On New Beginnings – Again!

When I first arrived in Corvallis, I had planned to write weekly. There were lots of stories I wanted to tell, and experiences to share, but that didn’t happen. Instead, day after day and week after week, I got drowned with school, work, life, and much more. Everything was new, and everything was happening all at once.

Read about my announcement here https://chizzynwokoye.com/new-beginnings/

New beginnings are not easy! They are often romanticized and viewed with dreamy utopic eyes. While they afford people an opportunity for a fresh start, I can’t help but wonder what the cost of that fresh start is.

In my first week in school, I discovered I had zero spatial intelligence, or so I thought! I had difficulties reading the map, remembering locations, and finding my bus. I would often walk around in circles and when I got tired, called for help. On one occasion, I entered the school bus with my friend Bola and didn’t know where we were headed or where to come down. Turning right, Bola spotted a man in his 50s. She approached him and asked for directions but met a cold glare. We waved at both the man and the driver, but we were blatantly ignored. That hurt very much!  Over time, though, I began to make out familiar streets and buildings and have rarely used google maps.

One day at a time

The thing with new beginnings is our desperate desire to figure it out all at once. To become familiar with the unfamiliar, wrangle our brain to process difficult developments in a short time and not feel the anxiety that comes with a new territory.

I remember walking into my first class in September. It was advanced chemical engineering analysis which is advanced calculus. As an engineering student, you often start with engineering maths, then advanced engineering maths. So technically, this course is [advanced]2 engineering maths. I struggled to remember fundamental concepts in the course and to keep up with the fast pace of American education. I began to silently question if taking this path was the right decision. It got worse when I added the workload of a second course, a laboratory rotation, and my job as a teaching assistant.  I thought my master’s degree was the most difficult thing I had done but one semester here is already competing with that.

Success is exhilarating but it is not cheap or easy. I made it through my first term, but I am quickly reminded that I have a minimum of 15 terms to go. While the journey has scarcely begun, what is it they say about the journey of a thousand miles?

Motivational speakers would say, ‘leave your comfort zone because nothing grows there’, and I agree with them. I was in a dead-end comfort zone for 4 years, so I know how that feels. However, new beginnings are not utopia. They are challenging and you will doubt and question yourself a lot. You will get overwhelmed with anxiety and fear of the future. Like a toddler learning to walk, you might fail a few times but in all of these, push through. Take things one bit at a time, don’t try to figure out everything at once.

And just know, that everything good will come!

NB: I promise to write a weekly recap every Friday in 2023 and you must promise to read and share too!

  • Ijeoma Imediegwu
    Posted at 08:10h, 30 December Reply

    The story I’ve been waiting for. Your writing always paints a picture& stimulates imagination. Please keep it coming!

  • Ozioma Mercy
    Posted at 08:19h, 30 December Reply

    New beginnings comes with different emotions, first the excitement, then the questioning if one is on the right path or not, the thought of giving up and every other feeling in between.

    I like the line that says “Take things one bit at a time,don’t try to figure out everything at once”

    Beautiful write up, I enjoyed it.

  • Ekene
    Posted at 08:19h, 30 December Reply

    # don’t figure it at once) new beginnings

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 18:40h, 30 December Reply


    • Ejindu Kelechi
      Posted at 07:00h, 31 December Reply

      The knowledge that the sweet success we desire comes with a cost helps prepare our minds for the challenges we encounter at first. Though it doesn’t dematerialize the stress it helps us pull through…
      Nice writeup

  • Stella Ogugua
    Posted at 09:27h, 30 December Reply

    “what is it they say about the journey of a thousand miles?”

    They say it starts with a step which you’ve already taken by leaving your comfort zone to which I say congratulations once again!

    Thanks for summarily sharing about your 1st term as I look forward to reading weekly about the remaining 14 as you keep us updated as promised.

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 18:16h, 30 December Reply

      You keep me on my toes Stella

  • Neche
    Posted at 11:28h, 30 December Reply

    With all the cultural shock!!!!! We will all develop an adjustment strategy at some point. One bit at a time you said! Jisike nne.

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 18:14h, 30 December Reply

      Oh well, I didn’t have much cultural shock. The only thing was probably the volume of course work per semester. People keep saying America is easy but they are not well informed

  • Caleb Ogbeta
    Posted at 15:27h, 30 December Reply

    “Take things one bit at a time”

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 18:10h, 30 December Reply

      Oh yes!

  • Ginikachi
    Posted at 16:35h, 30 December Reply

    One day at a time! Summary of my new beginning too.

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 17:41h, 30 December Reply

      Everything good will come

  • Toby Nwazor
    Posted at 09:06h, 31 December Reply

    As a once-upon-a-time engineering student, I can relate. Ironically, this is inspiring me to go for a new beginning too. The idea of something different and challenging is both scary and exicting.

    I’m glad you’re finding your way around it. Like my therapist always tells me, “pace yourself, it is a marathon not a sprint.”

    You will get there, Chizzy. All the best

  • Ozioma
    Posted at 09:33h, 31 December Reply

    Only the brave take a leap into the unknown. You’re brave for taking that step, Remember, new challenges, new peace.

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