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Tobechukwu Nwaelugo

My View of Manchester

by Tobe Nwaelugo | Oct 18, 2016

It only took the general idea of loved ones to actually stir up my emotions. I was sitting at the lunch table when I overheard someone mention something about their mum. It was like instinct to check my cell phone to see if my parents had maybe tried to contact me, perhaps a text that I hadn’t seen yet because my phone died, I was actually hoping. I checked my phone and my dad had actually sent me a text saying “college will get harder as you go on but the fact of the matter is that you have to go on, we are praying for you. I love you, Daddy.”  I never understood why my dad would sign his name with every first and last text he sent. I still don’t understand. However that isn’t the point, seeing that message for some strange reason triggered a whole bundle of sadness.

The realization of how far away from home, how I couldn’t visit my family whenever I pleased, it made me sad. Suddenly I lost my speech and I didn’t feel like being “social”. Being antisocial was a very tempting idea that I decided I would go through with. I stopped talking to people around me and suddenly seemed mad. Now this behavior may be very common, but the problem is, I am always happy. My friends weren’t used to that transition from loud and too happy to angry and teary. Obviously they knew something was wrong. The more they asked me, the angrier I got. It bugged me that they wanted to know what was wrong with me. I didn’t want to tell them, at least not in person. The simple fact was that I missed my father and it pained me that the only way I could speak to him was a cell phone. I mean, I could’ve Skyped, but that doesn’t mean I could hug him.

Okay, I know I’m in college, I should have seen it coming, but I am and have always been, daddy’s little girl (even though I am the first born); that is just something that is hard to get rid of. The smell of coffee would remind me of my dad, because he doesn’t drink coffee. I base everything I see around me on my family; maybe that’s why I miss them so much. Back to the point, after the whole dinner scenario, I went to my room and was disappointed that my roommate wasn’t there. Then again, I couldn’t really expect her to be there for every single problem I had. I sat on my bed and cried for what could be the longest before I got a text. This text was sent from my SOL sister and it read “I love TOBE, don’t cry”. She called me by my traditional name. I couldn’t help but laugh because I know how she has always been trying to call me by the name given to me by my dad. The caring didn’t stop there I got a Snapchat from a friend of mine that I would least expect to care. She asked me how I was doing, I said I was better. She then replied “Good! Grandma loves you!” (How she became my grandma is a story for another day). She took a ridiculous picture that just brought out the widest smile of the day.

Now, why did I decide to tell you this story? Easy! These people who took it upon themselves to comfort me knew me for no more than 4 months. I knew I had friends in Manchester, but these people were angels sent from above. They didn’t give me the love that my father would have, but they gave me a love that my father wouldn’t be able to give me.  People usually say it’s the thought that counts—they gave more than a thought to those messages. They carefully selected phrases that they knew would make me laugh, GENIUS! After realizing that I have somewhat of a family at this college, my roommate showed up, and like always, she sealed the deal. She gave me the same heart felt hug that I had received on my first week in school and my tears vanished. I don’t know what it is about the people in Manchester, but whatever it is, it should stay. I have the best friends I have ever made and I made them at this college. Most of my friends aren’t even from North Manchester, but they are all from Manchester University. Now, as a Junior, it takes a lot to make me unhappy; I just have a lot happiness at this college. Everyone is MY family.  I appreciate the love I received; I feel the need to share my Manchester with the world.

Tobechukwu Nwaelugo ’18 came to Manchester University from Nigeria. Currently pursuing a Political Science major and International Studies minor, she hopes to go to Law School and work for an International Organization.