With more and more friends studying abroad, studying abroad had been what I wanted to do since elementary school. However, the plan had been postponed for a long time because my parents, like all the other parents, thought it would be too challenging for me to live in a foreign country alone. It was true. When I first came to this country, I did not even know how to pack. Coming from a humid subtropical climate zone, I only brought a pair of sandals and zero pants. After wearing shorts for a week with temperatures below 15 °C (59 °F) and hiking on open-toe sandals, I finally decided to shop for some pants and shoes, but it turns out that was not the only lesson I had to learn. I almost opened the emergency door for twice, I was lost at William Village three different times, and I was even locked outside my room after showering. Despite it all, these laughable moments are what shaped my first-year as a student at CU-Boulder.
Despite these first-year challenges, I did grow up to be more independent. One biggest challenge I initially faced, as a college student, was my lack of knowledge in cooking.. My ignorance of cooking made me burn the pot when I tried to make Cola Chicken Wings for my friends. Rather than serving a burnt meal, I served noodles instead. To prevent that situation from happening again, I chose to learn how to cook. College is all about asking for help when you need it most and being reminded that no matter the obstacle, resources are there to assist you in developing your skills both inside and outside of the classroom. I asked help from friends who are experts at cooking. At first, I had to follow their recipe step by step. However, I developed my own recipe over time based on my flavor interests and now I can make a dinner in half an hour. This summer, I cooked the Cola Chicken Wings for my parents who always worried about my diet. They were both surprised about my progress of cooking and finally believed their daughter had grown up to be an independent girl.