Hong Kong, London and Nashville

September 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Midnight”, “Nashville”, and “alternate self-history”, I can’t help feeling how unexpected this combination is. When I was in high school four year ago, I seldom went to bed beyond midnight. Three years ago, wandering off the streets in downtown Hong Kong andLondon, I couldn’t point out Nashvilleon the map. One month ago, I still held strongly the belief of absolute reality and existence. By accident or by plan, life is diverted into different paths more often than I could ever predict.

After the age that I began to incorporate rationality into decision-making, I tried to manage risks and draw a foreseeable prospect for myself before taking any action. However, as an old Asian proverb says: one never catches up with the pace of change. Once you makes a move, a casual chain is created without rest. However, when one is unconscious about all those implications and potential outcomes and undecided about the next step, which is similar to the Shrodinger’s cat without human observation or a multi-variable function that still has several free dimensions, a set of possible outcomes are floating in the air, each with a potential to be the reality. Even if one makes a final call and temporarily settles all variables, he or she only reaches an instant reality that will be changed in the next second. And there will always be an impulse for people to think back on what would happen if they had chosen the other path at the bifurcation point. As reality might not be a function of time, it is beneficial to embrace and evaluate all possibilities.

What if I chose to stay at Hong Kong or I didn’t find my passport inLondon? (I lost my passport on a taxi inLondonand that was given back by the driver to the front desk of my hotel.) Would I find life more adventurous than coming to Vanderbilt? Would it sound a little absurd that an 18-year-old living inEuropewithout passport? If I stayed withHong KongUniversitywith the biology major, would that drive me crazy within four years? But what if? What if I was kept atLondonand missed the flight back toHong Kong, which would then lead to my absence from SAT test? In that case my only option would be to stay atHong Kongand to begin my biologist career. It is actually quite amusing seeing myself capable of dealing with details in biology which was my weakest subject in high school and something that I still don’t dare touch again today. Would that ever happen that I get biology straightened out in my mind? I somewhat believe so, given the environment needed and excellent faculty in biology department of HKU.

But the source that I draw true faith from about my potential to be a biology student is less concrete than classmates, professors or lectures. If you are truly fearful of something, in a parallel world, you may get the chance of liking it. People are more often struggling in the middle zone, accompanied by possibilities in both directions. You may choose to turn right at the nth time and turn left at (n+1)th time. Before finalizing your decision, no one can tell which direction you are going.

Yijing S.

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