Development. Realisation. Progression.
Over the first three months of my year abroad in South Carolina, I learnt and absorbed lot. I learned how to deal with, and address racially motivated comments that I was subjected to, continuously. I learnt to respond to those who had no idea Black people lived in England and assure them that it is not uncommon. I successfully taught people that in England, we speak English, not French, lol. Many had no idea that the language of English originated from England, who knew!
However, most importantly, the things that were affecting me so detrimentally at the beginning of the semester, no longer did. Instead of getting offended by the many comments over my accent in association with my skin colour, I decided to use it as a way to communicate something, educate those who genuinely had no idea about the world and the people in it. Each negative comment I received, the less it affected me emotionally and the easier it became to attempt to teach people.
When I finally found myself in America, things started to work out.
I ventured out of the international bubble that had kept me bound for so long. It was an easy bubble to stay in, in one aspect, but in another, it was difficult. I saw things they didn’t see, I heard things they didn’t hear, I was racially attacked, they weren’t, and it took a while for them to see what I was going through before they could truly understand. I loved my international group wholeheartedly, but it was time to move forward, take the risk and do things on my own. I could see the “segregation” in South Carolina outside USC, and hated it, but I’ve never been one to stick to the rules, or social norm. I ventured out, and it was the best decision I ever made. After a few weeks, the other internationals joined in too, and we decided not to conform, but just to live.