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In just over two weeks, I will be leaving my home in the US

to go to my second home in China for the summer.

And as I’m making my preparations to trade one home for another,

so are all the students who have spent the past year on foreign exchange.

The difference is,

my trade has less finality –

after six weeks, I’ll return to the States; meanwhile,

the lives those students have spent 10 months building

are over.

Even if they return to their host countries,

it won’t be the same.

In my experiences of spending summers in China,

no home – first, second, or thousandth – is ever the same once you’ve left it,

whether you’ve left for six weeks or six years.

The China I’ll arrive in next month

will not be the same China I left almost two years ago.

And the United States that I leave

will not be the same one I return to.

And I’ll only be gone for six weeks.

I admire my peers for facing the changes that ten months bring:

changes in homes, in schools, in families, in friends, and in themselves.


My biggest changes will come after my return from China.

In August, I will begin a brand new chapter of my life

as a freshman at university.

I’ll live in a different state, with different people, in a different environment…

in a new home.

I’m excited!

And nervous.

After a year of earning money and learning new skills at a job,

it’ll be a nice change to be back in classes again.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss things about this home.

Having so many homes is hard

and weird

and awesome.


And I don’t even know if that was an attempt at free verse poetry or just how my thoughts felt they should be written… But I hope it all actually made sense and everything. Thanks for reading! I hope you all stick around because CHINA VERY SOON!