I was lying on the hospital bed, smelling bleach; all I could hear was the sound of silence and the sobs of my mother. The doctors had just drilled my pelvis and took a tube of my bone marrow for medical tests. Yes, there were only two possibilities for me: typhoid fever or leukemia—meaning I could live or die. Given the symptoms I had, the final judgment would depend upon the result of the marrow test. That’s why my mother was weeping next to me and my father was smoking two packs of cigarettes everyday outside the ward.
That was 3 o’clock on a sunny afternoon. Normally at this time, I should either be in the classroom or the soccer field. But I couldn’t stop my bleeding nose; I couldn’t get my temperature back to normal. There was an empty bed under the window, and I was unwilling to look at it because the old guy in that bed had passed away two days ago. I looked out that window; there were so many trees; the sun shone on the leaves, and there was breeze gently swaying the leaves, like a bunch of green elves dancing. I had never seen such a beautiful scene in my 23 years life. It was so beautiful I wanted to cry. But I did not cry; I was smiling. If I lived, I would cherish my life and live like a champion.
Yes, cherish my life. I cannot extend it, but I believe that I can expand it. One week later, the medical test confirmed typhoid fever, not cancer. At that moment, I smiled with tears in my eyes. Then I decided I would not spend all my life in China and bury my head in the fast growing economy and material secular world. No matter how difficult, I will go somewhere other than China. I worked hard. I finished my undergraduate degree and got my master’s in law and worked as an international student counsel in my university in China. After all these years of pursuing and dreaming, I faced the most difficult choice in my life. I could use the money I saved with my family’s assistance, to buy a decent house in my city and get married, or I could use that money to study abroad. The decision was very easy for me to make, knowing what I wanted. So I gave up the house and applied to law school in America.
Here I am, at the age of 28, sitting in the classroom of the first American law school—the College of William & Mary. There is nothing in this world that gives such great joy as making my dreams become true. I feel heroic felling preparing for this next phase of my life. I know I deserve it; I can do better; I can go further. Just believe and we will live as our own champion and tomorrow will be better.
Vincent Yang is a 1L at the Law School. Hailing from Sichuan Province, China, Vincent studied Law at Southwest Jiaotong University. In addition to his scholarly pursuits, he enjoys music and soccer.