October 2015

Appreciate the opportunities we have here

“Like many Saint Augustine’s University students, I feel a lot of pressure to keep up with my demanding class schedule. There never seems to be enough time to get my work done, take advantage of the extracurricular opportunities here and have some fun.

Still, school is an oasis of calm in my life compared with the troubles of my native land, Nigeria. Instead of worrying about handing in a paper on time, my family members and countrymen back home fear for their lives in the ongoing civil war.

This is one reason I have not been back home since coming to America a year-and-a-half ago. I have such happy memoires of growing up with my seven siblings. We used to do a lot of fun stuff together. We would swim, watch movies and play chess. But much of that has not been possible since the terrorist sect known as Boko-Haram has been rampaging across my country, kidnapping teenage girls from their schools and forcing them into early marriage, blowing up churches, iconic and public buildings and transportation centers. So many lives have been lost within the 36 states and the federal capital territory of my country.  My parents have recently moved to a state that has been affected by Boko-Haram activities due to my father’s position in the Nigerian Air Force, as a base commander. I worry about them often and I pray that they are safe every day and night. I pray that he will be transferred to a state that is less dangerous.

Boko Haram is not the only trouble in Nigeria. Last year, the Ebola scare also impacted me. I was unable to visit my parents because the airports were sanctioned in designated areas infected with Ebola. Due to the strict screenings of Ebola, my parents thought it would be best that I spend my holiday in America.

Given all that, I am especially appreciative of the opportunities I have at Saint Augustine’s. I really like the school because the professors engage with the students and there are more resources available to me on campus that will aid me in my education. Right now I am currently a major in computer science, where I am required to code mathematical equations. I am involved in the Pre-Alumni Association and the Honors College Program. During my free time I participate in community service and engage in leadership roles to improve my role as a student. I like the faculty and staff. The professors really take the time to help the students. My advisors, especially, really help me with challenges that I face. The students at Saint Augustine’s University are very friendly. They make me feel welcomed and we all help each other with our weaknesses.

After I graduate from Saint Augustine’s University, I plan on attending graduate school. More specifically, I plan on going to Duke University, where I will be studying computer science. While in graduate school, I plan to pursue a degree in which I will design software for medical facilities. I plan to live on campus, since I have not had that experience to live among students.  Once I become alumni of Saint Augustine’s University, I plan to become more involved in the community and do everything I can to ensure that the future of the students is bright and paved with success.

As much as I miss my native land, I know I am lucky to have the opportunities available here. I hope all of my fellow students take a moment to think about how lucky they are.

— Nenfort P. Golit