When Roxana Otvos began her freshman year in 2013, it was more than just the beginning of a college career; for her, it was part of “a dream come true.”
“Coming here from Romania, I felt so blessed. I thought that nothing happening here [in America] was real until I started living here,” she said. “But it all clicked on the first day.”
In the mid-‘90s, Roxana’s parents were taught the gospel by American missionaries who were also associated with Florida College. They connected the Otvos family with Christians in America and ultimately, Florida College.
For as long as Otvos can remember, traveling to America and attending Florida College was a part of her and her family’s plan. But until she got there, she would have to cope with being the only Christian in her school and knowing few young people with whom she shared a common faith. Today, she is pleased to described life at Florida College as a refreshing opposite.
“I’ve been influenced by so many role models,” she said, citing Steve Walker, the College’s former head of advising, in particular. “We had conversations about life, how to solve problems…God will always be bigger than our problems.”
Otvos feels grateful for such support, and believes part of her successful two years can be attributed such examples.
“I thought, ‘This is so hard, this is a new world, how am I going to survive?’ Everyone showed me how to do that,” she recalled. “It was tough… the language barrier, but so many professors and students have been willing to help me while showing me how to become a better servant.”
Roxana is halfway finished with her bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in behavioral sciences. After graduation, she hopes to study counseling at the graduate level with the aim of entering the mental health field.
She misses Romania, but has no plans on returning any time soon.
“Everyone asks me if I’m homesick. No, I’m living my dream, there’s no time to be homesick. I miss my family, but the distance, the sacrifices are all worth it. I’ve been preparing for this for a long time.”
That’s how Roxana is living His way.