“You will not get what you deserve; you will get what you negotiate.” I have started my sponsored Fulbright journey with this nice piece of advice. In June 2016, I was traveling to do my Masters of Science in Nanotechnology at the University of Central Florida. It was my first time to travel on a plane and it was my first time to travel alone. I was at the airport to say goodbye to my family and before leaving, felt a rush of emotions. After leaving for the terminal, I sat on a chair and noticed a lady sitting by my side. She looked at me and asked, “Are you traveling by yourself?” I answered and said “yes.” So she then replied with, “then you are going to do great things, you can do it.” I thanked her for her kind words and searched for my departure gate. I was asking myself a lot of questions while searching for the gate, “Why am I here? What am I doing? What is my destination? Why am I leaving my family?” My head was full of questions, but I unfortunately had no answer!
When I found my gate, I entered the plane, searched for my seat, sat down, and fastened my seat belt. After that, I found a magazine in front of me. I took it and I found a message from God. I found a picture of a fortune cookie that had great advice: “You will not get what you deserve; you will get what you negotiate.” This means that even if I deserve something, I will not get it, I will only get what I ask or struggle for. At that time, I found the answer for all my questions. I am here because I want to do my masters, I left my family to be a better version of myself, and my destination is the whole world. As long as the sky is open, there is no limit for you. That advice was in front of me the entire time. I have passed by many things during this journey and I’ve become stronger and stronger. Finally, I got my Masters of Science degree in Nanotechnology at the University of Central Florida. Today, I am doing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Biochemistry specialization in Nano-Biotechnology at The City University of New York. At the end of the day, my advice for all of you is to hold your dreams until it comes true, and you will find the spirit of the Fulbright everywhere.
Yasmine Abdelkarem Abdellatif – Fulbright to Egypt 2016