Middle States Blog

Middle States Blog

All the latest information, news and stories to inspire and inform the Middle States region.

What college means to Belle Tran

What college means to Belle Tran

What college means to me

Hi everyone, my name is Quynh Tran but you can call me Belle. I am an international student from Vietnam. I came to America one year and a half years ago and my study abroad life started at Delaware Technical Community College.

Since I was a kid, I was told that I needed to get into college because that is the only way for me to have a good career and a bright future. No one in my family has ever reached that level of education so they had high expectations of me - and I have been working so hard to meet those expectations. I always had high grades in my classes, always had my name on the Honor Roll, and even earned a couple awards in Math and English competitions. My family and teachers had great confidence in me. With my background, I confidently applied to the top university in my country and was planning to study the major that my parents have always wanted me to pursue: medicine.

But, the day I got my results, I could not believe my eyes. My grades did not meet the benchmark. I failed. All of sudden, everything seemed to collapse around me. All of the expectations, all of that hard work seemed to be wasteful. I was depressed for several months until the day my parents decided to send me to study abroad and I came to the United States. This was never in my plans - or even a back up plan - but I was so carefree at that time that I really did not care where life was going to take me. But after spending time in the United States, I slowly recognized I was wrong the whole time.

I used to believe that if I made it to a top college with a competitive major, I would instantly have a good job and a steady future. I used to believe that college is the only way to success. I did not really pay much attention to explore new things, to explore what I actually wanted, what I am passionate about. I have been following other people’s opinions that I forgot to listen to what my heart truly wants. Spending time alone and living in a different environment has really changed perspective. I still support the idea that college is very important and beneficial, but its benefit is not guaranteeing me a wealthy life. More importantly, being in college is helping me to discover myself.

With a different educational system, I get to experience new things, visit new places, and meet new people. I realised that I am actually not interested in the medical field like I used to think. I discovered I have more interest in business.

Looking back, I am truly grateful that my parents had made the decision to help me overcome my depression and give me the opportunity to explore new things. I always believe everything happens for a reason. And to people who still wonder whether college is worth it I would say, absolutely, YES. It is an opportunity and experience that I would never regret. It’s not only the classroom learning that matters. You will learn a lot inside and outside the classroom but in the end, it’s up to you to choose how you will take advantage of it.

How will you take advantage of your college experience? How will you step outside your comfort zone to explore something new?

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