A Home Away From Home

Marselina (INA YES to USA YP 16–17)

I am halfway through my exchange year. This is a time when what I didn’t know has become what I really know. This is a time when I recognize all the streets around me, the streets that go to my school, the shopping area, or someone’s house. This is a time when I know what I should do about my problems. This is a time when I look back to the beginning of the year, and think how silly I was. In the beginning of the year, I cried in one of my classes, because I couldn’t finish my work, I said “sorry” to my teacher and we talked about 10 minute about it. Unluckily, it was my last period and I missed my school bus. I was like “Oh, my God”, I wanted to cry again but I was too tired, so I walked to home and I bought chips to make me feel better. It took about 45 minutes because I didn’t know the way to my home. After that I never missed my school bus. Exchange year did not starts easily but now is time to enjoy everything.

There have been so many things that have happened. Everything has its own experience, and everything has taught me something. When I was a kid, I knew what snow was, but I just had the chance to see it in the movies. I have never dreamed it, but this year I got a chance to feel it. Also I am so thankful for the opportunity to go to Florida to attend the Better Understanding for Better World conference. In that conference I learned that, this world is too big to think small; this world is too big to just take care about oneself; this world needs us to do something. Luckily, the BUBW conference was in Orlando, Florida, so I went to Disneyworld and took pictures in front of the castle. It was like a dream because, before then, I had seen that castle only at the beginning of a Disney movie. I think I was so lucky, because I don’t think I can go there with my own money.

This year I also won the yearbook cover contest for my high school’s yearbook. My price are a free yearbook and Wildberries store gift card. I mention this not because I want you to realize how amazing I am, but because I want to share my purpose for entering the contest. I applied to that contest, first because they would give me a free yearbook; second, because when I leave my school, I wanted people to have something to remember me by. Even though they may forget my name, but they will know that, this cover was made by an exchange student from Indonesia.

Now I have about four months left. Time goes so fast, and seems to leaves me behind. So, when I get tired of something or too lazy to do something that I have to do, I just need to remember that I will not do this again. I do what I should do as if it were my last chance to do it. I don’t want when I leave to feel regret, because I might not have the opportunity to visit this country again.

There is a quote that says, “The easiest hello and the hardest goodbye”. This community has been one of those in my life.This is a place where one by one of my dreams came true ; one by one of my goals were checked off my list. I never dreamed that I would speak English every day. No one speaks Bahasa Indonesia here. I never imagined I could finish reading an English novel. Before this, I thought it was too hard to read an english novel, even the synopsis. Now believe or not I feel really cool. This is a place where I did something that I had never done before ; this is a place that taught me how to see this world, what it feels like when you leave your comfort zone, what it means to be a volunteer, and how to be an ambassador for your country.

My name is Marselina, I am from Bangka Island, Indonesia. Arcata California is a home away from home.

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