By Maria Eduarda
If you ever participate in any event of St. Francis College, you will probably hear them saying “Dream. Serve. Achieve. Dream, dream big. Serve, serve the community; and achieve, achieve greatness.” This phrase has been stuck in my head since the first time I heard it, because it is not only one of those catchy phrases that you hear and never forget, but also because every single word had a true meaning for me.
While a teenager, I had dreamed about studying in America for several years. Because of the great influence American movies have all around the world, I have always pictured myself going to university campus, like the ones in “Gossip Girl” and “Legally Blonde,” and having a locker just for myself. However, the reality in Brazil was quite different from that and not many people talked about the opportunity of studying abroad. After a year studying in a university in Brazil, I perceived that I was not in the right place, I was not living that experience that for so long I had thought about. As in that same year I had made a trip to New York City where I spent ten incredible days, I decided I would apply to a college in the United States so I could make those amazing days parts of my daily life. Somehow, while in the Big Apple, I knew I was in the right place. So, you’ve got to imagine how I feel right now that my college is located in Brooklyn, New York. It is a dream coming true!
Although I haven’t had the opportunity to be either in New York City or on campus since I began college, I know that I study in New York, I know that I dreamed big and I realized it. Sometimes when I am feeling down because I am in Brazil, I like to close my eyes and imagine what I will be surrounding myself with in just a few months from now.
I feel very blessed to study in a school which has such an incredible view of the city of New York, which is extremely close to the beautiful view of Brooklyn Promenade and which will enable me to have a fantastic life experience because of all the diversity culture New York has to offer me.
I can’t deny that it is pretty hard to know all of that but not being given the opportunity to truly experience it. Still, I am extremely lucky to study in a school which prioritizes serving the community, because my friends and the staff members work really hard to make me feel like I am there with them. For instance I have made a friend, Darren from Guyana, but who is currently in New York, who, whenever I feel upset cheers me on and he has even filmed the school entrance and some of its class so I could see my university and the incredible neighborhood where it is located.
Besides that, I can’t tell you much more of how it is to be a college student in New York City, but I know from my friend’s Instagram stories that it is the best experience you could ever have. I just can’t stop picturing myself going to mass on Sunday mornings at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, then reading a book and doing a picnic at Central Park, eating the famous cookie from Levain Bakery, riding a bike at Brooklyn Bridge, and ending my beautiful day with a musical session on Broadway, once things get back to normal.
So, if I could just give you a piece of advice, I would say “Dream. Dream Big. Serve. Serve the Community. And achieve. Achieve greatness.” I did it and you can do it as well!
Maria Eduarda is an international student from Brazil at St. Francis College. Currently, her major is undecided, but she is leaning towards political science. She also participates in the Amnesty International Chapter USA at SFC.