The global pandemic changed the life of Yan, a Chinese student admitted to Duke University in 2020. Instead of traveling to Durham and enjoying her first year in college, Yan was trapped in China because of closed embassies and banned international flights. She was forced to redesign her life. Taking the advantage that Duke classes being online, Yan began to travel, or “drift” in her word, all over the place. With an adventurous mind, she sought to improve her education quality and campus experience so that they would be comparable to those at Duke. In this project, I documented Yan’s second “drifting” semester with my camera.

Yan’s strong personality makes this story a unique and incomparable one. However, I would also call her story a miniature of this generation, those who worked hard to find their way in a different world.