Lily G. is a junior at SYA China and a blogger for our Campus Reporter Program. She comes to SYA from St. Catherine's School (VA). Read more of her work throughout the year here.
I wake up each morning a bit tired, but after my 3rd alarm rings I know it's time to get up. I go pick out a legging/t-shirt combo to wear under my xiaofu (uniform). I go to brush my teeth, but quickly go back to my room to put on my blue rubber house slippers. I try to make a stealthy exit, but my mom comes down anyways. Fresh apple in hand, she gives me a short lecture in Chinese about how I'm going to catch a cold if I don't wear more clothes. Let me remind you its 70 degrees and she's trying to get me to wear a down jacket. We hug and say good bye and then I rush to the bus stop. I only have three chances to catch the bus and then all hope is lost. But of course I have to say goodbye to my favorite security guard who always seems to know where I'm going. I make my way to the bus stop to wait for the number 104 to arrive. If it's a good day the number 104 is great, but if not...it's not great. Say today was a not great day. After I've pushed my way to the entrance, I'm standing in the no stand zone with about four other people. I grumpily stuff my earphones in my ears to shut out the outside noise. Six stops later, I've arrived at Tieshizifen, the bus stop for school. I make my way across the street, wave to the security guards at the school, and, if I'm feeling really good, climb up the six flights of stairs.
My School Day at SYA China
The day has just started! I go to my first two hours of Chinese class and speak perfect Chinglish with my peers once we leave the classroom. I have a free period and then more Chinese, don't worry tutorial classes are the best. Then head to English to discuss an intriguing book about a rickshaw boy. Then to lunch. Normally, I might head to the McDonald's across the street for some good ole' Americana food. But today I just want a really good apple, some bread, and some drinkable yogurt. So I go over to the cafeteria. Of course they have other options but when you have the taste buds of a 7-year-old, it's hard to find many tasty Chinese dishes. After, I have poli-sci where we never fail to discuss something new and exciting. Followed by math class where a bunch of nerdy math jokes are made about every couple minutes. My last class is history and then the bell rings at 3:25 p.m. and it's time for the weekend! But no weekend would be complete without someone deciding to do an impromptu visit to the hair salon. At least this time it was just a trim.
I take the number 104 home (it's not too crowded around 4:45 p.m.). I make a pit stop at my favorite bread store, called Weiduomei, to get the closest thing to a good bagel in Beijing. It's kind of like the inside out bagel, it has the cream cheese inside and then whole outside is the "bagel" part. Then I cross the street to head home. I see my favorite security guard and wave. We have a short conversation before I head upstairs. I open the door to see my host mom waiting there for me, she greets me and we talk for a bit.
I just wanted to give you an insight as to what my daily schedule is kind of like and I wouldn't change it for the world. Actually, I love it so much that I'm seriously considering coming back for college. To all of you that are attending SYA China next year, get ready to fall in love with this crazy city. And just when you think it couldn't get any better, it does. The SYA China experience may seem a bit less glamorous than the other SYA programs however, I guarantee you it's just as life-changing and wonderful of an experience. I wouldn't change my time in China for the world.