A Newfound Home

Many ups and downs led to the moment when the Transfer Class of 2019’s Richard Trevorrow could call NC State “home.”

NC State, home of the Wolfpack and the University I have thoroughly been preparing myself for both mentally and physically. Paranoid over the possibility of not being accepted into NC State, I found myself awake most nights of the year. What will I do if I don’t get in? A common thought most transfer students trying to get in to NC State have stressed over, and with a 25% acceptance rate in the engineering programs, you can understand my paranoia.

Let me hit you with some truth: It’s not solely about your GPA; it’s about what you do outside of the classroom. It’s about putting in extra hours into being a part of your community, helping others, and joining various societies. It’s about showing initiative and that you care about more than just you.

It was just after midnight on April 14 that I decided I could wait no longer. I logged into my WolfPaw account and read the tagline, “Your application decision has been released.” Remaining calm, I clicked on the link and found my smile stretched from ear-to-ear. First order of business: tell everybody. Once the joy of being accepted had simmered down a notch, the thought of how to pay for my tuition began to set in. I had planned to pick up a second job over the summer to decrease the hypothetical “weight on my shoulders” on having to pay for college fees, but then the astounding news came out that I would be a Goodnight Scholar. What a relief!

Going from not knowing what the future holds to having every possible good bit of news thrown at me filled me with joy and pride. Back home in South Africa, the infrastructure for support of education to people is virtually nonexistent, and I can therefore truly appreciate this opportunity. As much as it pained me to move away from the friends and family I have grown to love, I knew my decision to move to the United States and be with my wife was the best decision I could have made. I initially came to the United States to be with my wife, Hannah, while she finished her degree at NC State, and I found myself pondering the ideas of pursuing a degree too. Hannah worked two jobs while taking sixteen credit hours online when we were living in South Africa (She’s a legend). The stress took its toll, and we decided that moving to Raleigh was the best option for us to achieve our educational, career, and life goals. With the determination to be successful, combined with the notion of how I wanted to spend the rest of my life, I found myself applying to Wake Technical Community College and working towards an associate degree in the hope of transferring to NC State.

A wise man once told me, “The coursework doesn’t necessarily get any easier the further you go, you merely learn how to evolve into a more efficient learner.” – or something like that.

After the first semester at Wake Tech I found myself asking questions such as, “Why in the world do I need to take history if I’m majoring in computer science?” I emailed NC State to figure out why I needed to take such a class. Unsatisfied with the response, I took the class anyway to fulfill the required credits and to my surprise I ended up enjoying it. Maybe it was the teacher, or maybe it was because I had changed as a person, but whatever the reason was, I am appreciative of the experience.

In order for me to go any further, I need to take a step back. At the age of 21, I found myself in love with someone from a different continent. From the moment I met her I was infatuated with her. We were from two different worlds, and yet we shared a lot of the same interests. Knowing that she would go back home after her study abroad program ended wasn’t enough to keep us apart. The time finally came when I had to make a life-changing decision that ultimately rested on the approval of the interviewer at the U.S. consulate. Being as honest and transparent as I could possibly be, I told the interviewer that I needed a visa to visit my girlfriend in America. Apparently visiting your partner in a foreign country is frowned upon. Like many other foreigners in relationships, trying to gain access into another country to be with their partner, I was denied the visa on the spot, and sent home. Denying reality we explored our other options and came across the visa-waiver program though my United Kingdom passport (Thanks mom!). Bags packed and ready for a new adventure (My first ever trip out of South Africa), I experienced my first white Christmas. Needless to say, the rest is history. Since leaving South Africa in 2014, I have traveled to a vast amount of different cities, states, and it is all thanks to her.

I now find myself in Raleigh spending most of my time with my head buried in my schoolwork, going to a college I have grown attached to since the first time I visited the United States. In 2012 I witnessed Scott Wood shoot three pointers like it was nothing – It was absolutely mind-blowing, and nothing I had ever seen before in person. The hyped-up and united crowd filled me with a warm feeling of homeliness, and this was the moment I found myself falling in love with NC State. Having 26 years of life experiences and memories under my belt, I am excited for what the future holds for me at NC State. I am quickly learning what being a junior is all about: adapt or fall behind. A wise man once told me, “The coursework doesn’t necessarily get any easier the further you go, you merely learn how to evolve into a more efficient learner.” – or something like that. The point is: you need to embrace change. And speaking of, I have decided to set new goals for myself, and stick to a schedule. Class, gym, study, sleep, repeat (Not always in that order). This semester I plan on being more involved with the community I live in, eat healthier, stay in shape, share laughs with new friends, and focus on locking down an internship over the summer. For a world that is forever changing, I want to be a part of that change. And that change, starts with today.

Photography credit: Jason Perry/Goodnight Scholars Program, Richard Trevorrow/Goodnight Scholars Program