A New Kind of Love
By: Jessa Marion, an international student from the Philippines who currently studies at the Acsenda School of Management
I am in love. For so many years I have not lived for something that made my heart race and breath gush. I lived a life with a monotonous cycle in a small town of Samar back home. Until I came to Vancouver to further my studies. I was able to break my cycle, meet people from different countries, share their culture, visit new places, and start anew. So yes, I am deeply in love with my student life in British Columbia.
Coming here alone without having any relatives or even just knowing anyone can be frightening especially to a small, young girl like myself. I didn’t know what might happen to me – if I’d survive being alone and finish my studies or stay for a couple of months and go home. I decided to brush my worries away and just go for it.
Which is why I am here right now, six days away from celebrating my anniversary of being here in Canada. I am genuinely happy. Being here, allowed me to break out of my comfort zone and get out of the cycle I was in. It gave me the opportunity to meet people from different countries with diverse cultures. The people I go to school with and talk to everyday are all imported, even myself. They come from Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, India, and Korea. Imagine that much diversity in one class! Every day I learn about a different culture. I learn about the joys and sorrows that a particular group deal with. And I get to have the greatest honor of sharing and celebrating their uniqueness. I get to do the same with mine. In the name of being in love, I’ve also become an adventurer. I came to discover that British Columbia can be an extremely lovely place to get lost in.
I’ve experienced romance in the faux Paris of Vancouver – Gastown, I’ve quenched my thirst for adrenaline by hiking the Quarry Rocks, and even went to Joffre Lakes in Pemberton for more. All of them are just a few of the places I’ve visited in my pursuit for adventure. There are more to my list and I am sure to cross them out pretty soon. Above all, I’ve become a new person. A person that is independent, ready to take on any quest, and has a bigger desire to give back to the community. Recently, we have orchestrated a program for the elderly at Amica. There were carols, Christmas medleys, poems, dancing, and a lot of activities to entertain the elderlies. Seeing how thankful and happy we made them, just made me love Vancouver even more.
Looking back to the situation I was in less than a year before, I would happily smile and say, “I have made the right decision.” It is never what I have imagined it to be, and I am glad it wasn’t… because it is better.