One year ago today, I woke up in a hotel room in Virginia, got on a bus that took me to downtown Washington, D.C., took an oath, and started a career in the Foreign Service.

This morning, I woke up in my apartment in China, walked to the U.S. Consulate in Shenyang, and started my day as a consular officer.

I have adjudicated over 10,000 visa applications in the eight months that I’ve been in China. I’ve talked with ordinary people, met with government officials, given speeches, and represented my country.

Holy cow. What a year it’s been. And it’s only just started.

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