Saying Goodbye

Posted By: Jamiyah Bethune
Posted On: August 19th, 2016
Attending: Institute of Technology Carlow

Leaving behind my friends and family was very tough. I'm a super emotional person and all my loved ones know it. As soon as I found out I got selected I instantly began to think about how hard it would be to leave my family. My family is very tight knit. My little brother is 5 years old and he's the center of all our worlds. I always think about him and how he's at such an impressionable age and for that reason alone I'm always checking in. I know I have to be a role model for him and help show him right from wrong. Because of basketball I haven't always been able to be around physically. It used to eat me up when I missed him get a trophy in karate class or when he finally learned to tie his shoes. Every time I would come home he'd ask "are you sleeping here tonight" or "when are you coming back" and I hated that I couldn't spend more time with him. So I spent my last couple days in America watching Power Ranger movies and making dinosaur puzzles and listening to him ramble about his play dates with his best friends. When I finally said goodbye to him I did my absolute best and I didn't cry because I didn't want to upset him. That was hard.

            My other siblings, my sister Jareyah and my brother Jaquill, are much older and I don't have to be strong around them. So I cried like a baby when I said goodbye to them. Even though we're all one year apart and rarely see each other because we went to different universities it was still hard for me to think about being away from them for so long. They have  promised me they will visit and I'm going to hold them to it. Saying goodbye to my parents had to be the worst of my goodbyes. The last time I saw them was in New York at the launch party. When they told me they were heading out it just didn't feel real. My dad kept hugging me and he seemed nervous which made me nervous. Then my mom just kept staring at me until eventually I started crying. I got it together pretty quickly because I wanted to show them that I was ready for this new adventure and that I'd be okay but secretly I wished I could bring them with me.

            I thought I was good after that. I felt confident on the day of my flight but literally as I was getting onto the airplane I started freaking out. I looked to the other scholars who were on my flight and I said "This is really happening. We're moving to Ireland." and none of them seemed nearly as nervous as I was. I used my last few minutes before taking off to FaceTime my best friend and get some final words of wisdom. She's used to me overreacting and being dramatic so she knew exactly what to say to calm me down.

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