Monday, April 1, 2013

Should I Go...or Should I Stay?


By Kimberly Lowe


I tore the Humber envelope with bated breath and  hands visibly trembling. Did I? I didn’t? “Yes, I got in!” I shrieked. The mauled envelope was, by now, on the floor while I held my future ( in bold prints) in my hands. 

It’s been two years since I’ve been at Humber in the Media Communications program. I started in 2011, wide –eyed and with great expectations. I arrived the summer before I started and began making preparations for the new term by creating my own personal ‘game- plan for success’. This included taking a tour of the campus, mapping out my route and meeting with the coordinator of my program.

As the summer wound down and the semester started I felt confident that I had crossed the awkward hurdle of getting familiar on the first day. Orientation went by like a whirlwind and I hoped I’d remember at least one of the people I met during ‘Meet and Greet'- (I never remember names!). I also used the opportunity to introduce myself to the staff of the International Centre as a future student and a possible work-study candidate. It worked! I landed a job shortly after as an Ambassador.
Home Sweet Home…

You’re never quite prepared for the roller coaster of experiences (or emotions) that come with being an international student. Early adapters learn quite quickly that the key to surviving in Canada, and in any foreign country is finding a strong support base and relationships that count.

I’ve often wondered if I’m alone in my struggles to adapt. I’m still peeved by old man winter pinching my cheeks with his frosty fingers; the layers of long johns, trousers, blouses, jackets and boots I straddle myself with and then peel off…exhausted. And, the evenings I go home after a long day of school and work to a miniature room with a bed and all my belongings crammed into a corner.

Behind the pictures with the wide grins and proud poses in front of the CN Tower, Wonderland…and (even) Walmart lurks a longing for the things that are familiar. Home.

Of friends and acquaintances…

I’ve met some of the most remarkable people at Humber from which I’ve drawn motivation and inspiration (and a few I may have to perform exorcisms to forget). The International Centre’s Diane DuChemin and my coordinator, Lynne Thomas, have both impacted my life profoundly with their unbridled compassion for others and love for what they do. I could always rely on them to put out the fires that flared up occasionally during the semesters.

Over the two years I’ve also found lasting friendships with my classmates, Gina and Seine who’ve made learning more than a classroom experience.

 I’ve skipped through hoops, hurdles and some near misses …and still kept the grades up. Some I’ve attributed to luck but for the most part it’s been sheer hard work and determination. As with any major mete you do get out what you put in! Now that I am nearing the finals, I look back with a greater sense of achievement and appreciation for the struggles that have made this  uniquely my Humber experience.So will I stay or will I go? Keep reading or you'll never know...

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