《A journey of growth and discovery: Embracing China's embrace》 | studychina.chinaservicesinfo.com

《A journey of growth and discovery: Embracing China's embrace》

By SHAIS UL HAQ chinadaily.com.cn Updated : 2023-12-12

University:China University of Geosciences, Wuhan

In the vast expanse of life's journey, there comes a moment when destiny intertwines with choice, leading to a path that forever changes someone's life. It may be a serendipitous encounter, a leap of faith, or an unforeseen challenge that alters the course of their existence. In the heart of such a transformative journey, a person finds themselves shedding old skin, embracing growth, and stepping into the unknown with newfound courage. These are the journeys that leave an indelible mark, shaping character, igniting passions, and unveiling the true essence of the individual. The memories and lessons from this voyage become a guiding compass, illuminating the way forward, as they navigate the seas of life with renewed purpose and an unwavering spirit.

I am Shais Ul Haq (Li Shuai) and this is my journey of growth and discovery. In the year 2017, I embarked on a life-changing adventure to China, a land of rich culture, language, and tradition. Initially, the separation from my home and family weighed heavily on my heart. However, little did I know that, this foreign land would become my second home and give me experiences that would shape my personality and touch my soul forever.

Photo with classmates and teachers [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

As I stepped foot onto the China University of geosciences (CUG) Wuhan for the first time, a wave of sadness washed over me. Everything seemed foreign, and I felt like a fish out of water. Nevertheless, my passion for learning the Chinese language and my teachers' encouragement kept me going.

Once Theodore Roosevelt said "Believe you can, and you're halfway there." Soon enough, I found myself hosting a departmental party in fluent Chinese, an experience that stirred a mix of confidence and nervousness. This event marked the first step in my journey to overcome stage fright, and from then on, I eagerly participated in various activities, embracing every opportunity to host and sing.

One of the most memorable moments was when I performed a Chinese rap song. The thunderous applause and cheers from the audience made me feel like I was floating on air. In that very moment, I knew that my journey in China had unlocked a hidden talent, and I whispered to myself, "This is the most amazing view I've ever seen in my life."

Photo of singing Chinese rap song [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

There is a Chinese proverb "The art of calligraphy is a dance of the brush on paper, revealing the soul of the writer."

In pursuit of immersing myself in Chinese art, I enrolled in calligraphy classes. Chinese calligraphy classes further deepened my love for Chinese art. As I delicately brushed my name on paper, the strokes seemed to breathe life into my existence, and a profound sense of happiness overwhelmed my heart. My teachers recognized my determination and skill, showering me with admiration and praise.

Through calligraphy, I discovered a profound way of expressing myself, as each stroke of the brush revealed a part of my soul.

Photo of Chinese calligraphy [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

CUG not only offered me opportunities to grow academically but also gave me a chance to find love. It was here that I met my soulmate, my better half, who shared the same love for this enchanting country. Together, we explored countless places, immersing ourselves in the diverse cultural experiences that China had to offer.

Photo of a youth fair in Yiwu [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Time flew swiftly, and the day of my departure back to my homeland drew near. I never anticipated that leaving my university in China would be so heart-wrenching. China had become an inseparable part of me, and my bond with my teachers, the beautiful campus, and the tennis ground behind my dormitory was etched deeply into my soul.

A photo at the Great wall [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Determined to continue my academic journey in China, I was blessed to receive the prestigious Chinese government scholarship to pursue further studies in Beijing. However, life had other plans, and the world was struck by the pandemic known as Covid-19. With a heavy heart, I had to leave China once again, leaving behind a world of cherished memories and dreams unfulfilled.

Throughout the days of the pandemic, I yearned for a speedy recovery of the situation so that I could return to my dreamland. Every day, I prayed for the well-being of the people I had come to know and love in China. The resilience and determination of the Chinese people during this challenging time only strengthened my admiration for their culture and spirit.

As I reminisce about my China journey, a famous Chinese proverb comes to mind: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." My journey in China was indeed a thousand miles of emotions, growth, and cherished memories. It taught me the value of perseverance and the magic that lies in stepping out of one's comfort zone.

Photo of getting graduation certificate [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

There is a saying "Although you are far away, you are always in my heart." While I may be physically away from China, the memories are forever etched in my heart. The teachings of my beloved teachers, the beauty of the Chinese language, and the warmth of the Chinese culture continue to guide me in my life's path.

The Chinese culture holds a treasure trove of wisdom, and one quote that resonates deeply with me is: "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." My heart was left behind in China, and the country will forever hold a special place in my soul.

In conclusion, my time in CUG was nothing short of a life-altering journey of growth, self-discovery, and love. China became my second home, a place where dreams took flight and where the essence of my true self was unveiled. The friendships forged, the knowledge gained, and the experiences lived will forever be a cherished part of my soul. China, with its grace, warmth, and vibrancy, has left an indelible mark on my heart, and I eagerly anticipate the day when I can return to the land that embraced me like family. Until then, I carry China with me, living by the wisdom of its sayings, and with gratitude for the profound impact it has had on my life. "不怕慢,就怕站" ("Bù pà màn, jiù pà zhàn") - "It's not the pace that matters; the important thing is not to stop."

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