I leave for my five-month trip to China in just under three weeks. As much as I try to pretend to myself that it doesn't, this thought makes me tremble slightly inside every time I am reminded of it. However this fear is somewhat balanced out by a sense of excitement about the experiences which lie before me. I have no idea what it will be like; saying that, given that my previous attempts to imagine how other things will turn out have been largely inaccurate, I won't bother trying and instead will try and prepare myself for any eventuality. Part of me feels ready to go but another part keeps reminding me of the things here that I will miss: my family, my friends, my boyfriend, my dog.. I think I just need to accept the fact that, as with many things in life, I will never feel entirely ready and in the end I will just have to take a leap of faith and hope that everything will be okay.
My primary concerns, however, are not whether I will make friends or the reams and reams of Chinese characters I will inevitably have to memorise- instead I'm currently more worried about the practicalities of it all such as sorting out my visa or my rather dire financial situation. I do feel that universities should publish a warning in their prospectuses telling would-be students of Chinese of the massive amount of organisation which goes into the year of the degree spent abroad- might have made me rethink my application!
I set up this blog as much as a diary for myself to read as for others to; hopefully in a few months I will look back on it and think 'what on earth was I worried about?' Although there is the strong possibility that I will also be thinking 'look at her back then, she had no idea what was coming' but if I don't try it, I'll never know!