Aug 2014
Lauren Florea

I Can Never Escape From School


What you do matters but why you do it matters so much more.

When I graduated from undergrad three months ago, I swore that I would not be stepping into another classroom for several years at least, if ever. I was glad to be graduating because even though the future was uncertain, I was ready to move on from the structure and homework that comes with school. I felt it must be time to finally do something different.

Now here I am working at a high school, and it’s back to school I go. And I’m glad to be going back.

Dulwich International High School Suzhou isn’t the same as my school experience at all. For one, the school is run on the British system. This has required me to become accustomed to understanding terms and acronyms such as IGCSE, A levels, and how that translates to US and other world universities. (They also have a house system which makes my inner Harry Potter obsession extremely happy.) The second is that these kids are smart. They want to go to international universities, and they want to be the best. Most are much better well behaved then the classes I was used to in the states. As classes began this week and I have started to meet the kids, I am impressed by their dedication and drive for education. And even though I am in China and it’s a different situation, these kids are teenagers just like I was once, and I recognize the same dreams I had; to get into a good school, to further my education, and to work toward the future I wanted.

I took this internship opportunity because when I heard about it, I thought this sounded like a great opportunity for me. After spending time with my co-workers and starting to get to know these kids, I’m realizing that this experience is not just about me. I am here to gain work experience, yes, but my main purpose here is to help these kids get into the best universities and meet their goals. I like the work I’m doing and believe in the mission of the school, and that makes me feel like I am where I am supposed to be right now, that I have a reason to wake up every morning, and that what I am doing has a purpose. I’ve always been fearful of falling into a career I wouldn’t like or not finding a good fit, but I have to say that I love what I am doing right now and knowing it matters makes it even better.