Pipe Dream spoke with Yiqing Lu, a junior majoring in linguistics and an international student from China. Yiqing hopes to be an international interpreter for China one day. She participates in volunteer work and has an autobiographical website where she recounts the struggles and experiences of her life. She discusses how learning to accept herself and overcome these personal struggles inspired her TEDxBinghamtonUniversity talk and hopes her story will inspire her audience as well. This interview had been edited for length and clarity.
Pipe Dream: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Yiqing Lu: “I like to participate in different voluntary activities in my spare time because I find that I can always reap a sincere return when I truly give. Also, I like to discover a different world with my own eye. So I like to record my story. I have an autobiographical website in China. There, I told a lot of my own stories, my own experiences and my own opinions. I really wish that my voice can be heard by more people.”
PD: What inspired your talk?
YL: “I’m a sentimental person. In the process of growing up, I encountered a lot of frustrations, and I learned a lot from those frustrations. I had moments of struggle, but in the end, I became stronger and gained something new from these. In middle school, I experienced campus bullying, which had a great impact on my personality. Last year I was diagnosed with a neurotic eating disorder. All the time I’ve been suffering from bulimia and vomiting. All of these experiences have made me fall into depression. It’s also such experiences that make me begin to understand that I need to accept myself and reconcile with myself. That’s the inspiration for my talk.”
PD: Why did you decide to get involved with TEDxBinghamtonUniversity?
YL: “I admire TEDx because it brings the spirit of TED, which is ‘ideas worth spreading,’ to local communities around the globe. I very much agree with this view. Everyone will have different experiences and have different ideas. Only when these ideas are shared and inspired can they create more meaningful things. From my personal point of view, I’ve always wanted my voice to be heard by more people. I hope that some of my experiences and opinions can help others. I firmly believe that I am not only on behalf of myself but also on behalf of many people like me. Therefore, my voice is the voice of thousands of people. It’s a very meaningful thing.”
PD: What do you hope the audience takes away from your talk?
YL: “I’m very grateful that someone would like to sit down and listen to my story. If you have the same experience as me, then I hope you can feel the strength and be encouraged after listening to this speech. You are not alone. Someone understands your pain and hopes you can become strong. If you don’t have these experiences, you can also learn to accept yourself better. Everyone will encounter different difficulties, but we all need to learn to be stronger and get along well with ourselves. I hope everyone can be happy and brave.”