Resident: Annabelle Zogaib
House: MET Pilot

It has been exactly a year since my father passed away suddenly and this immense loss has shaken my world. It has become no longer possible to ask my dad for simple things such as every day advice or have his guidance when making significant decisions. As it approached time to begin thinking about where I would live my second year of college, I became worried about being able to find affordable housing. My dad was the best at negotiating and finding incredible deals and it pained me to know he wouldn’t be able to help this time. When I heard about the Southern Scholarship Foundation I knew it was made with students like myself in mind and began the application process as soon as possible. I know my father would be very proud to see I am in good hands and would be extremely grateful to SSF for this wonderful opportunity, as I am as well.

Living in a dorm my freshman year was difficult. I was newly grieving my father and experiencing my first few months away from home. The dorm building was unwelcoming — clean and cold, much like a sterile hospital waiting room. The students living on my floor seemed to have no desire to make new friends and seemed to avoid even making eye contact when passing each other in the hallways. I avoided staying home for long periods of time because it was easy to begin feeling lonely. As cozy as I had decorated it, my dorm certainly did not feel like home.

I grew up in a busy household where family and neighbors were always in and out of my house. To me, home is where I can get a glass of water in the kitchen and end up having a long conversation with someone I love. Living in a dorm was never able to satisfy my desire to have the chaos that so often brought me peace at home — my house was never empty and always full of love. I am so blessed to have found this at MET Pilot. I enjoy walking through the living room and greeting those watching TV and doing homework. I love dropping off my book bag in my room, heading to the kitchen to get a snack, and learning about how everyone’s day is going. Staying home to study or catch up on laundry no longer makes me feel isolated or alone, in fact, it brightens my day.

Living in Pilot has not only given me remarkable proximity to campus and extremely affordable housing, but also a family I can come home to. I am sure my dad is rejoicing in knowing I ended up with such an amazing community. All my thanks goes to the Southern Scholarship Foundation and its donors for the generosity so prevalent in this foundation.