“I Can’t Wait to be a Badger! Can You?”

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you finally saw that threatening email? “Your admission decision is available at your UW student portal,” read part of the message.

When I saw the email, all I could manage to say to the friend sitting next to me was “Allan I think I got in.” I thought I was dreaming; but I made up my mind that if I was, the one that woke me up would be in hot soup.

Oh by the way, I am Lusayo Mwakatika. I live in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, Africa and will be studying agricultural business management at UW-Madison this fall. I am a very friendly person who loves playing and watching soccer and volleyball, singing, and listening to music of any kind (as long it is entertaining enough to catch my attention).


I consider myself a very confident and enthusiastic fellow; but sometimes, I also lose self-confidence and my self-esteem goes really low. The most recent examples of this were when I was asking my ex-girlfriend out for a date and when I was applying for UW Madison. Well…let’s dwell on the latter part.

I saw UW-Madison as somehow too good for me. Everyone was encouraging me to apply, but somehow, I was not one-hundred percent sure that I would get in. That is why upon seeing my admittance email, I thought it was a dream.

Family has always been the thing I treasure most in my life. I have my dad as my best friend, and I love my mom a lot too. I am always fighting with my older sister and my younger brother over the TV remote, which makes my time at home fun.



When I finally broke the news to my family that I had been admitted to UW-Madison, they all went bananas. I wish I could describe the scene, but I bet that would take me another 1000 words to do. I have never been away from my home and family for a long time. Well, apart from that day when I left to visit a friend at 5:00 a.m. and arrived home at 11:00 p.m. late at night. At first, I thought of this as a small issue, since I am now grown and won’t need my family everywhere I go. However, it seems the thought of leaving becomes more frightening as the time of leaving comes closer and closer. I am indeed nervous.

Still, because of the circumstances I have faced, I always view myself as a positive person who has lost their sense of negativity. Having survived more than ten all-day blackouts in my life and turning them into reading hours has helped me become positive enough. Now, however, as I am nervous about leaving my home, I know that no matter how far I go and what I do, I will always have the full love and support of my family. Funny enough, it seems that the farther I go, the more their love grows, since they are constantly checking on me to see how I am doing.

I will also miss my country of Malawi a lot: with the beautiful and ninth largest lake in the world, the second largest mountain in Africa, and countless national parks and game reserves. We also take pride in our culture as Malawians, part of which is living peacefully and being friendly to other people, especially strangers and visitors. This culture has earned us the name “the warm heart of Africa;” because everyone feels welcome here, no matter where you came from. Do you want to Google it now? Well, finish reading the blog first.

UW-Madison has already proved to be my second home. Having started getting in touch with my fellow Badgers through the Facebook group and other social media platforms, I am already excited about how my experience will unfold in Madison. I am excited to explore the city, including the lakes and experience the snow (since we don’t have it here). The people I have been talking to and the UW-Madison staff has already proven to be nice and friendly. This gives me an assurance that I will enjoy every second on campus. Although they say the pasture is not always greener the other side; in this case, I consider it a false statement. In short, I can’t wait to be a badger on campus! Can you?


9 Comments Add yours

  1. Ernest says:

    Best of luck Lusayo!


  2. Reyna Groff says:

    Thanks for the blog post, Lusayo! I’m excited to be at UW too. It’s really cool how you’re leaving your family and coming so far! For sure it will be a learning experience, but that means so much growth, and that’s exciting.


  3. Hello Ernest and Reyna Groff. I am very humbled by your positive comments and I am glad you enjoyed the blog… Watch out for my next blog..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emmanuel Chima says:

    Well done my friend 🙂 I’m cheering you on. Looking forward to visiting you on campus.


  5. Cheryl says:

    Good job Lusayo. I really loved you blog.


  6. EducationUSA Malawi says:

    We are wishing you the very best Lusayo! Great job. Go EducationUSA Scholar!


  7. John Roebke says:

    I look forward to receiving updates about you from your sister. Enjoy the snow! Maybe you can go ice fishing on Lake Monona 😉 Say hi to Pastor Jon Bilitz at Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel for me. Mwende bwino!


  8. Elcah says:

    Awww little one am missing you already,good luck 😊 in your studies ❤


  9. Yujie Guo (Maggie) says:

    It’s sooo nice to meet you in person 🙂


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