Olivia Crosby shares her final blog post just how studying abroad changed her life and how she found her support in family and in God.
God works in mysterious ways. Just last year, I was robbed while studying abroad and I let my anger get the best of me. However, the weekend of Labor Day I was in two altercations in which the person was physically attacking me, I remembered just where I was last year and disliked the person I became. Over this past year I have learned to become more humble and to not let things get the best of me. Based on my past experiences I’m able to walk away from situations that may be life threatening such as being locked up or dead. As I sit and write this blog I notice how much I have grown over this past year. One of them is stepping up and committing to attend graduate school for a Master’s degree. Without God my next chapter of life would have been impossible. God has shown me that He can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask for or think (Ephesians 3:20). Another thing I have learned is that if I Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).
Let me take you back to year ago; I was crowned U.S. American International Student Voice and was given the opportunity to write my first blog in which I talked about my Balinese Purification experience in Bali. Now I’m getting my Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology at California Baptist University in Riverside, CA. I’m still shocked that I moved from New York City to Riverside without any hesitation. Change has not come easy; In the last three weeks I have dealt with an culture shock and feeling home sick. Growing up in New York City, I have always been an extrovert however, moving to California changed that. The first two weeks of being here my daily routine consisted of going to school and coming home. By the third week I caught myself having an emotional breakdown. It shocked me because I went to Bali, Indonesia just a year ago and never felt this feeling. I was feeling alone and sad and it started to interfere with my school work. I would attempt to do homework and space out and start thinking about my family back home or even my job. Not working also took a toll on me, due to the fact that I had a job since I was 15 now I’m 23. For the next two days I mediated on it and told myself I have to think of a plan If I’m going to live here for the next two years.
There weren’t many options, however, I chose to turn to someone who I know wouldn’t let me down. I started to pray to God and ask for guidance and strength on this new journey. I started to think, “If God didn’t want this for me I wouldn’t be here today.” The obstacles I faced with such as not being qualified for Marymount University due to the admission deadline and not finding a third recommender for John Jay application. The obstacles that I went through gave me the impression that California Baptist University was the perfect choice. God had plans for me and I commend him for that. I’m here today to give God his praise. Without Him I probably would be living uncomfortably and miserable or even stuck in the bubble of feeling homesick and down.
Today I am a living testimony to God showing up at the right time. This past weekend I finished all my homework assignments for all four classes. I even participated in the majority of the group discussions and grasped the material given to me. I also resolved a way of feeling home sick by talking to my family members even if it more then two times a day. Sometimes you need that extra support and I found that in God. Lastly, I want to thank International Student Voice Magazine for allowing me to create these monthly blogs I hope I’m inspiring to others. To whom ever may be reading this Go out there and challenge yourself you never know what doors will open for you!