Living on your own is a struggle as an international student

NdeyKumbaDembaHow much is your future costing you? Well, mine is costing me so much as it is already.
The first requirement was crossing the Atlantic ocean to come to the U.S. This was a major change considering the fact that I had to leave my family behind and learn to live on my own, something I had never done before. As scary as that seems, I was more than willing to make the major change. I was looking ahead, and all I saw was the finish line, and the greater good there was.
I was not just doing it for myself, even though I would stand to benefit the most. I was doing it for my mother and my siblings. I wanted to be in a position to take care of mother and give my siblings a better life than I had (I had a good life, but there is always room for improvement).
If a better future in life meant leaving them for some time, then it was so worth it.
Living on my own is as challenging as it can be. You know the old adage, “you don’t know how strong you are until strong is all you’ve got.”
I have learned to be my “own person.” When I have a good day, well, I revel in my happiness for as long as it lasts.
If I have a bad day, I just suck it up and keep moving. Sometimes, it gets hard. I wish I had the luxury of having family and friends here to talk to about the insignificant moments, and do stupid things that make for great memories.
I would think I have done a good job at being my own person. But occasionally, I find it hard to keep it together. Some nights I cry my eyes out, cover my sore eyes with makeup in the morning and prepare to face yet another day and all it comes with.
Sometimes, I need to remind myself about what I’m doing here and why. I have learned to motivate myself, whereas before motivation comes naturally.
Self-motivation is what gets me by most of the times. And other times, I find ways to cheer up myself with music and movies.
While many look forward to holidays, me, not so much. Holidays are actually the worse of times. I never thought there would come a time I would actually dislike holidays. They remind me of how lonely I am.
When people are going home for the holidays, planning on having fun and relaxing, to come back regenerated, I stay in the dorms the whole entire time. I don’t even know a single place to go to. And even if I did, I’ll have to think about things like transportation, to and from, and company.
All of these I learn to cope with, not that I have a choice. The everyday struggle is reminding myself about the “why” part of the equation.
Try living with no friends and family around; this shakes even the strongest person. We all need love, and desire to be surrounded by it.
I guess, it’s all about finding a balance. A good future for some of us comes with a price tag; you have to decide how much you are willing to pay.

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