The Journey

This journey has been hectic, to say the least. There is a looming sense of inferiority over me that I have not felt in a long time. I see my peers, seemingly, effortlessly gliding through this experience where it feels as if I have a hiccup at every turn. This phenomenon has prompted a lot of self-reflection. I initially beat myself up for not having as firm a grasp on the comprehension and speaking of Spanish as the other students do; but I realized that almost all of them have visited multiple Spanish speaking countries already and have had the opportunity to be immersed in those cultures for extended amounts of time, I have not.

I am also acutely aware of my position as a Black woman in a predominately white country in a program that is also predominantly white. It can be uncomfortable at times. There will always be this extra layer that I have that they will never have to consider, whether it manifests itself during in class discussions or group outings around the city. For this same reason, I do not perceive that I have the option to move about as freely as they do. To my knowledge, I have not experienced outright racism, but a day has not gone by where people have not stared at me or moved their children away from me as I walk down the street or through the mall.

Though these instances seem insignificant, they add up. Coming from a predominantly Black space where my Black womanhood and my intelligence as such is constantly re-affirmed, I have never doubted myself the way I have here. I know that it is only the second week and I have months ahead of me of potentially great experiences but as of now, it is hard to see past how I am feeling at this moment and I am unsure of ways to remedy it.

By: Piersen Briggs

What I Wish I Knew Before Coming to China

The Departure