Our guest writer today is Rachel Guerrero. Rachel graduated from Calvin in 2012. Since then, she has been blogging about her post-college adventures at http://www.therandomwritings.com. She and her husband, Angel, who graduated from Calvin in 2009 with a degree in Nursing, are preparing to move to China this summer.

 If you choose a major like Mandarin Chinese, you can expect to spend your college years hearing the question, “And what do you plan to do with that when you graduate?” more times than you can count. If you’re like me, you may also never really develop a firm answer to that question. I could come up with a variety of answers, but they changed nearly every time I was asked the question. I didn’t know what I was going to do with a B.A. in Mandarin Chinese, exactly, but I never doubted that that major was precisely the right one for me.
I graduated. I could stumble along in Chinese much better than the average Caucasian American. And I still had no plan for what job I was suited for. I interviewed with a teacher at a local high school about tutoring for their Mandarin Chinese program, but the opportunity fell through. On a whim, I decided to enroll in cosmetology school. What can I say but the infamous, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

It didn’t seem like a good idea by the time I was finished, but just over a year after graduating from college, I also had my cosmetology license, and now I could cut hair and chat in Mandarin at the same time (which, incidentally, I did several times when I had clients from Singapore show up).

And then my husband told me last fall, “I think God is calling us to move to Asia.” Immediately, I knew he was right. We felt completely at peace with giving up any semblance of the “American dream” we had attained and pursuing a new lifestyle overseas.

A lot of research, a few applications and recommendations and painful weeks and months of waiting for responses and paperwork later—we’re moving to China to teach English in July 2014.

And now I know why I spent 4 years majoring in Mandarin Chinese, only a couple of years late.

I’ve been contemplating recently why God couldn’t have placed this life path on my heart years ago, when I first started college, because then I could have had a good answer for everyone who asked “Why?” about my major. I wonder why God couldn’t have given my husband and I this dream together when we got married in 2010, so that we could have made the kind of decisions that would have adequately prepared us for this stage, so that we could have left on this journey to teaching in Asia as soon as I received my degree, instead of two years later.

There’s a big part of me that wants to ask “Why?” we got this calling seemingly ‘too late.’ It would have been nice to know this was coming a few  years ago. But I have a feeling that my “Why now?” question is very much like the “Why Mandarin Chinese?” question I was asked so many times years ago, in that  there really isn’t an answer for the question at the moment

Maybe someday the answer about why this timing is best will be made known to me. The Mandarin Chinese question was eventually answered, though it took years. Maybe the timing question will be answered someday. Or maybe it won’t.

I think the lesson I have to learn here is to view this little timing problem the same way I viewed my study of Mandarin Chinese. Sure, I didn’t know “Why?” at the time—but I knew for a fact that it was exactly what God had called me to do at that point in my life, so I did it.

I now know why I majored in Mandarin Chinese. In Fall 2014, not 2013, not 2012, I get to teach English in China and I get to put that bachelor’s degree in Mandarin Chinese to work on a daily basis, and I’m glad I had the faith to study the language even when I didn’t know why.

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