much greater factor to look at is the mentality of Asian Americans. Lam recalls a friend of his who explained to him why success was necessary. “There was no question of failure,” Lam writes. “Back home, an army of hungry, ambitious and capable young men and women were dying to take his place, and for [his friend], a boat person who barely survived his perilous journey across the South China Sea, “dying to” was no mere idiomatic expression.”

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Simply put, our circumstances have often been drastically different. Asianweek points out that it is not uncommon to find Asian parents who focus their entire life on the upward mobility of their children. They sacrifice their own well-being, work three jobs and even live in separate countries to ensure that their children get the necessary prep and education to advance in society. All of this sacrifice is done with the single goal that their children will go on to succeed and have a better life than they did.

Knowing that many of our parents struggled to benefit our education and many individuals in our homeland would ache for the opportunity, how can we not feel the often overwhelming pressure to achieve? How can we not take the extra prep classes? How can we not spend our nights studying for fear that all the sacrifice was for nothing? This pressure, which can drain us mentally and emotionally, is often what pushes us.

Yes, educational prep courses play a factor. But no, that simple explanation does not accurately show the circumstances and pressures placed upon our community. It’s much more complicated than that.

 

 

Audrey College Tips: Surviving Your First All-Nighter

All-nighters: you can only avoid them for so long.

Its a week before your midterm and you’re relaxed. That’s definitely enough time to study right? But then you have that meeting tonight. You also promised dinner with your roommate the next night. Oh, and a new episode of your show is on- you can’t miss that. Before you know it, your midterm is the next day and you haven’t studied yet.  It’s crunch time and you’re dreading the night ahead of you, but at this point it’s necessary. Although this may be an experience most college students want to avoid, some may thrive and work greatly under pressure. While we don’t endorse sleepless nights, we’re certainly guilty of quite a few of them. Here are some tips to help you survive your first all-nighter:

1. Take a nap: If you’ve already had a long morning, go ahead and take a two or three hour nap in the evening before you begin doing your work. This will give you energy for the long night ahead of you.

2. If your assignment doesn’t need internet connection, don’t use it: Social media sites such as facebookand tumble can be quite distracting. If your assignment does require internet connection, limit yourself to using those sites. There is a lovely application for macs called self control, which allows you to block a list of websites or programs you want for a certain period of time.

3. Keep energized with healthy snacks: The continuous snacking and crunch of a bowl of nuts or dried fruits gives you a steady release of energy over time. If you’re looking for a quick energy source, fresh bananas and apples are the way to go. Both are packed with several vitamins, minerals and good carbohydrates.

4. Stay away from energy drinks: The quick energy high is always followed by a crash. If you must, drink a soda or coffee. They’ll give you a perk without the crash later. If you’re not a caffeine drinker, cold water will keep you up throughout the night.

5. Study location is key: Not your bed, a comfy couch, or the floor that will potentially make you want to fall asleep. Work somewhere you will not be tempted to fall asleep and complete your work in a well lit place.

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6. Complete your more challenging assignments first: You’ll have more concentration to do good work at the beginning of your all-nighter.

7. If possible, take a couple breaks: During your breaks, walk around and stretch or take a cold shower to help wake you up. If needed, take a 20 minute power nap to re-energize your body and mind.

8. Work with a group: If you’re not the only one that needs to pull an all nighter, work with your friends. Surround yourself with those who will keep you accountable on working efficiently.
Different things work for each individual so be sure to try all of them out and even find new tips to keep you up. Most importantly, breathe and keep a positive state of mind throughout the night. This will allow you to stay calm and focus on the work that needs to be done.

Wong Fu Reminds Us To Save Money … To Avoid Awkward Dates

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) has teamed up with Wong Fu Productions to bring an entertaining way for students to think about financial literacy and money management. Because lets be honest, students of this generation need to save as much money as possible.

APIASF is the largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The organization joined forces with Wong Fu Productions and Wells Fargo to create this adorably amusing short. “Save The Date” reminds us of the importance of responsible money management.

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Here at Audrey, we completely understand the importance of saving up. We’ve come up with a few tips to make sure you avoid situations as awkward as this one. Trust me, you’ll thank us when the time comes.

 

1.) Beware the dangerous debit/credit card. 
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For some, debit and credit cards feel like a limitless source of funds. You don’t physically see your money leave your wallet, so its easy to lose track of how much you spend and how much you have left. Don’t fall into this trap. Stop by the bank and withdraw some cash so you can physically keep track.

 

2.) Utilize your kitchen. 
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You just came back from class, you’re exhausted and the last thing you want to think about is spending time cooking dinner. Fight the urge to pick up your phone and call for take out. Money spent on take-out and eating out adds up quick. Why not work on your cooking skills?

 

3.) Open up to your friends about your finances.
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Don’t find yourself in the endless trap of making excuses every time your friends want to go out. You owe it to yourself to open and let them know that you’d prefer to stay in and watch a movie. In the end, you don’t seem anti-social and you get to spend time with friends.

