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From China to Halifax

Most people who are seniors in high school have not done much traveling, but Alvina Huang is not most people.

Huang’s first year at Halifax County High School is as a senior.

She was born and raised in China and moved to the United States her freshman year. She has lived in New York, California and most recently Texas, when she decided to move to Halifax County.

“I moved here from Texas, and my uncle lives here who is extremely nice to me. I want to show my appreciation to him,” she said.
Huang enjoys her life living independently here in Halifax County.

“I really like this little town. It is quite and peaceful. I used to live in Texas, and I didn’t like it there. My purpose is to try and finish my last year of high school,” Huang said of her stay here.

And she has big dreams for her future.

“I plan on going to college for sure, and I plan on majoring in English, and I might go into journalism.”

She has been applying to a number of top colleges including the University of Virginia, Duke University, New York University and several other top colleges in New York and California.

She said she hopes to be accepted to a college in either California or New York because they are more liberal.

After college, Huang wants to join the Peace Corps and work in Third World countries where she wants to teach.

“I was influenced by a biology teacher from California. Sometimes I look at things negatively, so I would like to devote myself to helping others instead of getting a job and work and worry about getting promoted and spend the rest of my life like that,” Huang added.

Huang has a backup plan in case she does not get into the Peace Corps, and that plan is to write.

Huang is unique in another way because she lives independently from family.

“I think many teenagers would love to live by themselves. When I told others that I lived by myself they were jealous of me,” said Huang.

“If you are a person like me who likes to meditate and likes to think all the time, it’s good to live by yourself, but I do get homesick all the time, and I miss my mom,” she said.

When comparing the education system to China and the United States, Huang said, “Academics are more important (in China) than sports or any other things.”

She also said schools in China are harder than schools here.

“Every day in school I hear people talking about this is hard, and the teacher gives out this assignment that is ridiculous, and we can’t finish that. If they had to go to school in China, they would love it here. Teachers in China try to make everyone nerds, instead of really making them learn. I think students in China are not really learning, they are in school because they have to be.

“I have friends in China who have to live at the school because they do not have time to go home and do their work. They do go home on the weekend, but they have to be back early Sunday,” she said.

Throughout Huang’s extensively traveled high school career, she has participated in a number of clubs and teams including speech and debate team, honor band, French club and Mandarin club.

“It really is a great thing to work with all these people in these activities because I never experienced that while I was in China,” she added.

At HCHS she is a member of a book club and also part of the Poetry Out Loud team.

“When I was in Texas I was on the speech and debate team, and I did poetry, and I won first place, so after I heard about Poetry Out Loud here, I was like why not, so I joined it,” Huang said.

Huang was influenced by her culture on her choice of poem for the poetry team.

“The poem is called ‘Ways Of Talking,’ and it is written by a Chinese writer, who experienced the Chinese culture revolution.

“I really believe in freedom of speech. I think it’s really important,” she added.

When not applying to colleges or participating in club activities, Huang enjoys going to Danville with her friends to the movies and mall. She also enjoys black and white movies, journaling and reading.

“I love to read John Steinbeck,” she said.

She is a huge fan of music.

“I love music, and I love to play the piano. I played the xylophone back in Texas.”

Huang has moved around a lot over her lifetime, and she has learned to appreciate many things that most people overlook.

“I have been moving around for so many years, and every time I move to a new place, people will want to know where I am from, and if I say ‘I am from California’ they will say ‘I love California,’ and apparently they do not like where they are. I just want people to appreciate where they are because after they move to a new place, it may not be as good as they think,” added Huang.