I can’t believe how three months can really change a person. In three months I have learned so much about myself, my passions, and my goals. I have learned how to cook real food because chocolate cake is not acceptable for every meal — unfortunately. I have learned about the world. I hope to continue to learn, but, wow, I have grown in more ways that I can imagine — it’s weird, exciting, and draining.
I had the transforming opportunity to work with a Texas Senator on a project relating to educational policy in Texas. Anyone who personally knows me is fully aware of my passion for education — education is more than papers and pencils, textbooks and essays, teachers and students; it is the opportunity to empower oneself through acquiring knowledge. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to pursue higher education, to study and learn about topics I love. This internship opportunity opened my eyes up to the way education works in different parts of Texas. I watched people discuss potential laws that affect students and teachers. I listened to inspiring individuals advocate for causes they are passionate about. I met kind people who opened my eyes to different perspectives. Education appears so simple, but there are so many layers to one idea, policy, and thought. This is discouraging at times, as the laws I hope to see become implemented in Texas education may never exist.
I also worked with a non-profit organization that specializes in providing educational opportunities to students in Africa, Latin America, and the United States. The biggest lesson I have learned is that: students in other parts of the world are not so different from me. Before, I believed I was not in anyway related to students from different parts of the world. However, this cannot be farther from the truth — yes, the buildings we learn in are different, the languages we may speak are different, and the resources we have are different — but after truly learning about these students I have realized we are so similar. Students in Kenya want to learn, grow, and develop professionally and personally — just like me. Sometimes I feel like the media has created this rift between me and those who live in other parts of the world; I feel like I am different than other people, but at the core we all want the same things from life: comfort, happiness, and love. These things manifest themselves in different ways, but we are all humans; we will all die in the same soil.
“Son buenas gentes que viven, laboran, pasan y sueñan, y en un día como tantos, descansan bajo la tierra.” – He Andado Muchos Caminos, Antonio Machado
I also started to really cook real food. Last semester eggs were my best friend. I can scramble them, boil them, make them into a taco, french toast — the possibilities are endless. But eating eggs every day is not sustainable or fun. So, I bought meat cooked with my brother, and although I am still learning, our attempts at making dinner were successful — they were actually tasty. I have a long way to go before I am an incredible cook like my grandmother, but this is just the start, and I am excited to begin creating recipes that will become a part of my life.
School starts in 2-weeks, and I am terrified of failure, rejection, and balancing all of my commitments. I need to stop being so hard on myself and begin to trust my abilities. My first-year of college was successful in terms of numbers, but my mental health suffered — a lot. I want to maintain my academic goals and also become a friend. I say this all the time, but I am ready to find balance — I just hope balance is ready to find me.
I am home now. In my childhood bedroom, around my parents, surrounded by home cooked meals, and lots of love. I am blessed, grateful for these opportunities, and content with my life.
Life is good, Allhumdullilah.