This may very well be one of the last times I'm visiting Taiwan... at least for a long time. This realization came to me as I was on the taxi with my mom today, going to have lunch with my cousins and my aunt.
"How does it feel to be home, Mel?"
"Mmm... about the same as every other time. You know I love being at home."
"Are you still going to come back after you graduate? I don't think you'll come back as much if you get married in America and have your own family..."
I took my mom's hand and told her I'd still come back to visit. As much as I hope and wish that was the case, part of me knows that if I start my career in America and do get married there... chances are I won't be able to come back as much as I do now, and I don't even come back that much (twice a year is not enough for me...). It's a bittersweet thought. As much as I think I still have a lot of time to figure things out, I actually don't. Senior year is starting in a mere two months, and after that, time is just going to fly by. My baby sister is starting college - in my mind, she will always be 10. That just puts me back in reality, that I am getting older, and that I have more responsibilities now. No longer can I be that little girl that still needs to be cared for by my parents or not worry about anything - real life is coming at me, and I have to be ready when that time comes.
Am I prepared? My mom frequently asks me if she's trained me well to handle the real world. I always feel like I'm not quite ready, but I think that my parents did prepare me well. I still have much to learn, but I feel like my past three years of college have taught me a lot about independence. Like all of my friends from home, I went to college 7000 miles away from home. When our parents are not there, we are forced to make decisions and handle things on our own. I remember having to open my own savings account, get my own state ID and eventually, borrow my boyfriend's car to get my own driver's liscence, manage my own finances, move myself (with the help of friends) in and out of my dorm/apartment, and so on. Sometimes (many times, actually) I did wish my parents were there. Sometimes I thought it was unfair that they weren't there to help me, while my other friends all had their parents and siblings there to help them. Sometimes I cried because I was so homesick, and I didn't know how to handle things. I remember the first time I was sick, I called home crying because I felt terrible and didn't have anyone to ask for help. Even little things like that are a big deal when you're dealing with them on your own for the first time. Many times I questioned why God wanted me at Michigan when things got hard, but through these past three years, He has slowly showed me His purposes for me there.
My mom asked me recently if I felt I had made the best of my time at college. Thinking back, I think I did. I made lifelong (at least, I hope so! Haha) friends, met amazing people, got involved in campus ministry like I had always hoped I would, and found things that I was passionate in. I've learned more about God at college than I have in all the years since I became a Christian. God has shown me grace, ultimate forgiveness, and compassion during the hard times, and there has been tons of discipline and hard lessons learned. But in the end, I am thankful for all of it - for God allowing me to be accepted there, for all the people I met there, for all the hard times, too. Because I know that I'm stronger and my faith deeper because of everything I've experienced there.One more year to go. I want to make the best of it.