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Aloneliness can be a blessing

Popularity 9Viewed 3254 times 2014-6-3 21:22 |System category:Life| loneliness, blessing

I want to thank some friends who soptted the mistakes in this article. So I edited it. 

I suppose we all feel lonely once in a while. However, loneliness seems to be ubiquitous ( a bit exaggerating) when you live in a foreign country. Under this circumstance, you either drown in aloneliness or thrive in it.

It goes without saying that there are reasons why Chinese international students (at least those I know here) tend to live a solitary life. To start with, it is extremely difficult to actually make true friends. I mean the type of friends you can turn to ask for help and count on when in trouble; not the acquaintances you send your greetings every time you meet them.

To a certain extent, this is understandable as all of us are busy with our own stuff, such as studying, working and travelling. The radical reason behind this situation is that we don't spend as much time together as we normally do when studying on a Chinese campus. As you may know, we may have different schedules of lectures and tutorials even if we share the same major because we select different subjects to study. Plus, we are only required to attend lectures and tutorials for up to twenty hours every week (for me, it's only twelve hours). In most cases, teachers don't take a roll for lectures, which means that you can cut the lectures at your own wish. This will of course considerably reduces our time together with others to get us bonded. Lastly, unlike in China, most of us rent our own places here instead of living in a dorm. Even if you do live in a university apartment, you don't share your bed room with others, which on the one hand decreases the odds of fights and bickers while on the other hand alienates us from each other.

You don't become a close friend of someone at a blink. On the contrary, it takes time to build up a friendship and it also takes energy and efforts to nurture the friendship to make it stronger. You and your friends do not necessarily need to weather through tough situations together; but you should definitely stick up for each other.

Secondly, it is overwhelmingly hard to blend into the local community. In China, we may find a sense of belonging after a certain amount of time in a foreign city. However, it might never happen in a foreign country as you don't have much in common with them because your cultural backgrounds are probably poles apart. Even time probably will not be able to address this issue as we form our beliefs, regarding to diverse areas, based on the way we were raised up. After we grow up, those believes stick with us. That is to say it's not going to be an easy task to get rid of them as old habits die hard, so do your formed beliefs.

Last but not the least, aloneliness may be nowhere near to reach you when you are occupied by reviewing your piles of lecture notes and writing the mind-boggling number of  assessments. It is acknowledged that it is not a walk in the park to survive through western higher education system. Even though we don't have many lectures, the studying you need to do on you own can be unimaginable. However, once all this hectic life comes to a stop suddenly, you become lost as you have absolutely no clue what you should do with all the free time. In fact, this is because your immediate goal disappears and there is nothing for you to hold on to anymore.

When the above mentioned situation happen, quite a few students are inclined to relapse back into their old and aimless lifestyle. Basically, they stay up watching soap operas; playing computer games and sleep a lot. I have to admit there is nothing wrong with that as I reckon we all deserve a relax after a nerve-racking term. But, the problem is that we may find it frustrating later as we tend to fail to pull ourselves together for studying again. This is exactly when we start letting ourselves drown in loneliness. Certainly, we don't like this kind of life. Nevertheless, in the meantime, we don't want to change it. I drowned myself in the solitary life during my winter break last year. Neither was I in the mood to hang out with anyone nor did I want to do anything meaningful. To put it mildly, I was idling my time away. In effect, I felt like I was a walking dead. At that time, I couldn't wait to start the new term because I desperately needed a push to get me back into the more deligent me.

Rather than allowing us to smother in aloneliness and aimlessness what should we do to actually make the most of the solitary life?  I don't really have an answer to this question. But, I deem that living a solitary life can be beneficial to you. At least, it is, in my case.

I have become a more introspective person after a long time of living on my own as I had plenty of time to sort out what I want in my life and what I should do to achieve that. Meanwhile, I become more independent. I have always believed that no one can be as dependable as myself. Also, I spend time on things I consider worthwhile, such as reading English fictions and English editorials and writing English articles and so on. As a matter of fact, I have been sparing no efforts to improve my English ever since I came to Australia. To me, who wants to be an English teacher in the future, it is of enormous importance to be able to use English as close as a native speaker and to be able to make English teaching as effortless as possible. This is because I have never thought of being a mundane teacher. Instead, I want to be a teacher who can stand out in a crowd and who can be irreplaceable.  This is the very goal I have been moving myself towards. As difficult as it may be to reach, it is full of fun to chase after it as during the process I gain so much. It is also a journey of redefining myself for instance, finding out what else I am capable of. 

 If we can make ourselves better people by taking advantage of the free time to equip ourselves, why don't we do it? Isn't there this saying in China? When you are waiting for something nice to happen in your life, be it an excellent partner or an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for your career, you'd better make sure you keep bettering yourself while awaiting as if you didn't, you would probably be considered not deserving the long-expected nice thing when it finally shows up.

Honestly, I don't know why. But, somehow, I feel like that aloneliness can turn out to be your close friend when you are left only with loneliness. To me, it's like you either conquer it or waiting to be conquered by it. In a society bombarded with materialism, it is extremely difficult to resist all the materialistic temptations. Under such a circumstance, it is a blessing to have some time alone as it renders you an opportunity to clam you mind; what's more, to get rid of the superficial and shallow stuff so that you can see the essence of living. I used to feel that aloneliness is a crime because it only invites pity from others, which simply makes the person alone look even more pathetic. I used to feel very uncomfortable when I was walking alone eating alone and doing whatever alone. But, now, I find myself at ease whatever I need to do alone, I am not sure whether it is because I have been living like this for a long time.. I reckon that we all have our own ways of dealing with loneliness. However we'd better make sure that we adopt a good way to address loneliness due to the fact that there is no way for us to escape from loneliness in a information-explosion era.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (12 comments)

Reply Report voice_cd 2014-6-4 09:32
Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report teamkrejados 2014-6-4 10:21
There is a difference between loneliness and aloneness. Aloneness gives you a chance at introspection. Loneliness causes you to yearn for company, lights, excitement and noise.
Have you seen the movie Freedom Writers?
Reply Report Min1989 2014-6-4 11:00
teamkrejados: There is a difference between loneliness and aloneness. Aloneness gives you a chance at introspection. Loneliness causes you to yearn for company, lig ...
Thank you for letting me know that. I thought they were the same.

