I am highly aware of the situation I am in; I am blessed with the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Oxford. From my home institution, I've served as the introduction for HBCU students coming to Oxford. That is rewarding within itself, but it came with a great deal of commitment and responsibility. Many people in this world want to be the first and/or greatest to do something, but when they're daydreaming about whatever it is they want to do, I fear that they don't consider the preparation and "works" that is required in order for these dreams to come into fruition.
My journey to Oxford started in December 2022. Really, I knew that I was going to study abroad before I chose the college I was going to attend for undergrad. I didn't necessarily have the chance to study abroad any time before last year due to Covid. When I was searching through my options, I narrowed it down to two: Oxford and Yonsei. I toyed with the idea of being in South Korea with food being in the forefront of my mind, listening to my mom tell me how she wouldn't allow me to study there. Even though I was highly interested in both, something kept pulling me towards Oxford, and before I knew it, I was submitting my application materials.
I didn't know about the process I was getting myself into, at least on my home institution's end. For months, I was stressed and running around campus getting signatures, providing explanations, and holding people accountable. It truly felt like another class. Nonetheless, I made it through the process, by the grace of God. I knew how much that situation drained me, but I'd come too far to give up. Now, I am here at Oxford, living in one of my dreams. But again, with great opportunities come great responsibility. Yes, the term is brutal here, but I am finding ways to prioritize my mental health. I do this by listening to myself. Whenever I feel a strong urge to do something that I'd enjoy, I do it. Even if it's not at that exact moment, I set aside time for me to do it in the near future, and do not budge on it for anything. For instance, I went on a walk with one of the college dogs, Pippi. Also, I make it a point to explore different restaurants every couple of weeks.
It's amazing to be at Oxford, soaking up all of the knowledge that I can. But no matter where I go in life, I will always show love to myself and God. I could've easily not been here, as my process was so drawn out and frustrating that another candidate could've taken my place immediately. To anyone who is working their way up to something or already accomplishing their goals: never let your journey spoil your opportunities, only let it enrich them. As people, we sometimes sit in a place we've prayed to be in, harping on the negativity we've had to overcome to be there. It's perfectly fine to be grounded and aware of your background, but only use it as solace for others and to catapult yourself to greater heights—NEVER let it rob you.
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I am Timaira Mya Hinton, a lady of many passions and missions to fulfill. Defined by the carousel of my mind, I am embarking on the journey of life that is saturated with adventures, love, writing, violin, and (of course) the Sims.