Let’s Chat- Realities of studying Abroad | Is it worth it? Part 2

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I’m not sure if I’ve been slacking with my posts or not, but this post was meant to go up last week, following Part 1 of my study abroad realities. Instead, I put up a spontaneous post, but the long awaited part 2 is here, and you should read part 1 before proceeding with this. In this post, I will be sharing the not- so flashy realities of studying abroad.

Home sickness: As I mentioned before, being homesick is definitely top of my list of not so great things. I miss easy accessibility to the kinds of food I want to eat, which is why I didn’t love my first semester at college. When I first came, I didn’t cook much because mummy always did the cooking (should have learnt more from mummy back then), and I was eating for survival, not food I loved. However, I had to get used to cooking my own meals to satisfy cravings. I also cooked with friends which can be a fun way of accomplishing hanging out and eating good food.

Also, I miss having my family around which is normal for everyone, I suppose. You are eager to leave home because your family is annoying, but once you leave, you want them closer than ever.

Making committed friendships: Depending on who you are, this might or might not be a problem. If you are a social butterfly, you’ll connect with people easily and have many casual friends. The downside is that, you might struggle with juggling with many friendships and fail to develop any strong friendships. While making friends, you need to have at the back of your mind that you are looking for few intimate friendships, because you need them the most. You will be doing a lot of choosing and dropping friendships in your college/university years. It’s definitely harder when you are abroad and making friends with people from different backgrounds. You have to leave room for excesses (be accommodating) and extend grace to friends who do things differently.  Continue reading “Let’s Chat- Realities of studying Abroad | Is it worth it? Part 2”

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Random Notes- Abundant Grace 

Hello gorgeous,

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There’s really no point to this post, but I was going through my random notes and got reminded of what I wrote about Ephesians 4:30 two months ago. It’s a short writing I always go back to for encouragement and I hope it encourages you today. Have a fruitful week!

“And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” – Ephesians 4:30

Ephesians 4 Verse 30 sticks out to me in the passage. Just thinking of how much our sins affect God. He grieved the day Adam and Eve made sin enter the world, he grieved when he had to die to save us from the sins we commit by ourselves. To think that even after being saved by him, his spirit within us still grieves because we are sinful makes me feel so ungrateful. How can God not have given up on me after everything, why does he still love me like this? Why is he so committed to the renewal of my spirit to make me like him? It’s because he’s so gracious, and I never want to take his grace for granted. So I pray everyday for God to help me walk in his steps and make me more like him. Looking forward to the day our redemption story will be complete (when he comes again) and our new bodies come. Bodies that won’t be prone to sin, so I don’t grieve God anymore, he’s been through too much for me.

Yours Truly…

Continue reading “Random Notes- Abundant Grace “

Let’s Chat- Realities of studying Abroad | Is it worth it? Part 1

Hi there,

I don’t think I’ve shared enough about my college experiences on the blog, and that is about to change. If you don’t know, I’m Oyinlola, a Nigerian student currently pursuing a college (university) degree at Temple University, in the United States. In my next couple of posts, I’ll be sharing both my positive and negative experiences as an international student, and how to make the most your college years.

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So, sit back, read and enjoy;

I was very excited to leave home for the first time in 2014. Excited to explore life and have fun without my parents restriction in a new country. America to me, held endless possibilities. I was caught up in the fantasy of studying abroad that I don’t think I ever thought about what the downside of leaving home would be. I didn’t stop to think of how hard missing home would be or how much growing up I would have to do quickly. It’s been three years since leaving home, and figuring things out on my own. In this post, I’m only sharing the positive experiences, we’ll talk about the negatives in the next post.

Studying Abroad made me define my identity. In Nigeria, I never stopped to think about my ethnicity. The fact that I was Nigerian, African or foreign to some people never crossed my mind. The only differences I noticed were tribal and class differences. As far as I knew, everyone, everything was familiar, and there was nothing to define. I made this statement in class recently, “There is no identity where there is no difference”. You only have to explain yourself when there is something unusual about you, like if you’re in a different country, being foreign is unusual. For example, I have become accustomed to answering the question of where I’m from every time I speak because my Nigerian accent is different. This might be either positive or negative depending on the individual, but it is positive for me. I get to share something about my country almost always, and I love it. I like how describing where I’m from is an easy conversation starter, and often gets people to share a bit about themselves with me too. Besides, I chose to come to a diverse school where I’m constantly meeting people from all across the globe, and learning a thing or two about various countries. It’s great and will  definitely be the best thing about my college experience.

