My First Impression of Columbus — Exciting, Anxious, and Growing up

I have too many things to remember in the first month in this totally new country. However, I would like to begin my first of my observations: my first impression of Columbus.

After 20-hours of a tiring journey, I finally got to CMH. When I saw my friend who was also my temporary host, I nearly cried. I was so nervous during the whole plane journey because my suitcase was opened and checked at every checkpoint. As a result, I was worried about whether I accidentally brought some forbidden stuff and would be sent to some kind of police. Dragging my tiny body and my big heavy suitcases, I rushed into my friend’s arms directly and yelled “I am here!” When I saw his warm smile, I immediately felt less nervous.

Because of the time difference, I woke up extremely early the next morning and began my first substantial day in Columbus. Living in a big city in China, such as Beijing, the most images you see daily are thousands of people. No matter in banks, in hospitals, in stores or even on the road, my interest is in observing people’s different faces and expressions since other “non human” things are blocked by crowds of people. But, here, I can see many other things besides people. That is the advantage of a smaller population. I pay more attention to the strangely shaped vehicles and the various architectures. For example, I cannot see high buildings here in Columbus despite being in downtown, which is totally different from that in China. Every store has its own design style for its shop signs, interior layout, decoration, etc. Chase’s sales department in High Street is my favorite. The walls with weathered bricks and the specially constructed stairs make it like a castle.

The air here is very clear/clean and this is the reason why sunshine is so strong in Columbus. Although, in some days, the weather would change without warning, I enjoy the weather here. You can never imagine after walking outside, your shoes will be as clean as before you went out in Beijing. But here, it’s true. No dust, no pollution. The most exciting thing here is that you can see many kinds of little animals around you. Squirrels are the most common animal that you can see on campus or throughout the local community. I spent a whole afternoon sitting on the bench in front of my apartment to enjoy the sunshine and watch squirrels play. I saw one squirrel running after another around the lawn for countless times just because the “chaser” wanted to get his pine nut back. Another curious little squirrel climbed up to the top of a truck and looked around with one foot stepped on railing. Also, some other squirrels were not high on finding pine nuts. They were just fooling around on the road and leisurely cleaning their fur. After the sun went down, I started to go back to my apartment. Just before I open the building’s door, I noticed that some little things were flashing. At that moment, I was surrounded by many real fire flies that I had never seen before. It felt like I was in a fairy tale. Besides squirrels and fire flies, I also saw a raccoon family. At first glance, I thought they were wild cats, but I was stunned when they came close to me. How beautiful their faces are! Suddenly, an article called “Lions and Tigers and Bears” (P366, Contemporary College English—Intensive Reading 4) jumped into my mind. At that moment, I could understand why the author adored nature that much when he received the “gift” from raccoons. I love the relaxed life here!

Like everybody else when they first arrived here, I was very excited to see so many different things. But at the same time, I was also very anxious because I knew nothing about here before. I didn’t know how to get a phone and bank account set up. I didn’t know how to go to campus and go back home without friends’ cars. I didn’t know whether I could speak in a second language successfully. A lot of “I didn’t knows.” But people can and will learn and grow up in a challenging environment; I am not an exception. So thanks to all the excitement and tension and loneliness, I learned how to do things all by myself and how to help others. I grew up a lot in the last month! And I believe everything will be fine here.

Downtown Columbus, Ohio


1 Response to “My First Impression of Columbus — Exciting, Anxious, and Growing up”


  1. 1 Liz September 29, 2011 at 9:21 am

    It is great to read your first impressions of Columbus! I am someone who has lived in Ohio all my life and your post was a reminder that I take for granted the simple things around me such as squirrels and fire flies.

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