True Alien

By
I was certainly like a heroine of a love story that night. I believed people who cried without reason on rainy days only existed in novels, that only some eccentric people who do not have friends felt isolation. But on that night (coincidentally a rainy night), I cried and cried on my bed due to unbearable loneliness.

That morning, I had gone to the school psychologist’s office with heavy steps. It was about my term grades, which were far lower than I had expected. For an hour in her office, I felt as though I was talking to an answering machine, one that repeatedly said, “But your grade is still fine.” I trudged back to my dorm to call my parents.
Though my parents are strict and sometimes too strict, they are dependable. So I breathed deeply and dialed my parents, eager for their comfort. I told them every detail of my school life and finally of my grades. Against my hope, however, my mother scolded me for my low grades. To her, I am incredibly smart, so she assumes any low grades are due to my not working hard enough.
“I told you to study hard!” she said. I had only wanted some simple sentiments to make me feel better; I had only wasted my time and gotten a scolding.

Studying abroad had turned me into an alien. In movies, aliens have a fortunate ability to translate all languages. But in reality, true aliens, like me, don’t have this superpower. I fight every day to survive and succeed in my battle with English, but the psychologist was insensitive to my passion, and my mom was unable to know my life in my different world. If my parents didn’t understand me, then who would? I was at a dead end.
I spent next day in the Health Center too sad and lonely to go to classes. After dark, I walked back to my dorm, dragging feet. When I entered my dorm room, my roommate handed me a bowl of soup.
“Um. . . . If you need any help, feel free to talk to me,” she said. Her words and her soup warmed my heart.

It might seem like I was just upset over something minor, low grades. But I had seen that my life was broken, that the gap between my parents and me would never close. I was so lonely. But still, I had those who encouraged me. I was blind not to see my friends who had always helped me. I wasn’t alone, after all.

After that horrible mid-winter bad-grade slump, I began to take great care of new students in my dorm, especially international students who might experience the same issues I had. If loneliness ever challenges me again, I am sure I can knock it down. Maybe next time, I will even warm the soup for someone else.





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