Today I got reminded by Facebook this photo of my first day as a student attending bootcamp at Berkeley 3 years ago. I still remember that morning, my brother Evan dropped me off at the campus after parting from dad heading back to Taiwan. Before dropping me off, Evan gave me a big hug and wished me enjoy a new chapter of my life. I wasn’t aware of Evan taking this photo after the hug. All the way hiking up to ISchool, my mind was filled with all kinds of questions, mainly judging if I made the right decision of leaving all my beloved family and friends and established career behind just to try out something different?

During the first class, GSR asked us to share the most exciting thing we had learned recently. Among all the cool tech terms or books my peers shared, I said I just spent 20 minutes figuring how to unlock a combination lock. I know how dumb it sounds like, but it perfectly describes how exotic I felt as a newcomer. As I slowly assimilate into US, thinking back, it is actually quite a privilege to clean out all your understanding of the world and learn everything from the most trivial ordinary thing.

3 years have passed. Through I still struggle here and there with the drastic transition in life and identity. I am no longer the one can easily throw out some brilliant pun jokes or political critics your friends will repost; instead, you’re the one who has to google every single alien word to catch up the topic; and you only make people laugh with your unintentional jokes when pronouncing a word wrong. I start to embrace the vulnerable self and giving out the pride to learn, observe, and listen.

Recently, I get approached by some friends with the same question I asked people 3 yrs ago “What if I regretted my decision one day?” I remember my bestie gave me a very certain answer that soothed me down “ I have never heard of people regretting from starting something new”. And she is right, the first lesson I learn from living abroad is to live and enjoy every moment of your life, the very best and the very worst, just like the moment of this photo captured, enjoying every new lesson of life.

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