My name is Xiangfei. My friends call me Frida. I came to the U.S three years ago for college.
The decision to study here was made by me, and the major reason was to run away from the Chinese high school final exam, which all the high schoolers had to take in order to apply for college in China. I heard lots of stories, where top students in high school had to go to middle ranked colleges, just because of their bad performance on that exam. I could totally see that coming for myself, so I decided to go to the States for college.
Still remember how sad my mom was when she saw me go at the airport. I was the only child at home, and seeing me leaving and starting an entire new life abroad was heartbreaking for my mom.
I remember it was late September in 2014, I came to the U-Dub as a freshman. My father came along with me. We spent a few days in Oregon, and a few days in Seattle. After I moved into my dorm, he went back to China. It felt unreal, but at the same time I feel good. I think it’s great. I guess, knowing that I have to make my own decision starting from then marked the beginning of my grown-up life.
Life in Seattle has been great. School is less stressful; the pace of living is much slower. Strangers smile at me a lot. It’s just so different. This is more than an eye opening experience. This is a life changing experience.