1st Year Experience Adjusting MyStory Happenings Where I'm Coming From

College Across the Ocean: Cayman Islands to UAlbany

gcmflagFor this blog post, I wanted to interview another student. I decided to talk to a student that lived far away from school as opposed to someone that lived 20 minutes up the road. This student that I interviewed is from the Cayman Islands. He is a friend of mine and a member of the track and field team as well. I know from talking to him that coming to college in a completely new place has been crazy. The experiences that he has brought from home have helped him get through the year, but he can’t help being homesick every once in a while. I mean, you can’t really blame him; he goes to school over 1,500 miles away from his home back in the Cayman Islands.
Hopefully, other international students that read this or even students within the US that live really far from school can relate to this interview. I am one person with only so many experiences to relate to other GrandCayman.jpgstudents, so I have turned to my peers to share theirs. We may have had different encounters in life, but we may be connected to other students on campus in some way or another.

Since my friend is from the Cayman Islands, I knew that coming to the United States for college would be a big change for him. There would be a lot of new opportunities for him, and some would be hard for him to deal with, at first. I was actually surprised to hear from him that, “going to school in the United States was always a dream” of his. I know that some kids could never imagine going to school so far away from home, like myself, but not him. Although he loves being away from home, he still misses it. When talking about it, the things he missed the most from home were his family and friends. He talked about his daily adventures that he would have with his family and how he really missed it. I feel like there is always that one thing that many students say they miss doing with their families. Whether it be sitting around a fire pit on a summer night, or going swimming in the family pool, or driving for hours on road trips, there might be something that we look back andmiss with our families. And of course I had to ask him about how he felt about living in Upstate, New York. I remember moving in and it being about 90 degrees, and I thought it was unbearable. On the other hand, this weather was nothing that urban-733070_960_720.jpgwas out of the ordinary for him. And even though we didn’t have quite the usual upstate winter, this was his first time seeing snow fall from the sky. One thing  that was hard for him to get used to was how to dress according to the weather. He never really had to deal with cold weather back at home, so he had no experience dressing in layers. That was something that even I had to adjust to and I am from Long Island! We get cold weather and snow, but nothing like the cold and snow that they get up here. It may seem really insignificant, but something as little as the weather could really make someone think back to their home. This past winter was a learning experience for my friend, but I am sure he will be ready for the next one.

The next thing that we discussed in our interview was more school-related. I wanted to get an idea of what his prior education was like and if he felt like it really prepared him for college. For him, he felt like his had a positive effect on him. He said that he learned a lot of things before college that were coming up in his classes this year. It was helpful for him because he had prior knowledge, so it was not like he was learning things for the first time. It made it easier to do well in school even when the material started to get harder. Now before I finished the interview, I had to talk about time management with him. As a student athlete, he feels like this is a skill that is imperative to have. He knew coming into college that some sacrifices needed to be made from time to time in order to do well in school. He knows that it is “imperative to balance the best of both worlds” when it comes to track and school. After his first semester, he felt like he had been able to do this, especially since he had done so well. It was not the easiest of things for him to do as he struggled with procrastinating. He had to pay the price often when he would wait until the last minute to do assignments. He recalled many late nights staying up trying to finish work that was due the next day. Once again, I am finding that more and more students seem to struggle with procrastination and time management. Learning to deal with these issues are common in college and are part of the learning and growing experience. Whether you are a freshman, or a senior, it could still be a problem for you. Just keep working on procrastinating less, and learning to make some sacrifices when needed.

Whether you come, from the Cayman Islands, from Upstate New York, or from any other part of the world, we have similar experiences. No matter how different we may think we are as a student body, we have something in common with one other person on this campus. As final week approaches us, remember to keep your head in the books and stay on task. Don’t let these last couple of weeks ruin the last 10 weeks of work that you have put in. For those that are really struggling with homesickness, just remember that you’ll be home before you know it. I have seen how much it can affect a student, but try and keep your head up, you’re almost done and back home with your family.

About the Author

Joe DJoe D.
Class of 2019
Major: Intended - Business Administration
Blog Theme: Where I'm Coming From



Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.

Established in March 2015, Project MyStory is a community building effort to help students better acclimate to UAlbany and to work more effectively toward their goals. We began in UAlbany’s Academic Support Center (ASC), where you will see many of the posters featured above. We are now co-housed in ASC and in the Center for International Education and Global Strategy (CIEGS).

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