Since graduating Western Oregon University in June with a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing with a minor in International Studies, I have had little time to enjoy "summer".
Within a week removed of finishing college, I started my yearlong Masters program at Concordia University in Irvine, California for a Masters of Arts in International Studies (MAIS). During my 6 weeks of summer school in Irvine, I took 16 credits while also getting certified in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Having 10-13 hours of class everyday, and loads of homework, it wasn’t uncommon to get less than 3 hours of sleep night after night.
I can confidently say that I have never worked as hard in school as I did during this summer session and what a relief to have it over with. Through the strenuous term, I created a strong bond with many of my fellow MAIS cohort that will be long lasting.
With people from all over the country and at all stages of life, we bonded together and helped motivate and give support to one another as we took on this yearlong journey together. Even though we only were together for 6 weeks, it seemed that we had known each other for years, after spending so much time together.
After my summer school had ended, returned to Oregon for a couple days before repacking my bags and going on a weeklong trip to fulfill my promise and visit my grandparents. My first stop was to Black Mountain, North Carolina, where I spent 2 nights with Grandpa and Grandma Gregory. After the hectic summer school schedule. It was such a treat to relax and spend time talking with such knowledgeable and loving people.
My next stop was to the Strawberry capital of the World, Ponchatoula, Louisiana. During my 3-night stay I was able to see Grandma Kelly and a number of my Aunts, uncles and cousins. My time in Louisiana was so nostalgic and I rekindled my love for my birth state. With so much wonderful family and food, it didn’t take long to win me over. With temperatures in the high 90’s and killer humidity, I was reminded of the reality that I will be facing once I step foot into China.