 

4.) Shop smart. 
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There are plenty of ways to shop smart. Remember those things your mom used back in the day called coupons? Well they still exist and they work wonders. Also, avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You’ll end up buying the whole store.

 

5.) Give yourself an allowance 
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I know you’re finally at that age where your parents don’t control and limit where your money goes, but nows the time to realize that your parents had the right idea. Start allocating money and stick to that amount. If you’ve only allotted $20 to buy yourself new clothes this month, then drop one of those cute tops and pick it up next month.

 

6.) Buy used textbooks 
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If you know you have no intention of keeping a book after you’ve finished a class, opting for a used book is always a good idea. Sometimes, these books are so well maintained that you wouldn’t even notice it was used. That, or the previous owner wasn’t too big a fan of studying.

 

7.) Open a savings account
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Open a savings account and every time you have a little extra cash, move it over. A lot of times, this ends up being a life saver and you’ll be surprised how a little bit of cash every day could add up.

 

8.) Have someone keep you accountable.
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Let someone know that you’re trying to save money. They can be the reminder you need when you’re in danger of spending too much.

Studying Abroad? 5 Things You Must Do

This is the season for wet goodbyes and shy hello’s. Many of us are leaving home, some for the first time, to study abroad in world capitals and rural villages. No matter which end of the metropolitan spectrum you’re headed for, living in a new place can be exciting, nerve-wracking and frightening, all at once.

Last year, I moved to France for college. As I start my second year away from home, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned for those of you just starting your adventures abroad.

1. Read up on your destination like your life depends on it … because it kind of does.

Even a precursory scan of France’s Wikipedia page will tell you useful information, like the fact that it is nicknamed l’Héxagone (The Hexagon) because of its shape. Okay … while some factoids may be not be obviously useful, you will gain a general sense of cuisine, basic etiquette and geography. And who knows, you might find yourself at a dinner party with a cute French guy across the table, in which case informing him of his country’s resemblance to a six-sided polygon is totally going to reel him in.

For more experience-based information, check out the blogs of expatriates and locals. Embassy websites are known for being ugly and unhelpful, so blogs saved me so much confusion when applying for my student visa. Plus they have insider tips on everything from the best cafés to avoiding faux pas.

2. Make a study abroad bucket list.

Because if you don’t write it down, you probably won’t get to it. Always wanted to see Aurora Borealis or walk the streets of Pompeii? Write it down, and then on a quiet weekend book your tickets before you can talk yourself out of it. If you’re in Europe, try discount airlines Easyjet and the infamously sketchy Ryanair for dirt cheap fare. Carpooling and hitchhiking are also easier and more widely accepted than they are in the States. And you don’t have to wait for school holidays — take advantage of weekends to cross closer destinations off the list.

3. Now make a serious business list.

Your future self will thank you. It’s tempting to think of nothing but the lovely things you will do and the crazy friends you will meet. In reality, once you’ve arrived at your destination you’ll be too busy taking in the sights, meeting people and figuring out everyday things like where to buy groceries and how toilets work to deal with administrative matters. Take time beforehand to think of all the possible things you’ll need to take care of once you arrive, and make a guide for yourself. Once you’re at your new place, you can refer to this guide for help from your past self. It’ll be like holding your own hand, but in a pragmatic, not pathetic, way.

4. Chase great stories. 

Barring danger to your health, you should go out if you feel like going out. And don’t let anyone persuade you to go clubbing when you’d rather inch through a museum. In the end, what you’re left with are stories and maybe a 2€ brass Eiffel Tower and stacks of used metro tickets, so make your time memorable.

5. Drop all expectations.

This may seemingly contradict the other items on this list, but forget everything you think you know about your destination (unless you’ve been there before) and go without preconceptions. Souvenir means “memory” in French. Travel writers always advise bringing an empty suitcase to fill up with souvenirs and there’s no reason not to do the same for figurative ones, unless you’re allergic to forced metaphors. You’ve traveled miles and miles, spent thousands of dollars, and probably shed buckets of homesick tears to soak up a foreign culture. Don’t let yourself be the one thing that stops you from doing so.

Like many of us, I had carried one image of Paris my entire life, and the charming but grimy streets that greeted me upon arrival didn’t quite match up. France has been a lovely disappointment, and the City of Lights has become more city than light. But I am grateful to see cities as cities rather than ideas. Wherever you go this year, it is a place where humans have chosen to live out their lives together, a place where human innovation and enterprise attempt to make life easier. In some cases, attempt is the key word.

The greatest privilege of studying abroad isn’t the novelty. Rather, it’s coming across a new place and rapidly familiarizing yourself it. It’s getting to know a place intimately in both good and bad ways. You may love your new country or you may hate it — but there’s no denying you will come to know it inside and out. The awful weather and early closing times will become inside jokes; when you have nothing but affectionate complaints, the bond is complete and your new home has Jacob-ed your Renesmee.