Meeting people is easy, they say

It is now the beginning of a new year, which is also internationally known as resolution time. I know—it is unusual to hear about someone’s resolutions at the time most of the people have already given up on theirs. Nonetheless, for the Chinese, the New Year is February the 5th. So, my year has just started, and today is a great day to open a new page of my life.

Who I am

My name is Mei Lien, and today I am starting my personal blog, which I hope will help me as well as those reading it. I want it to be useful to people who have the same experience of studying abroad and have to assimilate to a new culture. This blog is going to be useful for students, American culture enthusiasts, and simple human beings, who know they can be more productive/attentive/organized. Ultimately, it is an opportunity to learn that you are not alone and, maybe, find something useful.

Why I decided to start this blog

For me, it is a certain kind of training device for public speaking. The weird thing is that, although I do not see any of my readers, if these are any at all, there is still some social anxiety I get from thinking about being kind of “public.” Rationally, I do realize I am not the only one who has it, so I am trying to practice it safely.

Another reason for me to start this blog is a purely practical one. I want to improve my written English along with the ability to express myself in it. It is not my native language, so mastering it takes an extra effort for me. There has been a lot of English learning throughout my life since I was six, but I understand lessons could only give me a basis for voluntary growth. Do not be afraid—I will try not to dedicate this blog to another exciting grammar rule I’ve learned—it would be super fun.

Why I decided to write at all

At this point, I have realized that I actually have something to say or to share with people who, like me, live in a different country and have a lot to learn and get used to. Currently, I have lived in the US for over two years, and there were a lot of things I had to figure out by myself. Now, I know there is still much ahead, but I am proud I have worked out the basics of not assimilating but getting used to life in the US as an international student. There is a lot of work in terms of finding friends, understanding the culture, acquiring new habits you did not need at home, and, of course, keeping up with your curriculum. In a nutshell, the bad news is it is not easy at all; the good news is that it is positively worth the effort.

What I do

I am a third-year college student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My major is communications. So far, the most American thing I have acquired is dreaming big, so my ultimate goal is to become the Head of Communications at Google. I know, there is a lot to be done, but this article is my baby step nonetheless.

Apart from my gargantuan ambitions, I am a pretty regular person. I do my best to manage assignments, participate in community activities, experiment with cooking, understand Star Wars jokes, stay up late, and miss my hometown now and then.

What to expect from this blog

A great result for me is you reading my articles and realizing that you are okay and there is nothing wrong with having difficulties with your studies, the assimilation with the culture, or the socialization with your group. Furthermore, I hope the stories about the ways I handled similar situations my readers have been in can give them insights and maybe more confidence of their own. In any case, you will be able to find yourself in my stories, situations, and pieces of advice.

So, I will share things that impressed, challenged, or interested me as an international student who plans to stay and build a career here in the form of a care-based survival guide.

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