Traveling to RIT, I boarded a plane to Rochester, Minnesota.
Ethelia in a library

In my freshman year, I travelled to the U.S. from Hong Kong alone. Everything was going according to plan until I arrived in Rochester, Minnesota and realized that RIT in Rochester, New York was over 1,000 miles away.

I panicked and called my parents in tears but of course, they couldn’t help me. I was so mad at myself for not being more careful and getting myself into this situation.

When I was done crying, I picked myself up and started figuring out what to do. I am usually not comfortable asking for help, but I pushed myself to talk to the airport staff. They helped me find a flight to Rochester, NY the next day and a hotel for the night. The next morning I was on my way back to RIT.

I learned so many things from this experience. Of course, now I know the importance of double-checking tickets and being aware of details such as state abbreviations. However, I also learned that it is okay to ask for help. The experience made me realize there is no shame in needing assistance. Sometimes you cannot fix a problem by yourself and you need to reach out for help.


Undergraduate from Hong Kong