By Julio Sanchez
Badminton player Lingxuan Gu is setting her sights on another adventure in the fall semester when she transfers to the University of California, Berkeley.
Gu, or her preferred name “Cathy,” was born and raised in Beijing, China where she lived with her family until she moved to the United States at the age of 18.
Even though she left her home and family, Gu said that she makes sure to visit and stay with her family in China every opportunity that she gets during breaks between semesters.
Soon after moving, she said that she found out that her expectations of life in America were more fantasy than reality.
“It’s a little bit different,” said Gu, “It’s not as crowded. Where I lived, anywhere anytime, there would always be people walking. When I thought of America, I used to think it was going to be like New York and Downtown Los Angeles, but it’s not.”
She said that although she was taught English since primary school, she only knew how to read and write. She still felt the language barrier. She found it difficult to actually communicate with people.
Throughout her time in America, she listened attentively to the way her professors would speak to the students and also listened to the way her peers would talk to each other.
Gu said that she did not make the move to America alone.
She said that she and several of her friends traveled together and that since then, she has had much support from her friends in pursuing her goals and eventually they the became reason why she joined the badminton team at East Los Angeles College.
She said that she is very close with her friends.
She got accepted to the University of California, Los Angeles, but prefers to attend UC Berkeley in order to continue her educational goal as a statistics major and also to transfer to the same school as her friends.
“I got UCLA’s offer first. Then all my best friends got offers to go to Berkeley and I was afraid that I couldn’t go with them,” said Gu,
“Berkeley also has a higher major rate for statistics, so when I got the offer, I was really excited. I just decided to go to UC Berkeley and never thought about UCLA again.”
Aside from being a full-time student and playing for the badminton team, she also works for the Mathematics Supplemental Instruction Program.
Eva, who is a friend of Gu and the program assistant for the Mesa Program, said that Gu is a good-hearted person who has the best intentions for everyone. She did not provide her last name.
“Cathy is a hard worker and hopes that everyone asks her questions so that they can get good grades,” Eva said.
“She gets worried when students don’t show up or when they drop their classes. She wishes that she can always do more to help,” Gu said.
Gu is one of the individual players that will go to the Badminton State Competition. She said that she is more excited than nervous and hopes for the best.
More importantly, she said that she will enjoy and grow from the experience no matter what the results may be.