Monday, September 22, 2014

From Nigeria To Canada: Life Away From Home

Rose, originally from Nigeria, is a second-year student in Humber’s Pharmacy Technician program. Since August 2014, She has also worked as a student ambassador through the Humber International Centre.

For some people, life away from home is easy. For me, it was a big step. There were a lot of decisions to make, all involving mixed feelings of fear, excitement, and pain. 

Leaving home was difficult, because I was leaving behind the people who made me happy. I had to focus on my goal of a quality education at Humber College. I knew it would not be easy, as I was used to the way life was at home.

In September 2013, I got to Canada after classes had already started, and that deepened the fear I had. I started class the day after I arrived, seriously jetlagged. I had missed orientation, and I did not know my way around the campus. The only place I knew was the International Centre. Every day I had to get to the International Centre before I could trace my way to class. In order to get to class early, I needed to be in school earlier, which was the least of my problems. I couldn’t eat the food here because it was different from what I was used to. The weather was also becoming cold because it was fall. I was not prepared for the change.

I would call my sisters back home, and cry out my heart. I would be on the bus and the tears would roll down my eyes. I had unfinished assignments due, and I was dropped from my COMM class because I was late, so I was put in the Saturday classes. I was in school every day except on Sundays.

In all, though, I was one lucky girl, because I had the best instructors who understood me and what I was going through. They were patient and allowed me to work according to my pace. I had the International Centre staff that was always there with arms opened wide to embrace and answer my numerous questions. (I had millions to ask). They made me feel at home. I made friends quickly and was able to get over the most of my feelings. It was so hard getting to school during winter, because the weather was freezing cold. I did not want to get out of bed most of the time, but when I remembered the assignments due I was up in a flash. With everything going on around me, I did not realize how the time flew because it went by quickly, and in four months, I was done with my first semester. Wow, I survived it all; I was more excited because I was in good academic standing.

Then Christmas came, and I was on holiday. I got the rest I so desired. I could then see that the snow was so beautiful. I loved the environment. It was so peaceful. Even after the school had closed for the year, the International Centre still had events planned. All through the semester, it was one event after the other. From climbing the CN tower, to visiting Canada’s Wonderland, and a hockey game, there was so much to do. I couldn’t keep up with the activities! The Holiday Dinner was to die for! It was so much fun.

Rose with Gabriela (Mexico) at Wasaga Beach in August 2014
The holiday slipped by and in January when school resumed I was more than ready to return. It was a lot easier when I returned; I was no longer lost on campus. (I knew my way around). It was like fitting into a pair of comfy shoes. The International Centre still had the same qualities, but now I had fewer questions to ask. I was so excited about my choice of college. I was sure it is the best decision I made. I miss home, but don’t regret leaving. I found a new home with the people who loved me even before they met me.
Now, I laugh at myself for crying like a baby in the past. In the end, life away from home is not so difficult when you are in the right place with the right people.

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