Thank You, Jamestown
I really am not sure where or how to start this. I moved to Jamestown from New Zealand in July 2018, full of excitement but also uncertainty. I had things pretty good back home, and here I was moving halfway across the world to start all over again. If you’d told me that the last two years were going to play out the way they have, I probably would’ve laughed and applauded you for your creativity, but here we are.
Soccer at Jamestown Community College
I’ll start with soccer, since that was really my whole reason for coming here. I never expected to meet the group of boys that I did and have the two seasons that we had. No matter the results, both seasons were an absolute blast and I was lucky enough to travel around parts of New York State that most tourists don’t get to see, all with some of my best friends. The coaches, my fellow Jayhawks, and the staff in the athletics department are one of a kind and have felt like family since day one. After months of waiting, I have finally signed and committed to my next school. I ended my freshman year terrified by the number of colleges and universities that America has, but as things narrowed down, the process actually ended up taking care of itself. The only thing I’d change is this pandemic; the virus forced the NCAA to suspend the sending of my NLI for six weeks. It’s a weird feeling knowing that your future is on the line but nothing can be formally set in stone.
I’m not a huge fan of the spotlight as the people closest to me will tell you, but it is nice to know I was able to help the soccer program in my own little way, and I’m lucky to say I got to watch so many players develop so much over my time here. I’m very excited to watch what the boys do this coming fall, albeit from a much warmer and less snowy state!
Friends in Jamestown, NY
Ah, the people of Jamestown, first I have to say thank you. My first flight from LA into NYC flew directly over Jamestown, NY. Being from a big city, I was a little worried given I couldn’t find my new home out the plane window. While it’s not the biggest place on the map, the same can’t be said for the character of the place. The whole spectrum of what it’s like to be a human lives here and it has made these last two years very entertaining. Everyone at JCC and the community as a whole have been so welcoming and loving during my time here, I’m lucky enough to be leaving Jamestown with some friends and memories that I’ll take with me for life. The passion and pride that Western New Yorkers show for the places they were born and where they grew up is second to none, and nothing made this more obvious than a few silly Bills games.
There’s not much I’d change about New Zealand, but I’d love to see a little more WNY style pride shine through back where I’m from. This is an awesome little part of the world. I’m lucky enough to have done some traveling growing up and the Chautauqua area sure is unique, but don’t be afraid to expand your horizons. There is more to the world than just Bemus Point and Big Tree. Pushing those horizons will teach you everything about anything, and it will make you a little more grateful for the place you Jayhawks call home.
This virus sure has thrown a spanner in the works for everyone, and we internationals sure haven’t been spared. While I wasn’t planning on going home for summer anyway, I no longer have a choice… I never thought I’d finish my time at JCC trapped in my dorm doing all my work online but here we are. My family was set to come visit and be here for graduation but that’s obviously not the case, and I have no idea when I’ll see them next; that sounds a little bit morbid, but it is what it is. I’m a high energy person who likes to be outside, so I’ve had to get creative with how I entertain myself. While I won’t write novels about the state of my sleep schedule, the time I spend awake is spent working out, reading, writing, dusting up on my photography, or watching Netflix. I think it’s important to keep your creative juices flowing, so I’ve added more reading and writing than normal.
Like everyone else, I hope this is all over soon and we can have the summer that we’re all craving, but it’s important to understand the magnitude of the situation and to do everything we can to help ourselves and everyone else. The more we do now, the shorter we have to stay like this, so while temptation can be oh so attractive, there’s more at stake than your own personal health. Our grandparents were sent to war, we’re getting told to sit at home and play Xbox and watch reality TV, it could be worse.
Over two years, there’s been one comment that has stuck with me because I’ve heard it over and over again. That being every time I tell someone I’m from New Zealand, the response is always “why would you come here of all places?”, and at first it shook me, made me think wow is this place really that bad? Then I came to understand why everyone says it. Sure, you see all these pretty destinations across the world plastered across Instagram, all the sunrises, sunsets, and everything else on offer, but you never see the people that live there. You could take the most beautiful place in the world, fill it with the worst people, and it’d have a terrible reputation. Sure, Jamestown may not win prizes in the glamorous category, but listening to people talk about stories from their high school or talk about how fun summer is with their friends, that’s the most beautiful part about this place. It’s the people who live here that make that area what it is. Photos from here wouldn’t necessarily jump out to me, but after coming here and meeting families and friends etc. I’m leaving with no regrets whatsoever about choosing to come to Jamestown.
Next Step in Our Future
For myself and my fellow sophomores, the next step in our future is right around the corner. I wish everyone all the best in whatever the rest of 2020 and onwards brings them. It’s been an absolute pleasure for the last two years and I’ll forever be grateful for the people who have touched my life since moving here.
About this post’s author:
Hi! My name is Jakob Moore and I’m an international student from Wellington, New Zealand. I love photography and fitness, as well as just getting outside and having a good time with my friends! I’ve had the pleasure of playing on the Men’s Soccer team for the last two years, and am transferring to play NCAA Division 1 Soccer at Dixie State University in St George, Utah.