A lot of people ask why I am so passionate about health ,migrants and cultural sensitivity. There is a saying that goes ” experience is the best teacher.” My experience as an immigrant is what motivates me to help others. It is very hard to understand someone’s struggle if you have not been through it.
17 years old, hopped on a plane ALONE. Said good bye to my parents, teary eyed but somehow hopeful that the new life I was about to live in America will be great. I arrived at the airport, I breathed in the American air. I muttered to myself “well America, am back again.” I was enjoying my new found freedom from my parents, but like they say “freedom is overrated”
Few weeks into my first semester of college I HATED the school and was very unhappy with my life in that moment. A mixture of things made be sad like being homesick. Honestly, I was struggling. I wasn’t sure who I was really or where exactly I fitted in now. I was lost. I had friends but they couldn’t understand. The other Nigerian immigrants were nice but I just could not connect with them because we wanted different things in life. As a rule of thumb I politely distance myself from people who are intentionally living in a way that doesn’t honor God, themselves or others.
In secondary school, I was a pretty smart kid. I did my homework, studied and made sure I kept the company of smart kids. All of a sudden I found myself struggling to pass tests at my American college. Not because I didn’t understand the work but because I didn’t understand how to take a test in America. The test taking methods are different. (will explain that in another article)
The moment hell broke loose for me was not when I was lonely or homesick or frustrated or when I gained a ton of weight or when I had amenorrhea. Nope, the moment hell broke was when I was called to the international office because they had not received my tuition and they were threating to pull me out of classes. Far away from home. away from my parents, away from all that provide me comfort. 17 years old trying to find my way through a situation I had never been in. Hell broke because I have never been so angry and scared at the same time, so vulnerable and frustrated. The ripple effects of what that will cause is what scared me the most: my visa, loosing the half scholarship, my legal status, I could not work as an F1, where will I stay if I was kicked off campus, will I be homeless? how will I eat? how will I survive? how will I call my parents?
So trust me dear Migrant when I say I UNDERSTAND what you are going through. I have seen it all! Guess what?? I made it through, I survived it. God sent so many people to help me and guide me. Please let this encourage you. YOU WILL MAKE IT THROUGH. I don’t know how, but am a living proof that you will be just fine.
Hugs and kisses