By: Emeka U.M. Akonu Jnr.
My journey started when I was given an acceptance letter to attend Durham College. It was a great day for my family and me when I got a reply from the Canadian embassy back home in Nigeria granting me an entry (visa) into Canada.
It was a big day for me, when I boarded the plane coming to Canada. It was the day I had to leave behind all my lovely friends, relatives, family and my childhood memories and I did not know what to expect. While I was getting into the plane, I had feelings that caused my body to be in shock. Strong emotions of being excited, scared, and confused were having a powerful effect on my mind. I was unable to stop thinking of what was waiting for me ahead. After a while, I came to my senses and realized that I wasn’t the only one going through this change. It wasn’t easy for my parents either to let their son go and spend a lot of money to make it all happen.
Their motivation and prayers made me think that this change was for the better. It wasn’t because they were trying to make my life more complicated or get rid of me-on the contrary. They were doing their best in order to provide me with a successful future. It was not easy for me to leave them, as the plane took off and flew high towards the infinite blue sky; I suddenly realized that my life would be eternally changed. A journey to Canada, wasn’t an easy thing to do for one who has only travelled within Nigeria and not beyond. As I sat on the plane, I felt very optimistic and told myself it is not enough to have a strong desire to pursue my goal. Challenges will come, but what matters is how I face them and make progress.
On my arrival here, the people I saw and the warm welcome I received made me feel at home, seeing the beautiful buildings, meeting people both from here and other countries, eating different food, seeing how the traffic lights and signs are obeyed and a number of other activities I am yet to see which I am loving all the way. I can say confidently things are done here in an organized manner. As we know culture is all the knowledge and values shared by a society, I have brought mine from my roots in Nigeria to share with great individuals and our beautiful school, Durham College, as well as grow and adapt to the values of this college and country. In summary, being in Canada is exposing me to a lot of good things and now I have a better understanding about Canadian culture and lifestyles. As I write this, I believe the secret to unlimited greatness is up to me and you to discover for ourselves.