Related post: The Africa they don’t show you

Before coming to the U.S, I didn’t know how much colonialism shaped the world, and how deep racism ran (story for another day), but now I do. Part of this eye-opener might be because of the classes I’m taking and conversations I’m having, or it might be because I’m old enough to understand things deeply now. Personally, I don’t think that I would have cared much about history like racism as I do now, if I was in my comfort zone at home. Learning about Colonialism and slave trade from another perspective, and seeing its effects in America especially, is enlightening.

I also have more appreciation for home because I miss it. I mentioned above that missing home was the last thing on my mind when I left home. Well, this wasn’t the case after a couple of months alone, and I’m sure this is the reality of most international students. You miss the food, culture, people, and familiarity that you had back home, and you realize how much you took for granted. Most times, you are very excited to eat traditional dishes, and you appreciate home more. I know I do whenever I visit for holiday.

In addition to these, who would have thought that college would be the place God would meet me in a special way? I thought I was good with God coming to America, but I had no idea I was about to encounter him in a mind boggling way. If I studied in Nigeria, I probably would have developed my faith, but I wonder if I would have been pressed to search for the theology and reason surrounding God and His existence, since almost no one questions God’s existence there.

While studying abroad has been a beneficial and lovable experience for me, I know this isn’t the case for everyone. There are times when you want to quit and go back home. Because of this, there’ll be a post next week on the harsh realities of studying abroad, and maybe some tips on dealing with them.

Until then, I look forward to reading your comments, and letting me know how your study abroad experiences have been if you’re currently studying or have studied abroad. If you haven’t, please leave a comment on what you think about my experiences. If you love this post, don’t forget to like, share, subscribe to the blog and tell someone about it!

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Yours Truly……

 

Make Your Blog Readable!

Hello lovely,

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Today, I’m sharing with you four ways to make your blog posts or writings more readable. I can’t count the number of times I have been interested in reading a blog post, but lose interest almost immediately because of bad grammar and appearance. Your blog might be losing readers that you are not aware of due to this, and I hope this post helps in avoiding that.By no means am I a perfect writer, but I have learnt a lot since starting my blog, and I’m sharing these minimal tips with you, especially fellow bloggers.

Proof read: The first thing I’ll say is proof read (over and over). You don’t have to be in a hurry to put up a blog post if you haven’t had enough time to go through your writing, and make necessary corrections. Proof reading your post numerous times before publishing, and even after will correct the other mistakes listed below. You can ask a friend to help you proof read if you want to be extra cautious. Get rid of typos (please!), typos make it hard for readers to focus on your content, and your post seems to be written by a rookie. I am genuinely happy to get notifications from blogs that hardly have typos, as opposed to those with numerous typos. Your content might be great, but I’m uninterested if I have to put in work to understand it. Continue reading “Make Your Blog Readable!”

How to live in a world devoid of God’s presence

Hi beautiful,

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When you become a believer in a world that is forgetting God, and choosing to live life the way it pleases, it becomes easy to see the world in its broken state. It’s like you are given fresh lenses that enable you view the world differently. When you begin to see this brokenness, it’s easy to lose hope in God’s redemption plan sometimes . You start to take some of the worlds’ burden upon yourself, and it becomes too much to carry. I can’t count the number of times I thought to myself and prayed that God will just come back already. However, remember that we aren’t called to carry the world’s burden. Jesus tells us this instead; “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” The only burden we are called to bear in Christ is his, not the worlds’.

Don’t be depressed because the world is in a sad state, it is not surprising. The world has always neglected God and done whatever it pleases, but the hope we have is that God’s redemption story isn’t over yet. He calls out to his people amidst the world’s chaos and restores them back to himself. There is beauty that lies within the ashes, and I’m encouraging you today as much as I am encouraging myself.

So what do you do on those days when all you hear is bad news about crime, murder, terrorism and so on?

This is what I do: Continue reading “How to live in a world devoid of God’s presence”