2008 was going to be in a sea

 2008 was the year that my life changed. I can remember the days before my journey from my homeland Nigeria to the United States so vividly.  I  was lost in a cold state of mind. The darkness of the night tingled my spine and the faces of the family members that I was going to leave dug a hole in my heart. Tears flooded my entire face and  my little cousin came to me and asked, “Amarachi what is wrong” in my native tongue. My mouth started to quiver as I replied in a slow whisper, “I am ok”.  Coming to America — the  land  I was told that offered many opportunities —was a decision that was not my own. But according to my family it was compulsory for my growth. The birth of another chapter in my life commenced. It meant the need for hard work. It carried setbacks and built bridges towards my success.    I was the complete canvas of an outsider and everything was new to me. I had long African braids that stuck out from every  direction of my head. On the first day of third grade, even my clothes looked as out of place as I felt. Before I got to America, people told me that I was going to be in a sea of  white people, so when I was saw people of my skin color and of other ethnic backgrounds,  I was shocked. Additionally, when people spoke to me, all I would hear was gibberish. I would just nod and smile as a response. I did not know how to belong. It was only a matter of time for me to get acquainted with my new home. Determination was the momentum that kept me going.    The zeal to make something of myself comes from my family. The person who brought me here, my aunt, is like Wonder Woman to me. Though she is disabled in one of her legs, she did not let obstacles prevent her from getting what she wants. She works long hours to provide for my family in Nigeria and within the last year has even managed to bring some of them to America. I emulate that part of her. As the oldest child in my family, I realized that my success affects my younger siblings’ and cousins’ future. I keep all this in mind and it serves as my drive.     When I first arrived,  my academic skills were not up to par with those in my age group. I had to bridge the gap. At school, I would ask for assistance from my teachers and at home, I would teach myself with whatever resources I could lay my hands on whether it be books or online. I did not let my lack of knowledge stop me from my success in school. I believe that the amount of tenacity you put towards something correlates with the outcome. If someone was asked to describe me, they would say that I am determined. Mediocrity is not what I stand for because I have a goal at hand-success. This all goes back to my roots. We, Nigerians, are resilient people and that is who I am.    Ultimately, my journey to America has taught me that the sky is not the limit but rather, my vision is. If one were to ask me to give a precept on my life, I would say this. The world will attempt to induce you into believing that the sky’s the limit but in actuality there are no limits. You are what you make yourself out to be. On the grand scheme of things you will always get in what you put out. Therefore I am making it a point to put supreme effort in all that I do. I know for a fact that with my capabilities I am able to get all things in abundance.