It is scary to think about it--if I didn't decide to attend Chiang Mai University back when I was turning 17, I wouldn't have become who I am today.
As I've just turned 30 several days back, jeez, I look back at my life during these past three decades, my college life in Chiang Mai beats them all. Every bit of happiness, success or even disappointments have made me who I am and who I have become today. I grew up in the city, yet I feel that I didn't experience life as much as the time I "actually" "really" growing up in Chiang Mai. My early years in gradeschool, all my childhood friends have always been the same group of people. I have had the same friends since I was 4 years old through my teen in highschool--they are all the same people whom I saw five days a week. We all come from the same background. We all have been exposed to the same thing, the same society and value. That took me about 16 years to realize how boring that was and to find out there are actually something outside the box. That was when I arrived to Chiang Mai--unvoluntarily. I have met people of all kind of backgrounds. It was amazing. Too bad I don't have an actually of me running up hill to Doi Suthep handy, but (see the picture) this activity (rup-nong-kuen-doi) is one of the very first activities CMU students have to experience. It is tiring, but extremely fun. You make lots of friends and learn to do things as team works. At the end of the day, I remember, our faculty decided to camp up the hill and stayed overnight in a freezing cold/ raining/ nasty weather. We camped and got to know each other that night, and since then, stories began. I looked back at my time in Chiang Mai and never once want to trade it with anything. It was priceless. Several years have gone by, I have never experienced anything close to what I had back in school. That was where I learned to grow up and compromise. I met my very first crush there, love, best friends and experiences that I cannot find it anywhere else.