This is Ikechi Enyioma. He is a junior and a kinesiology major. His faith helped him to overcome his struggles and continues to guide him in the right direction. This is his story.
“I’m a first child of immigrant parents. They basically had to start over because they weren’t teens when they came here. They were in their 30s actually. My dad had to go back to pharmacy school, and my mom started her nursing thing.
You are on the fence all of the times because in one way you are black, and in one way you are Nigerian. The way you were brought up in a Nigerian household is different than a typical Black household. It’s not that you have to be two-faced, but you need to know how to act in certain situations. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out who you are as a person.
Fast forward to senior year of high school, and I decided to go to UTSA. It just kind of happened. I didn’t go to any schools to visit. Orientation was literally my first time coming here, and I like here. It’s not too big, it’s not too small, the people here are very friendly to me, and I’ve met some really cool people.
I feel like a lot of things in my life are not by chance. For me, a lot of things have happened, because of God, and, in my opinion, things happen for a reason. Not necessarily the good or the bad. Everything that happens turns around for the better. I’m put in certain places of my life in order to develop myself in different areas. If I wasn’t here, then I would not have met my business partner. I would not have thought of doing something like this. I’ve even had the opportunity to help somebody else start their business, and then realize, ‘Hey, we can do it ourselves.’ A lot of things happen. I never knew things would be like this when I started college, and I found photography on top of that. At first, I told people that I would never be a photographer, because a lot of people were doing it at the time. In 2016, people were doing it left and right. I told myself that I would never do that, and then literally freshman year, fall semester, I took a photography class because of my advisor, and here I am now. I just stuck with it, and its opened doors for other things. I have a lot of the skills that I have to today, because I just happened to fall into them, and that’s how it has worked. I feel like God has it under control because I don’t know everything, but everything leads to the next thing for me.
I was depressed for a time. It really started around junior of high school. I really didn’t have friends in high school. There is not anybody that I can say is a good friend of mine from high school. Every time I go home, it’s just me, my siblings, my family, and that’s it. When I got here, I had to be really open. I had to tell myself that I cannot be do the same things I did in high school. High school is different. You see the same people every day, all the time. College is a whole new world. It wasn’t necessarily nerve-racking at first, but my mom always told me, ‘If you want to have a friend, you have to be a friend first,’ and that’s what I had to do. I had to be the friend first.
It didn’t really register with me how I was really feeling until my freshman year of college. Nothing had happened, but I always found myself comparing myself to other people. I would look at my close friends think, ‘wow,’ these people are doing stuff, and I’m just a here. What about me?’ I was trying to process things from the past that I never really dealt with, and I wasn’t as close with God as I should have. I’m good now because of my relationship with God. Though all of the ups and downs, God has grounded me this whole time. I had to really take it seriously. At that time, I just didn’t know who I was as a person, and I didn’t know where I was going. I was not anywhere that I am today. I didn’t even think of doing anything business-like. I didn’t have a camera. I just came to college and was like, ‘Okay, I’m a kinesiology major because I don’t see myself doing anything else.’
Now that things are happening, and even to this day, sometimes I’m just overwhelmed, but I wouldn’t have it any other way because, at the end of the day, a lot of things happen to prepare you for the next level of where you’re going to go in life. For me, I just have to say, ‘take every opportunity that comes your way because you never know where it will take you.”