As the new school year draws closer, I have been reminiscing over when I first came to college.I remember every detail of my coming to school, and it amazes me how far I have come. I decided to share my story with you all in hopes that it will inspire someone out there who is about to go into college, or who is already in college.
I didn’t take my college applications seriously. I only wanted to go to one school(which I didn’t get into), and every other place was a second choice to me. I hated the process of applying, especially SATs because standardized tests are personally created by the devil. I didn’t study hard for my SATs as I couldn’t be bothered about whatever score I got. I made up this excuse in my head that i was focusing on my WAEC(an exit exam that high school seniors have to take) so as to make myself feel better about not caring for SATs. When I got into college I felt nothing. I was more excited about leaving high school than going to university. It wasn’t until I was about to enter the car with my mum on our way to the airport in Lagos that I realized that I hadn’t thought out this college situation.
On getting to California, I was swept up in the glamorous life of college purchasing. I was excited to see how my room would be setup, with all the colorful things I had bought for it.I was so excited to buy actual everyday clothes as I said bye-bye to the uniform lifestyle. It was a blissful life.
The day my mum and aunt dropped me at school, I was sooo scared. In high school, we had this tower, that you could see from quite a distance away from the school. Whenever we were going back to school after the holidays, the sight of that tower signified the impending gloom to come. The tower served as a timer for how much time you had left with your family, and the site of it always made me lose my appetite.That was the same feeling I had going to college but it was worse because at least in high school I had friends.
We got to international student orientation late.My mum had to leave all my stuff in the ISO office because I had to join them for a welcome activity. It wasn’t until I got back, and realized that I had to unpack all my belongings myself that the gravity of my situation really dawned on me.I was ALONE. I had never been alone in my life. I grew up with five siblings. I went to boarding school where I shared a room with like ten other people. I may have been lonely before that, but at least I wasn’t alone. The Nigerian in me kicked in, and I had to find friends.
I came into college as a Psychology major. I didn’t even realize that was what I had applied for.(remember I didn’t care about the application process) The first day of classes, whilst other first years where trying to awkwardly locate their classrooms, I was frantically emailing my advisor to know what classes exactly I should be taking. I was eventually able to get into my proper classes.
I write this story because we go into university with very high expectations, and you should.But just as with everything in life, you need to be flexible and re-adjust when need be. After my first month of college, I looked into transferring out. I would like to tell you that I went from disliking it to loving it but that’s a lie. To be honest, the only reason I stayed is because trying to transfer to another college as an international student is a long thing. E hard die! So when I realized that it wasn’t going to happen, I went ahead to make this place a conducive environment for me for the next four years.
I wish you the best. As the semester draws closer, I will continue to bring you some more tips, advice and hacks to the best of my ability. Ehn, I forgot to add. My research program is ending this week and I’m sad. I will do a post on what I learned through this program. I hope you all found this post helpful and educative.