The beginning of the end of intelligent civilization.–Definition by Urban Dictionary
I remember my first culture shock in the US on a sightseeing boat in New York City. It was an orientation for my foreign exchange program with high school students from all over the world, full of excitement and wonder about life in the US. The New York sea breeze gently tousled my hair as I squinted my eyes against the beaming sunshine. Suddenly, my attention was brought to my hand where a funny feeling lingered. It was a hair. A BLONDE HAIR! Despite having seen tons of blondes in movies and TV shows, I was still shocked when I saw the “exotic” object. I was freaking out about how uncomfortable I was outside my comfort zone and how much I didn’t know about the world.
Growing up in Shenzhen, China, a coastal city close to Hong Kong with the population of 12.5 million people, I am no stranger to the city life and selective schools. Before coming to the US, I didn’t have much time and freedom to explore what I like to do. I had to give up dancing and playing Guzheng (a Chinese instrument) because of the increasingly heavy school work.
However, in my limited free time, I started reading English books and watching American movies and tv series. My love for the English language grew stronger as I began to understand more and to use the language more fluently, which earned me an opportunity to be an exchange student in my junior year in Spring Grove, Illinois. Being the only Asian in town, my adapting to a new lifestyle in this northern Chicago suburb wasn’t easy, as I was constantly outside my comfort zone having no one to express my frustration. I picked up dancing and over the years, dancing acts as a means to learn about myself and make new friends.
Freshman year at BC, I joined DOBC and AeroK. I met some of my best friends and my roommate through the dance community at BC. I like to participate in the annual culture shows by KSA/CSA, SEASA, etc. Besides dancing, I volunteer at the Student Admission Program in various programs, such as Eagle for a Day, AHANA weekend and Greeting. I also love photography, doing arts & crafts to decorate my dorm and watching stand up comedy shows.
I am a Biochemistry major with Bioinformatics and Finance minor. Up until sophomore year, I was following the Biology/Pre-Med track without thinking about how I can incorporate the knowledge into my future career and without exploring the diverse courses offered at BC. Sophomore year, after much internal struggle, I signed up for Computer Science 1 after my mother’s persistent persuasion. Had been a technophobe, I was terrified to set foot in a field so foreign and distant from my major. I was proved wrong and without realizing, I probably had made the best decision in college. Not only did CS open up my horizon, pushing me to explore a land full of possibilities and creativity, it also introduced me to an organized and systematic way of thinking, which helps me drastically in both academics and daily life. Last semester, I started taking classes within the Finance minor. I began to pay more attention to the world around me and how each nation interacts with one another. I began to look at both sides of the same coin.
Joining Tech Trek West, I want to try new things, meet new people and be challenged intellectually. Quoting from my Cell Bio professor, “challenges makes me feel alive.” Challenges forces you to think, make decisions and learn about who you are. I’d like to consider Tech Trek as another courageous step out of my comfort zone and a means to be challenged. With Tech Trek, I wish to develop innovative and critical thinking and engage in meaningful conversations with fellow students, professors and company executives. I want to learn about tech and startups and how people transform crazy ideas in their heads into reality. I want to learn about how I can apply my academic study to my future career. And I want to share this journey with all of you!
Follow me on Twitter @SiyuanMelanieWu