I think I’ve got a lot of thinking to do.
people always comment on what a great opportunity it is, being in a foreign country, having the chance to experience new things… I must be doing something wrong, then. I don’t see much in the way of interesting experiences – just cheap malls and boring tourist attractions. I’ve never been much of a tourist, really; as a kid I preferred to read books, and now I prefer to be online or with friends. I guess I was hoping that coming to china would magically cure that somehow. now I find myself stuck in a school taking courses I’m not really interested in and hardly ever leaving campus at all.
I feel bad that I’m not putting much effort into studying chinese while I’m in china. I feel bad that I’m not going out and making friends. I feel bad that I’m not traveling around seeing whatever the things are that I’m supposed to see.
but… I feel like I’m trying to live someone else’s life here. I feel bad about not doing things that I’m “supposed” to do, even though they’re not things I generally enjoy. I keep thinking about all the things I could be doing in vancouver, all the new friends I made there before leaving for china, all the new friends I made when I went back in august. I think about all the other things around the world I’m missing out on – the kde4 release party, a bunch of other fun events, the ACM contest, summer of code, internships (although some of that can always be done later).
I find myself wondering what the hell I’m doing here in china.
I don’t regret *coming* here – it’s certainly been an interesting experience, living in a country where I’m just beginning to learn the language. I have a lot more understanding of the troubles immigrants must have in canada. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot.
I’m just not sure how much longer I want to stay here.
for the dual degree program, I’m supposed to stay another year and a half, completing some reasonable number of credits involving comp sci, chinese stuff, and electives. in chinese, of course. this means trying to focus on both chinese *and* CS at the same time – trying to understand assignments and exams that are written in chinese. is it really such a good idea to try to do both at once, instead of focusing on just one and doing a proper job of it? …or maybe it would be better than just straight chinese courses, since I’m pretty bored of those. not that they’re *easy* – I’m just losing interest. it’s been more than a year, and I don’t normally stick with one thing that long.
one thing I could do is leave after the end of the next semester, in july, and switch to the normal SFU CS program for september. I’d take one semester of CS courses in china, and the credits would transfer (if I passed, of course). I’d have time to get home, meet up with some friends, go off to akademy, then back to vancouver and run around putting my life back together before the start of school.
another possibility is to finish up this semester of chinese courses, stick around for chinese new years, and then go home. I wouldn’t have to attempt CS courses in chinese, and I wouldn’t have to look for an apartment here. however, I’d be returning in the middle of SFU’s spring semester, and taking summer courses would conflict with going to akademy – so I still wouldn’t be back at SFU until september, and I’d have to justify this to my uncle, since he’s kind enough to be paying my bills. :) although perhaps I could try for an internship, or apply for summer of code… or pick something to study on my own and argue that this way I don’t have to pay tuition ;)
of course, even if I did go back early, how much of the stuff I want to do would I actually do? it’s all much easier in theory. in reality, there’s only so much time in a day, and it’s quite easy to let most of that just slip away. I haven’t been too good at time management – I need to work on that. there’s just so much I want to do… and some of it isn’t easy, so it would be quite easy to procrastinate. I tend to expect a lot of myself; recent frustrations with plasma seem to come from trying to tackle a big problem that I think I should be able to understand, and then finding out that it’s really complicated and I can’t understand it with the amount of time I’m able to put in, and then being all upset and unproductive for a few days because of it.
how much of this is really wanting something else, and how much is just looking for excuses to not try any more at learning chinese? it’s true that I’m kinda afraid to try and fail, or to get bad marks. actually, my marks kinda suck already :/ that’s what happens when you don’t study a subject that’s mainly memorization, I guess. if you don’t use it, you lose it. I’m starting to not even want to use it.
the other thing that bugs me, though, is that I’m feeling a bit like I did when I was working. it took me until march, then, to see that I was making myself miserable and get the hell out of there. if that’s what’s happening again, then maybe I should get out. but on the other hand, maybe I can turn it around, maybe life doesn’t have to suck so much. in february we’re supposed to move to zijingang campus, and there are more people there that I might get along with better. but the food will still suck, and I’ll still want to code all day instead of studying.
I guess I’ve got to do some real thinking about what I want to do with the next few years of my life.