It’s 2017. It’s time to look forward and to make new plans. The last year was very exciting and full of lessons for me. Here is what I have learned:
In the beginning of 2016, I finally received my Bachelor’s degree. I did my best, and my family was very proud. I grew up in a working-class-neighbourhood. It is a place where only a few people invest in higher education. For a long time, I thought that my job training in tourism was enough, but to be honest, I was also afraid of failing. But today, I have a very good degree from Germany’s best ranked university. I am happy that I did not give up and finally succeeded. Right now, I pursue a Master’s degree because I want to become a political scientist one day.
Never give up on yourself. Work hard on your goals, and never stop to learn new things. Education is empowering, and the best investment in your future.
In October, I moved to a beautiful city in Austria. I can spot the Alps from every corner of Innsbruck, and can go hiking as often as I want to. The natural beauty of this place is stunning and I can buy fresh food from nearby farms. I feel more alive and healthy in this natural environment. Plus, I don’t rely on public transport anymore.
Do not loose your connection to nature. We come from it, and we return to it one day. Less consumerism and more time in nature is a great way to stay healthy and to re-new your energy.
In 2016, I was struggling with the loss of two friendships. However, I decided to let go, and was rewarded with new amazing friends who suit much better to my personality.
The people who really care about you will never leave you anyway. It is important to surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dreams.
Many terrible and scary events happened in 2016. The success of neo-nationalist people and parties and the rise of hate against foreigners are very worrying. The influx of refugees is very uncomfortable for many people in the West. However, it brings people who benefit and people who suffer from wars, conflicts, the weapon industry, neo-colonial structures, and capitalism together. Some people decide to shut down, but many others open their hearts and try to understand what is going on in this world.
In 2016, I got to know a young man from Syria, and started to teach German to a family from Afghanistan. I can understand why they decided to flee to Europe and I am very lucky because I have never been in their situation. I cannot imagine how it feels like to leave my family members behind in a war zone, and to watch how my country falls apart on the tv screen. I am more grateful than ever to live in a safe place, and I am more aware of the transnational connections we all share as inhabitants of this world.
In 2016, many events demonstrated the connections between the wealth of the West and the suffering of people in Africa, Asia and Latin America. To me, it does not make sense to close borders and to refuse to help. We are all connected. We have to find new solutions for global problems. There is no time to ignore them anymore.