Found the below article through so-called “social media”. Don’t have any affiliation with the author nor the WeChat group, but thought it was worth being translated.
[n.b. photos from original post omitted]
Everyone looking at the photos from students studying abroad keeps saying, “Wow, what a wonderful life. I’m jealous.”
Don’t be jealous, because the road they take might seem bright and glamorous, but every step taken is another scar suffered.
Those days when you don’t have a friend, you have to learn to endure them alone. In the dead of night, spacing out and listening to music, the tears start to flow. Flipping through your phone’s contacts, you can’t find a single person to talk to. It’s too late—everyone’s asleep.
Those days when you don’t have family close by, when you catch a fever and feel like passing out, you can only lean against something and shuffle your way out to find something to eat. Or when your eating habits are thrown off and you feel sick, you’re still out there by yourself buying medicine, holding your phone trying to translate every unfamiliar label.
Those days when you don’t have your hometown foods, when you’re buying bread and eating pizza every day, you see your friends’ photos online. You suddenly feel down, thinking, “Man, if only I were back home eating all those delicious things. I’m definitely going to eat them when I go back!”
Overseas, it’s like not being back home. You can’t just phone home and vent whenever something happens because, you know, complaining over here is just going to make your parents back home lose sleep. They’ll call you non-stop the next day—they’d come all the way over here to be by your side and help you fix all your problems, if only they could. So you learn to bear the world on your shoulders. And when that wears you down, you find a place to rest and think of mom and dad… “I can do it. I can pull through.”
Overseas, it’s rare to find a friend who understands you. It takes a lot of getting used to the habits of people who were raised differently, who grew up in a different environment. So when you do find someone who you get along with, you hold on to them as tight as you can. How lucky it is to find the kind of friend that just gets you! You’re going to visit their hometown when you go back home, and they’ll maybe swing by your area if they get a chance!
Overseas, you see a lot of foreigners who are racist against Chinese people. When you hear what they say, you just want to go up and slap them across the face. But you have to stay cool. Just grit your teeth and stay cool, because you need to show them that the ones who don’t know right from wrong are them, not us. Because you need to show everyone that Chinese overseas students can win back some respect for China, that we can be the bigger man.
Overseas, the loneliness, emptiness, and helplessness are all too obvious. When the novelty of it all wears off, all of your fears and uneasiness well up inside you. Who are you going to tell this to? You can’t write it online—too many people will ask what’s up. You just want to talk to someone who understands you, so you learn to befriend loneliness.
Overseas, you can’t call home whenever you want with the timezone difference. When you’re down in the dumps, who’s by your side? It’s just your shadow by your side. And don’t forget about all the English vocab that you still haven’t memorized. No time to waste—you have to show those people who looked down on you that you’re stronger than them. You have to show yourself (because it’s easy to forget) how amazing you are.
Keeping up a long-distance relationship is so stressful. You each have your own circle of friends and just keep talking about what happened in the past. You tell him about something that happened, but he doesn’t get it; he tells you about something new, but you don’t really understand.
I want to find someone in the same place as me. We’ll work hard to get into the same college, to be able to see each other with our own eyes. On weekends we’ll cram vocabulary in the library. On vacations, with our backpacks on our back, we’ll travel, and then together we’ll get jobs.
With someone besides you, all the burdens of the world feel lighter. No worrying about timezones—when you’re done with homework just send him a “good night”.
With someone besides you, there’s someone else to fight the loneliness and isolation with. There’s someone to share in all your wild dreams and the craziness of youth.
There’s nothing easy about being an overseas student.
With all these things to worry about, you feel the pressure of every step.
You miss all of your friends back home. You regret not being in their graduation pictures. You regret not sharing in the good times, not chatting with them over drinks. What happened to those days?
后来，只能在网上互相留言，留的最多的便是，I MISS U。
The Internet becomes your only connection to them. Your most common post becomes, “I MISS U”.
I really miss you all.
I want to go out with you all and sing and drink. I want get a group of friends together and wander the bustling streets of my hometown. I’ve never cared about where I go, only who I go with.
The road ahead is still long: studying abroad, graduation, the future, life.
How strong overseas students have to be: endure the journey, resist quitting early, study hard. How else could we own up to how much money our parents are spending?
Remember how the saying goes: going overseas is like filming a porno. The viewers get a kick out of it, but they don't know the pain that the actors go through >0<
All Chinese students overseas as well as those who want to go overseas, come check out our WeChat group: 海外咨询快报（haiwai66）☺
Again, no relation to the author. All views expressed are their own, not mine nor that of my affiliated orgs. Any faults in the English translation are mine alone. Jeez.