I haven't seen the movie. But since you brought it up, I think I might go and see that movie.
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-6-4 12:34
When you become a successful English teacher you will be explaining this common mistake! The plural of belief is NOT believes but beliefs. That is the noun. Only use believe and believes as the verb.

"Neither was I in the mood to hang out with anyone nor did I want to do anything meaningful. To put it mildly, I was idling my time away. In effect, I felt like I was a walking dead." STREWTH SPORT ..I would not want to spend a lot of time with you when you were on your own!  
Reply Report Min1989 2014-6-4 14:58
ColinSpeakman: When you become a successful English teacher you will be explaining this common mistake! The plural of belief is NOT believes but beliefs. That is the ...
Thank you for pointing this out. Yeah, I still have a lot to learn about this language. But, I think it is all right to make mistakes as along as we learn from them.
Reply Report Min1989 2014-6-4 15:09
ColinSpeakman: When you become a successful English teacher you will be explaining this common mistake! The plural of belief is NOT believes but beliefs. That is the ...
BTW, isn't it cool to be able to hang out with "walking dead".   . I seriously was soulless and hopeless during that winter break.
Reply Report WhitherAmerica 2014-6-5 03:08
Odd. The mainland international students i know here seem to be well adjusted. What state are u in?
Reply Report Min1989 2014-6-5 06:58
WhitherAmerica: Odd. The mainland international students i know here seem to be well adjusted. What state are u in?
NSW. They may look well-adjusted. But, deep down, you may not really know what they feel. Chinese international students here tend to stick to their own community to help them deal with aloneness or loneliness. What I am trying to say here is not aimed at Chinese international students. I  just think what we should make the most of the time when we are alone to better ourselves.
Reply Report csj478504919 2014-6-5 15:19
I don't know if the phrase 'at a blink' exists but it looks not correct to me. Instead, there is a phrase called 'in the blink of the eye', which is possibly what you mean.

And yes, loneliness is different from aloneness, but your previous title is more appealing to me since contradiction makes who we are. Your intention is not that, though.
Reply Report Min1989 2014-6-5 20:48
csj478504919: I don't know if the phrase 'at a blink' exists but it looks not correct to me. Instead, there is a phrase called 'in the blink of the eye', which is p ...
Thank you for letting me know that. I was trying to say that aloneness can be a blessing if you take advantage of it as in that way, loneliness will not seep into your life.
Reply Report jiewei798 2014-6-5 22:29
I'm impressed that you have such a passion for your life's dream! As for making friend in foreign countries, maybe only America, you are right in that students do not really make friends with their classmates. Instead, they make friends with people whom they have common interests so the best way to make friends and not be lonely is to join some clubs or school activities. However, it is also good to embrace being alone sometimes; I imagine it is quite a rare experience compared to being in China.
Reply Report Min1989 2014-6-6 10:51
jiewei798: I'm impressed that you have such a passion for your life's dream! As for making friend in foreign countries, maybe only America, you are right in that ...
Thanks. I think it is good to join some clubs and societies to make friends. Sometimes, I feel like the studying load is too much to do anything else. Especially when it comes to mid-term or final-term exams, you have to burn the midnight oil to make sure you can pass or get high scores. On campus of this university, I seldom see Chinese students on their own. They tend to always hang out their Chinese groups. Part of the reason is because a lot of Chinese students oh abroad to study commerce or business or finance. So it is highly likely they end up being each other's classmates.

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  • The Purpose of Reading 2018-4-12 13:45

    we have the same feeling about. reading,reading. really tells us a lot especially when welearn foreign languages.it. can help us to understand other. country's culture and customs.therefore,when we talk. in foreign languages.we. needn't worry about. making too. much mistakes.it also can enrich our life.let's enjoy reding

  • Why don't We Stand Out and Fight? 2018-4-4 14:14

    It is actually emotionally and mentally healthy to have nursing homes for old people in residential areas, and makes it easy for families to visit their elderly relations regularly.
    Death happens to everyone and it is stupid to hide it away. Death is not bad luck - it will happen to you and me.
    In some European countries there are homes for the elderly next to kindergartens, and everyone benefits from interacting with each other on a daily basis.
    The elderly benefit from interacting with children and keeps them mentally alert, whereas the young learn about death as a normal part of life.

    For a country that supposedly 'respects' their elders, China has a very superstitious attitude to death and dying.
    where i am from, the elderly are allowed and supported by family and state) to be independent and in their own homes.
    Where medical treatment is needed, residential homes allow the elderly appropriate facilities in towns and cities while their families can visit easily and local residents can interact with them.
    In addition, local communities benefit from being able to interact with these residents and the residents can still be part of a local community, not hidden away as something to be ashamed of or 'taboo'.

    Shame on China for such medieval superstitious attitudes regarding death.
    Does China 'respect' the elderly so much that they should be hidden away from people's lives?

    Do you want to be isolated and hidden away when you are old and your family don't want to or can't visit you?

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