Now That We’ve Settled

Continuing on from the theme of being an honest man, I am going to be 100 percent real and open with you guys in admitting that settling into a new environment has never been an easy task for me and I am afraid it never will. In addition to being the unorganized and ill researched man I previously confessed to being, I also have the tendency to show traits of extreme clumsiness. And again if i am being truthful, I am not the sharpest bow in the quiver. Unfortunately JCC’s array of stellar and wonderfully put together buildings did nothing to help that.

Upon my first several weeks here I often found myself stumbling into the wrong buildings and poking my head into the wrong classes in search of my own. Yes, I know everywhere and everything is clearly and brilliantly labelled and there are more than enough visual prompts to get me to where I need to go, so exactly how I end up in these predicaments is far beyond me. That aside, Jamestown Community College boasts a winsome environment snow or sun for any student bright enough to not walk into the Arts & Science expecting the library.

My induction into JCC as an international student.

My induction into JCC as an international student.

After the daunting and heavily procrastinated task of unpacking the contents of my suitcase, the following morning consisted of my induction as an international student. Two or three days prior, during our journey from Buffalo airport, Jennifer informed me about the several international students from several different backgrounds the college had up its sleeves. JCC manages to reel in roughly 20-30 overseas students every academic year from a wide range of countries like Australia, Tunisia and Togo to name a few.

But if I’m being honest, between me and you, at first I thought of Jennifer’s claims as a boastful exaggeration made out of overconfidence and excitement. Those thoughts were quickly dismissed upon my arrival. In my semester induction alone we had a healthy and diverse mix of students coming from Germany, Japan, South Korea and Australia, which startled me to say the least and led me to wonder. If this large sum of international students attended every year without fail, then surely and truly Jamestown must be a very inviting and delightful place if even those who aren’t familiar or accustomed to the American way of living travel here to be educated.

And to no surprise my theory was absolutely correct, as it started to flesh itself out with every passing hour I spent here, starting with being introduced to the International staff. I’m more than sure that I have already introduced you guys to the lovely Jennifer Apthorpe, who over the months has become my mother away from home and I am well assured that many if not all of the other international students would describe her in the same way.

Alongside her are companions Nelson Garifi, Felix Muza and the newly added Kelly Stineman, all of which are great individuals who do an exceptionally well job to no surprise. As does every member of staff here who I’ve come in contact with, from Julie, Pattie and all the delightful people over at the café to Coach George and everyone working in unison for the men’s basketball team. What I have found upon observation is that regardless of how big or small the job is, every member of staff is extremely helpful and passionate about their given role to support you and uplift you as a student, which is a rarity to find in any organization or academic institute.

JCC gym

The gymnasium at JCC.

I’ve pretty much gone off topic haven’t I? What I was meant to be babbling on about was my day of induction — hadn’t I gone off in the wrong direction rambling on how great everyone here is as a collective. Now I would go on to tell you guys about the huge chunk of my induction that I left out, but this post is getting more than long-winded for me to handle if I’m being completely honest with you.

And I know I’ve said it one time too many and that you guys are probably tired of hearing it, but it’s really no word of life when I say Jamestown is a really special place, not solely because of the place itself, but because of the people inside it and the amount of opportunity it holds. I’m in love to say the least and although I miss home, this is as close as a substitute I’m sure I could have gotten. With everyday that passes I enjoy myself just a little bit more than the day prior now that I’ve settled.

About the author

Obehi Ejele

My name is a weird one, isn’t it? If you haven’t noticed already, it’s Obehi Ejele, and if you haven’t struggled to pronounce it already, it’s simply said as ‘Oh-Bee’. I was born and raised in the east of London in the United Kingdom by my two wonderfully supportive Nigerian parents, so in hindsight I’m a strictly British kid mixed with a Nigerian upbringing. I was raised in a household full of boys, with my mum being the only woman in the house. Growing up, along with my older brother and younger cousin, I took a keen interest in basketball and somewhere alongside that I also picked up art as a hobby. So in reality that’s more or less exactly why I’m here, to play basketball under Coach Sisson and major in Media Arts. However, upon arriving at Jamestown Community College solely for these two reasons, I realized that this place is so much more than just that in a positive light which I’ll expand on more thoroughly in further blog posts. So simply put, I’m an athlete from London who enjoys art and everything else a man of my age would love, such as music, food, family and friends to say the least. My mother is a pastor, I’m a Christian and I love God, my family is huge, and I adore London more than any other place I could think of. But whilst writing this, quite frankly, American customs and culture have always been a bit strange to me, but I’m willing to learn and understand throughout my journey here. I plan to blog about pretty much anything and everything I see here, so if you want to experience the wonders and heights of Jamestown Community College and Jamestown itself vicariously through the unfamiliar eyes of Londoner, look no further, I’m your guy.