Discovering the beauty of college; ❤ Shaw University ❤

❤ Marilyne Kamegne ❤

I always thought that graduating from high school was the hardest and happiest moment in life; many people have difficulties in passing this step and usually either take longer than the normal years to graduate or don’t even make it. I had this friend of mine who was 4 years older than me and was 2 classes ahead of me. He had a lot of difficulties academically and was failing classes until I finally met him. That year we finally graduated together and he was so happy to be actually able to graduate after so many years of failure. Being able to graduate without difficulties, I was proud of myself too. But then began the true life situation and steps, and the decisions making together with personal discoveries and strength.
Not only did I have to think about college, but I also had to figure out which are the best areas in which I could pursuit my education. Then my mom told me I had to study abroad. At the spot I was so happy because I would finally get my own room with my rules; but also I was sad thinking about my mom’s cooked meals that I loved so much especially her “eru” and “plantain pille” that I would miss so much, together with all those moments when my cousin would step in my room in the middle of the night, hugging me while telling how scared she is in her room and asking me if she could stay the night with me.
More so, I all the friends I had huge feelings for and knew I would not see them for so many years, I felt so sad about missing them. But then I had to visualize my new life as a college student, and in North Carolina. A sort of independent life I would start living when I get to my new college, living on campus and this mad me smile a little and think positively. Then I thought about my last days home with my mom, sisters and entire family. How I would memorably spend these days, thinking about my friends as well.
The day of my departure, we had a little “fete d’aurevoir” (goodbye meal) at home where all my family was present with my closest friends who also followed me to the airport. At the airport, I spent my last instants with my mom who, with my sister and cousins shared tears; that was a particularly sad moment for everyone. As I moved towards the plane, I knew that it was just me; no one in front and no one behind me.

Moving into my first day of class, it seemed so weird to me. Only that particular day after all my classes, did I realize that Shaw University is an HBCU (Historically Black College and University). That was to be my new life with a new educational system, new faces and new life style. My first weeks at Shaw were the hardest ones so far; first because I had to get used to the new climate, and also because of the American accent which has given me a hard time.
After a number of weeks, I was getting well with the environment, making new friends and more over getting good grades in classes. Getting to some places like downtown, the mall, restaurants with friends also helped me in the transitional phases. Then I understood a very important thing about me that will help me in every life situation; I learned that I can adapt myself to every situation I am subject to in any environment.
Getting to Undergraduate school as a student athlete, the challenge became even bigger, and still is. I get to think about my family’s goal, as well as my goals, all together with the school’s expectations. At some moments I use to feel like I won’t be able to make it, but whenever I talk to my mom on the


phone she never fails to remind me how much she believes in me and she always encourages me. Talking to her always gives me the strength I need to achieve my goals. I know I still have a lot to learn in life and keeping this in mind will always permit me to learn from whomever and move forward.

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