University life and lessons learned

First year in University is almost over. We started out with masks and debates over vaccination and now we’ve evolved into a resilient society of people who have conquered this pandemic that has changed all of our lives. Well, I’m not sure if we’ve completely conquered the pandemic. Let’s just say we’re smarter.

It feels odd to be maskless. While I feel I can breathe more easily, there is a fear of the unknown lurking in my head that makes me want to tug my black disposable mask over my mouth and nose and leave it there, just in case…just in case.

A lesson I have learned comes from what the wise Master Yoda said.

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

How true is that! And that is why education is so vital.

We’ve seen fear manifest into devastating acts of violence and hatred in these last few years. We’ve seen a rise in the division of societies and the hopeless marriage of politics and religion. And amidst all of that, I started a brand new phase of my life as a University student living away from home. Other than the academic aspect which is the usual lecture-lab-assignment cycle, I’ve made a bunch of new friends from diverse cultures and learned how to eat pretty much anything as long as I take my daily dose of Omeoprezole. I have learned to appreciate my home and family more than I did ever before and realized how blessed I am to have them in my life. I’ve learned how to manage my money and juggle my schedule. I’ve learned to prioritize and differentiate between the important and the urgent. I have learned a great deal about how people behave and how to set my boundaries. I have learned that I need to grow up and own my life before it owns me!

Mask or no mask, our personal health impacts community health. And before we expect anything from our community, we must fulfill our responsibility towards it first.