I was sure people around could hear me crying. How could they not? I was practically wailing after all but I didn’t care. I didn’t bother to be quiet, nor did I make any attempt to muffle my sobs. My heart was heavy and I desperately needed a release but I couldn’t talk to anyone; they couldn’t possibly understand. I couldn’t pray as I was unable to find the perfect words to say to God that would convey what was in my heart. However, I knew my tears were a language, speaking things my lips would’ve never effectively expressed. Every sigh, every groan, every shudder was heavy with meaning. And I knew God understood.
I wiped my eyes, composed myself as much as I could and opened the door. It was my sister.
‘What’s wrong?’ she asked.
‘Nothing,’ I replied. ‘I’m OK.’
She looked at me with uncertainty and then left. She must have gone to report the situation because not too long after, I heard another knock. It was my mum.
‘What’s wrong?’ she asked.
‘Nothing,’ I said.
After questioning me a bit further and meeting a brick wall, she let me be. So here’s the story – I had just graduated from secondary school and I have a relative in the US who suggested to my parents that I should study there. She offered to accommodate me and generally to be my guardian. The UK had always been our first choice but since our relative made the offer, my parents thought, ‘Why not?’ and that got the ball rolling. The next few months were filled with talks of SATs, TOEFL, personal statements, I-20 and all the typical requirements to study in America. It all went smoothly – SATs, smashed. TOEFL, killed. And my personal statement? My SAT tutor actually believed I copied it off the internet. It was really good, guys…Then it was time for me to get my student visa. Ah…Na there tori come begin get k-leg.
I applied for a student visa twice and both times I was rejected. Let me not even get into it because a) it will make this post terribly long and b) I don’t even remember the little details of everything that happened, but just know that the amount of obstacles that came up, ehn! No be here, abeg. The processes were so longwinded and the most painful thing was that each time it looked like we had reached the end of the road – maybe we didn’t have a document or there was a payment that had to be made online that just wasn’t successful no matter how many times we tried – a door would just open and bring us closer to what we wanted. This would raise our hopes up, strengthen our faith and it seemed like God was really with us so we kept pushing further. See ehn, you guys, hopes dashed really does make the heart sick. The TON of documents I had to go with; yet, in one of the interviews, the interviewer didn’t ask to see any of them. I was asked just one or two…irrelevant questions and then, kpa! My passport was stamped with a rejection. Just like that! *sigh* Good times indeed.
I did the best I could to take the rejections in stride but it was so difficult. Most of my friends had started university. Some were already in their first year of uni, while others had just begun their A-levels or similar courses. Yeah, I occupied myself with other activities as much as I could but at the time, starting university was my greatest desire so I thought about it a whole lot. We started to think of the next step to take. The obvious answer was to go back to our original choice. So I started applying to schools in the UK and then, kpa kpa kpa! Somebody say ‘Kpa kpa kpa!’ Kpa kpa kpa, I got my admission. Kpa kpa kpa student visa application was filled and sent off. No queuing, no hustling…Then we were asked to wait for two, or was it three weeks? I forget.
…to be continued…