Here is a text written by one of my evening students.  I have tried to edit it as lightly as I could, because to me the direct translation from Vietnamese to English is fascinating. I hope you enjoy it! Without further due…

Hi there! I am a student from a University in Ho Chi Minh city. Actually I have already become a senior. The first day of school in Vietnam starts on Sep 5th, and it reminded me of the first day I went to University.

On the day I knew I passed the final exam.
The final exam marks the graduation of students who finish high school time, it’s an entry to study at University level. It meant I would become a student at a famous University of my nation, that seems a historical event of my life. In my country, studying at a University is the best way to estimate someone. Because almost all older generations think that study in University is the only way to get good jobs. The final exam is not only to test knowledge of Sciences subjects and Social subjects, but also rank scores to classify students following quota. Besides the pressure of the test, they are also influenced by people’s comments. Therefore, my family is so proud of me, but I honestly don’t like the University or major I have chosen. It’s also denying who I am and who I want to be. I had some struggle when changing my life and habits suddenly, because I lived with my family for 18 years in the small city of Dalat. It’s approximately 310 km from my hometown to Ho Chi Minh City. It takes 8 hours by bus. We have two important cities: the capital Hanoi in the North and Ho Chi Minh city in the South. Almost all the famous Universities focus on these two big cities. So the students have to move there, live far from home and become independent. Before going to University, I lived with my parents who took care of me all in love, I have not to do housework, that it means I have just focused on studying. Still now, when I am a senior, my parent still think I am forever a child. Almost all parents always worry about many bad guys out there, they just want to keep us in their arms.

freshman pic

Me and my friend in my Dalat hometown

Moreover, I believe that living in a different environment would make me feel lost or a little weak, but afterward I met so many friends from every province around my country. It’s so amazing hah. Until now thinking about the first time I met them I cannot stop laughing. They are very kind, a little shy, innocent and cute. I think we had many memorable times when traveling together, sharing with each other more emotion, and some night we didn’t sleep to talk about our life, our dreams, or just missing home. The first semester started, we were not enjoying happiness for a long time. We had to do many presentations with each subject, it’s  a hard time for us because we had to research many sources as politics, economic, history. Maybe you know almost every student in Vietnam don’t practice presentations often, almost all previous schooling time student just learn inactively, and rarely talk about what they think or what they know. In the classroom if any students discuss something with the teacher that seems to be sassy, ohmm it means the teacher is always completely right in every situation. So, it makes student not  have their own initiative, don’t know how to protect their own ideas and that’s why studying is not interesting anymore. I thought I would start studying again. Maybe when moving from a small city to central city, try student life far from home – which makes me feel overwhelming disappointed about myself, low inferiority. It’s not a big deal. There will come a day we have learned English major, it’s an obsession to anybody who live in small village because they didn’t have more conditions to practice. The difference between living in cities and villages is not only economic condition but also knowledge levels. I am very thankful for those day that make me know how people try to become successful, what is the meaning of life although now I have not already a good version of myself.

freshman pic 2.jpg

A memorable time when students travelled from the South to the North – Ninh Bình.

Besides that, I want to say thank you Mom. I know you are influenced by social standard majority but you always give me chances to find, choose what I want. It’s my personal responsibility. I have to dare what I will do because I live for my life. I know that whatever I have done or will do even though it is wrong, my family absolutely completely stay my side. Love ya!

Thank you for reading.

Mi.

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2 thoughts on “Becoming a freshman, by Mi

  1. Thank for your meaning recommends so much. It’s my pleasure to know how the others think about my writing. It helps me mature better. Honestly, your every words are inspiring me a lot. I believe that you are so sweet, sensitive and knowledgeable. When I realized I was over teenager ages, I felt stuck in gloomy future. But I have met some people likes you, like Mr. Ethan who motivated me so much. So I keep going forward and believe in myself. Extra big thank you!  ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your fascinating perspective on life as a student in Ho Chi Minh City. Although there are cultural differences between the many nations of the world, what you express is relevant if not directly relatable to so many people be they young or old. I am sure that as you get older you will still come to see that we are all perpetually trying to extract meaning and purpose from life. In the meantime, you can be proud to know that you are an excellent writer in English and, that with some additional hard work, you can still improve considerably. Speaking and writing foreign languages is such a necessary luxury, which may sound paradoxical. It expands the mind and allows you to learn and share new ideas. I must disclose that Etienne (Ethan) is my good friend for many years, and I wrote him to mention how I was thoroughly impressed with your writing. I teach English literature and composition in Canada, and many of the students coming from abroad to pursue a University education could not write the essay you penned. Well done and keep up the hard work! Focus on the process and the results will follow. I know that sounds like cliché, but it is true. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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