Searching For Greener Pastures

The following post was written by Ayomide Yusuf, a master’s student from Nigeria studying computer science at Oakland University. 

I left Nigeria in search for green pastures. I was told the land is greener over the sea. Not only do I want to graze the green pastures, but I also want to take some seeds back to Nigeria. So it was all about me and my dear country.

It wasn’t easy to leave a country that wants me to come to one that I think doesn’t want me because of what people say. Securing a VISA at the US embassy in Nigeria was a tough task – 60% of students’ applications are rejected every day. After being lucky to be among the fortunate 40%, then comes the task of saying goodbye to my family and the life I grew up with. I had some fears moving to a place of different culture where I knew nobody, then I remembered the same God in Nigeria is the same God in USA. So I know someone by that way, and that person knows everybody. Putting my trust in God I entered a country that trust in God.

Going by what I used to see in the news while I was in Nigeria, I painted USA in my mind as a mini-paradise where everything is perfect. However, when I got to Detroit airport, I discovered one of my bags was missing because it was not tagged properly. I was so happy when I got it back the next day but that wasn’t a perfect system to me but it was good. The journey from the airport to where I stayed was cool but the tires of the cars sometimes hit the potholes on the road. It was “not perfect but good,” I told myself.

I couldn’t feel more at home with the way the students and staff of Oakland University received me at the orientation; I had had a nice time. What people think or say about me doesn’t change the kind of person I am but I felt really good with the kind of love I received from students, staff, and even American families have had encounter with. I was definitely not expecting that much. I received gifts, had free lunches, met good people, and was encouraged by what I saw around me and motivated by the advanced technology I see on campus every day. It’s been wonderful.

Everything was almost going perfect until I had challenges getting money from home. I tried all my backup plans to get funding but all failed, I tried to reach out to people for help but nothing came through. I have to pay for my school fees, pay bills, and at least eat a little something. I was almost going to give up and go back to home. In the middle of everything, I remembered my first friend (God) and I asked Him for help. The fact I’m still around is a sign that He answered my call for help. It has not been easy though but I’ve received His favour in many ways.

Recently I decided to be more committed at least to a church or a Christian gathering on campus. Though the Christianity practiced here is kind of different from the one I’m used, it’s the same gospel. I’ve met great people through joining groups and also learnt a lot from them. I pray God will help me more to know Him.  

Written by Ayomide Yusuf, editted by Lauren Jurczyszyn

Searching For Greener Pastures