STUDY ABROAD ALUMNI STORY

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Why did you decide to study abroad?

I just like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mr. Miller. Many young women go through a phase where we don’t know what’s up and what’s down in terms of how we need to operate as women. Ninety-nine percent of the time we blame it on, ‘daddy issues’, lack of self-leadership, heart breaks, or trust issues. I agree that all of these play a part and sometimes it’s so many things to figure out in our millennial years that we don’t have that moment of clarity right away. I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say us I mean females without a male figure we need them to help us reassess decisions we make. When I say male figure I don’t mean your male best friend or “bestie”, not your homies that you hang out up with. Although we may go to them from time to time, I mean someone who has experience with life and that can actually share wisdom.
2017 was my graduating year. I mentally planned for it to be a regular year just like any other. I’d walk across the stage May 13th, 2017 with my peers I started my journey with. I had no plans as to what job I was going inquire after graduating nor did I figure out what was my ultimate career goal was. I just figured I’d just cross that bridge when I got there. I could say, I was in no rush to finish my undergrad year. Nevertheless, I was going through with it anyway. This was pretty extreme for me, even as a thought considering my ethical values for my academics (i.e. I’d wear the same shirt to class every day before worrying about anything before my education.) (Never made C’s before this past semester) which I think is pretty serious.
Of course, things never go as planned, my first semester back of my senior year began August 2016 and I was immediately put to test. August 8th I’d fallen victim to a sexual assault, I always heard girls tell stories about situations like this and I have said in my head “if that was me I would have done this”, or that could have never been me! But as the book of proverbs says “being in a situation and listening to another person’s testimony are two different things.” To fast forward, I neglected to acknowledge the situation which slowly deteriorated my inner light. This created a domino effect on my life and brought me to a point where I questioned if I was even ready to step into the real world. Without acquiring self-respect, or not knowing what my value was. This kind of self-value was deeper than deciding whether or not I should go back to a cheating ex. I feel like this was a test from God to see if I could earn what he had in store for me. If I went the right path he would have a pot of gold waiting for me at the end of it all, because what I know for sure that every difficult moment has its silver lining.
Mr. Miller who is the resident’s life director at my school had a genuine concern and questioned my decision making in this, he made me reevaluate my whole life. His concern first came from a professional aspect but I also sensed his parental concerns for the decisions I made. Females like myself who lacked a father figure growing up, do not have all of their marbles. Some of us slack in area others are strong in and vice versa. I needed that father figure at that moment because in the moment he gave me that moment of clarity, for a struggle I was wearing and constantly debated if what I was doing was right. Not only the young men but also women should all take a lesson from Mr. Miller and think in terms of when you become a parent. Ask yourself, what ethical values do you want to instill in your children? Should you be practicing them now? And make sure you are the parent you want to be now so, when that time comes you moral and ethics are In the right place.
Not only has this situation strengthened my moral and ethical values, but it has rerouted my life in ways I would have never imagined. Many sleepless nights turned into productive searches for scholarships and study abroad programs while on the phone with my homegirl Nicole Boetang encouraging me every step of the way. I have always wanted to study abroad but, the motivation for upholding my academics while prowling for the right study abroad program and the responsibility that came along– was not there. This time around it was different I was invincible, surrounded by doubt, unloyalty, and hypocrites I overcame it, I earned a 5,000 scholarship in addition to flights covering majority of my difficulty. I worked hard, not to gloat but I think I worked twice as hard than others because not only did I apply in the midst of my difficulties but what was most impressive was me meeting all the deadlines. I applied for Semester At Sea in October and we embarked in January.

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