I just wanted to go home.
Mariam walking on campus on a fall day

During my first semester at RIT I missed my family so much that I just wanted to go home. Then, as the semester went on, I started not feeling well which made my homesickness even worse. Three weeks before finals I was in terrible pain and I found out I needed gallbladder surgery!

I was so scared. I couldn’t imagine going through this experience alone. How could I do this?

I went to the Center for Religious Life and received so much support and encouragement. During those days it helped to have someone to talk to who could help me keep things in perspective.

I made it through the surgery and successfully completed the semester. After all the pain, stress, and tears were over, I realized two things. First, I understand the real meaning of compassion now because of the friends at RIT who helped me. It made me want to be a person who helps others. Second, I know I am a much stronger person than I ever thought I was. I am going to graduate soon and this experience has made me more confident about handling what will happen in the future.


Graduate student from the Dominican Republic