I was thrilled to come to RIT and the United States. The prospect of living and studying here in a multi-cultural environment and learning about ASL and Deaf culture was all so exciting! When I got here, though, I had to live miles away from campus with a roommate who was almost never home. I was also in classes with mostly hearing students and had limited opportunities to interact with other deaf students. My initial sentiments of happiness and excitement gave way to feelings of gloom, uncertainty, loneliness, isolation, and homesickness.
At the end of my first semester, I decided that enough was enough and that I had to do something. I started to look for opportunities that would help me to meet more people. Through CRU and Rochester Global Connections, I met a lot of people, some of them who eventually became my friends here. In the summer I worked for the NTID summer camps and became a PAL for International Orientation. I began to feel connected and happy, and that led me to join even more groups. Now I love it here.
Looking back, I think that going through the uncertainty and isolation in my first semester was a blessing. It compelled me to reach out and find people and opportunities that put me on a path to success. It is true when people say that you will never know your limits and what you could achieve unless you push yourself.