Student blog: I am changing, are you?

Last night, as I perused my blog and reread old entries, I came across a three-minute read (according to Medium) about how calling individuals “like-minded” affected their creativity and personalities. I had also written an article about the feeling of solitude in the midst of such a rich and diverse community at my university. I was surprised to realise that I had become an entirely different person from the person who wrote it four months ago.

I immediately sensed an urge to delete the post which I considered out of place. “I think you should just keep it there,” said a voice in my head. True, it was tangible proof of my growth and how far I’ve come to embrace diversity and building my new set of values and principles. And far from being a quote fanatic, the first thing that came to my mind was this overused quote “isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything’s different…” (To this I shall say: God bless to whoever wrote it).

Here I am, almost eight months after I first set foot at ALU – some days I’m aware of my learning and existence, and on others I’m not – meeting inspiring individuals daily. I find myself subconsciously getting out of the the solitude I felt when first came and expanding the huge bubble I step out of to meet people and listen to their stories. I also sometimes invite people to come in and explore my side of things. The most powerful lesson I’ve learnt is that we may all feel the same way; sorrow, and loneliness, but we are all different and express feelings in a plethora of ways. We are definitely not “like-minded” since our arguments are always clashing , but we are humans. And our humanity goes beyond our skin color, religious beliefs, culture, and set of skills. Our humanity is about our empathy, and how much we give from what we love most in hard and crucial times.

In light of this, I came up with four golden rules to adopt – or drop – in the midst of realising my dreams which sometimes feels like I’m chasing the moon:

Rule #1: Never let a concept or set of words define the real worth of how far your mind can go

If I had believed that my peers and I are “like-minded,” my brain would have probably stopped operating with originality and creativity. Nonetheless, we must not forget that despite living in a diverse environment, we are walking towards the same vision. By combining our differences and various mindsets, we would set foot in place that no one has ever seen and do things that haven’t been done before.

Rule #2 : Don’t over think change

It is happening inside you at a much faster rate than you could ever imagine. But while on your journey of self-evolution, do not forget to be critical, ask questions, refuse and push back and forth ideas, be curious and be authentic to who you are. I never stopped telling any of my corny jokes because someone asked me to. It was enough for me to know that I could laugh at them, and so could my close friends.

Rule #3 : Trust the uniqueness of every single individual

Learn to learn from your peers, friends and everyone you meet. It is the relationships that matter afterall. 10 years from now, you may or may not remember what you studied. What you will definitely remember is your classmates, and the Friday night walks with your squad.

Rule #4 : Keep an open and vigilant mind to everything that happens in your life

Take time to process it and reflect on it because details will unfold when you least expect them to. Keep in mind that your growth journey will never be complete, it is a lifetime process which requires relying on a conscious state to easily connect the dots.

When I wrote my article four months ago in fury, I was feeling oppressed and misunderstood because I was being compared to someone who I’d felt did not have the same personality as me. Passing the stage of confusion was an enlightening and turning point in my ALU journey. Although I will probably never agree with the “like-minded” concept, I am much more on board with the idea of being “alike” regardless of our backgrounds and contexts. I am aware that I am constantly changing and that my views on life keep changing. It is my duty to be flexible with the multiple rotating positions in life.

I now keep track of my growth by working towards achieving all kinds of goals, and I quantify it by observing how much of my time I dedicate towards becoming that person I have always wanted to be.

It is slow, but there’s no doubt about what is happening and it’s worth waiting for!

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They develop the real-world skills to take on the world’s most pressing challenges. And they take ownership of their learning from day one through our peer and student-led approach – because ALU believes in the power and agency of young people to start shaping the future right now.

Together with a world-class faculty and staff, our students are igniting a ripple of positive impact across Africa and the world. Join us

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