ႏို၀င္ဘာ အလွပန္း – Kristy
My name is Haythi Thu but I go by Kristy; I was born and bred in Burma and it has only been a few months since I flew all the way from home to Irvine in Orange County, California for college.
I spent my high school years at Diplomatic School of Yangon (DSY); as DSY isn’t one of the schools that is accredited by the WASC, I didn’t have my future plans for college guided and planned out for me like the others did. Most graduates from my school usually head off to UK for further education so that wasn’t much of a problem for them. However, with the help of my teachers and the senior graduates who are already studying here in US, I managed to get into OCC and now I’m in the second semester of my freshman year.
I was studying architecture when I first arrived but now I’m a biology/pre-med major. My dream has always been to help people and to work with kids – to be a pediatrician. I’ve always loved and got along well with kids which encourages me more to go into the pediatrician field. I took architecture as my major at first because as it is known, medical is a really hard field and I was quite terrified to go into it. Also, my dad majored in engineering, so I thought it’d be nice if I was in the same field with my dad.
Of course I disappointed my dad a little when I changed my major to pre-med but it delighted my mom since it has always been our dream together; but my dad still supports me all the way as well. I’m expecting to transfer to either one of the UCs or any other good private universities in Southern California by next fall/spring but I’ll be applying to a few schools in other states as well.
As for med school, I really hope to get into Stanford for I have always admired it. Being a daughter of a singer, I really can’t deny the genes – I love singing. As much as I love singing, I rarely sing in public as I’m very insecure about my voice and get nervous in front of big crowds and strangers.
I’m not proud to say that I was actually excited to leave home for a few years at first. I was thrilled to experience all the adventures that were waiting ahead of me but little did I know that there were obstacles waiting for me as well. It didn’t take long for me to miss home. I got the homesick blues after a couple weeks. It was all great at first – I had all the freedom in the world, no curfews or anything but the thrill only lasted for a month or so. After that, I missed coming home to my parents, I missed having my mom waiting up for me, worried, when I came home late, I missed having all the meals prepared for me when I was hungry and above all that, I missed my parents’ warm hugs whenever I was stressed. Nevertheless, it’s still a constant battle between the food and my parents; I still don’t which I miss more and I’m actually pretty guilty about that.
My first semester actually went quite well, I didn’t have to deal with much. Although I didn’t have trouble adapting to a new environment, I struggled making new friends – I always have; as a true Burmese, I was timid and refused to get out of my comfort zone. It’s dreadful because my two best friends aren’t with me either and we’re all in each different continents.
Apart from that and cravings for Burmese food, my first semester was just as fine. My second semester hasn’t been cooperating with me very well. Because my school doesn’t provide an on-campus housing, I have to find an apartment elsewhere. Although I had a place near my school last semester, things didn’t work out very well between my roommate and I which ended up with me moving out and now commuting to school with a 2 hours bus ride and a 40 mins walk just to get to school. Then again, it’s a great experience to study abroad alone.
Since I’m not in the nest of my parents anymore and standing alone, I got to learn a lot about everything: new culture, people, life, and even myself. The best part about coming here is that you get to teach yourself how to live and survive on your own. It’s great, especially for us Burmese kids because we get everything done for us back home. Things I’ve never done before: laundry, cooking, cleaning and of sort, I’ve basically mastered them – although I haven’t mastered cooking quite well. After you step into the real-adult world and deal with all kinds of people, you see how people actually are and you’re not so naive anymore. You become experienced, independent, mature and tougher than before. To sum up, you grow up, because there is no other way out.