Freshman adjusts to university life while far away from home

Sheng Qu


It’s interesting that our perception of beauty differs transculturally. One thing that’s great about being an international student from China is that previously I thought all the American girls were beauties. After I became an exchange student in a tiny town in Minnesota, I understood that we are not different, at least, not fundamentally. Although sometimes I do conceive the idea that there are more attractive girls in the U.S. than in China, from a Chinese perspective, I will no longer be outrageously intrigued, like marveling at angels from heaven, which I never did.

Now it’s the second week for me at SDSU, and life goes on, more than just looking at girls. All the dancing and parties helped me get loose and relaxed. Instead of being stressed in the beginning of my college career, I’ve found college pretty enjoyable. I know it should be different from high school, yet so far I’ve found it’s easier than that. I mean, apparently it is better than staying in a Chinese high school, where the only thing to do is to spend 13 to 14 hours a day sitting at your desk studying, and it appears so far to me that it is actually better than an American high school. Compared to my experience the previous year as an exchange student, I now have more chances to select courses I desire and more freedom to manage my time and get involved in extra-curricular activities. I can legally have a job if I want to, so my tuition can be expected to be paid by myself—it’s awesome to be independent and socially, economically valuable. Being a college student opens a whole new door with opportunities inside, and SDSU helps keep that door open.

As an international student, I do have problems, particularly as an “international,” but it just gets easier when everyone smiles and listens to me when they know I need their help. It’s hard to believe just how dedicated people at SDSU are. The international diplomat Rita Velez, who was “randomly assigned’’ to answer my questions about student life, literally solves all my problems and concerns besides the one about my insurance plan, which I had to ask Greg Wymer, a professional, about. If I may say it, people in the Midwest are the best.

Let’s do college, guys!

Shen Qu is currently a freshman majoring in Mathematics and can be emailed at [email protected]

Shen Qu is a 19 year old freshman student from Yangcheng City, Jiangsu Province, China. His focus this semester will  be to share his personal experiences from his home country and his experiences as an international student at SDSU.