JUST DON`T GIVE UP

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Today when I got up, my mum said “it`s -10 outside today”. I didn`t want to believe it, but yep, it was quite cold this morning compared to yesterday. What`s going on, Norway? I was right when I said last week that spring isn`t arriving anytime soon, but I wanted to change my mind yesterday when I was able to walk outside without scarves, gloves and with my jacket open. Happily it got “warmer” in the afternoon and I think spring is not that far away (even though it snowed just yesterday. Norway, you know). Also, I started crying this morning when I heard about Stephen Hawking… I wasn`t a fan of him, but I “grew up” knowing his name and knowing who he was. It feels like everyone`s slowly dying – Michael Jackson, Sri Devi, and now Stephen Hawking. It scares me. Stephen was such an inspiring person and despite the circumstances, he never gave up. Like he said: ” However difficult life may seem, there`s always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you just don`t give up.” Not only did he say that, he also lived according to it his whole life.

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I went to the Pakistani Embassy today to pick up my mum`s passport, and then went to school. I and some other students talked about how tired we are of the university and how want to get out, which all of us are next semester (thank God). I`m looking very excited to go to Maastricht next semester!! (I was about to say tomorrow. Yes, I`m in a hurry). By the way, one of the students I talked with yesterday is also going to study at the University of Maastricht. So, turns out I`ll know one person when I`m there, haha, but I bet that`ll be nice.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF HISTORY AND A THROWBACK

Hey guys! How are you doing? I hope you`re all doing fine. Today I had a very exciting lecture about the second world war. I love reading about that war, and then especially Holocaust and the stories from people who`ve survived the camp. I`m glad the lecturer talked about the topic and I very well know we barely have time to go into everything in details, but to be honest… either the lecturer should`ve spent an hour on Holocaust, or they could`ve had a lecture at the end of the semester about genocides and racism in the world history. Maybe I`m saying this because I`ve very interested in these things, but Holocaust is so important even till this day. History in general is important. We`re where we are today because of the past – both negative and positive things. I know people who`ve denied Holocaust, who`ve said that what happened was for the good(!!) and who don`t really know much about it. We need to learn why Holocaust happened and the consequences of racism and prejudices. We need to learn about how far humans can go, which Holocaust is a very good example of. Unfortunately the survivors are soon not going to be with us anymore, and therefore it`s important to talk more about this so we don`t repeat the same mistakes. In my opinion they should also organize a trip to Poland or Germany, so we can visit some of the camps, but maaaaaybe that`s too much to ask for (or maybe not).

Some pictures from soon 6 years ago, when I was in Poland, Czech Republic and Germany with my class. Memories and knowledge for life. Thanks to Victoria (she used to be a classmate of mine) for allowing me to use her pictures!

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Maybe I should`ve studied history instead. If only every lecture was that interesting. Well well, I`m off to bed soon. Take care, everyone.

SCHOOLS NEED TO DO BETTER

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I`m the kind of person that gets annoyed by how so many systems in the society don`t want to admit that sometimes, things don`t go according to the plans or that sometimes the systems aren`t doing a good enough job.

I`ve personally had a lot of experiences when it comes to schools and the educational system. I can`t talk for everyone, but I do know and I`ve seen for myself how rejecting and neclegting a school`s behaviour can be towards situations that can be quite sensitive and hard for students. Thousands of students are bullied every day and way too many times the schools barely do anything about it, things take time or they just say “we`ve initiated measures, and we`re keeping an eye on the case.” But what if these measures aren`t helping? What if meeting once a semester isn`t enough, or what if talking to a school nurse isn`t helping the student? When I was in high-school and I felt lonely, the principle thought we should have this room in which students can come to, hang out and just chill. After 2-3 times I figured out it wasn`t helping me or making things that better for me, so I stopped going to that room on Tuesdays. Measures who aren`t working, can`t really help anyone.

Schools need to realise that having a school nurse, group conversations with the ones involved or other measures are things that can help, but if they`re not doing enough for the ones who need help, they need to find other ways and they need to always be there for their students. That`s their duty. Parents send their kids to school several days a week thinking and hoping the school will teach them and take care of them. The schools can say they`re doing what they can, but if that really was the case: how come we`ve lost so many students because they were bullied or going through something difficult in school? And where are the consequences for the students who do the unjustice?

I`ve been there and when I was in school, I was frustrated because the system let me down. So many of the teachers have let me and thousands of other school kids down. I wanted to be heard, to be seen. And when I didn`t, I stood up for myself. I was told I was ruining the school`s reputation. I was told the school`s doing enough. That`s so easy for people to say, but I wonder if they would`ve said the same if it was their kid that came home every day, crying because the teachers didn`t see what was happening and because nobody wanted to sit with them, once again.

SOMETIMES ALL YOU NEED IS SOMEONE WHO LISTENS

“I`m sorry I wasn`t able to fix the problems, but I hope me being a listener and a person you could talk to at least helped you a little.”

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When I was being bullied in secondary school, I was frustrated. First of all because it kept going and going – as if the years spent in primary school weren`t enough. Also, the teachers weren`t able to fix the problem. They weren`t able to end the bullying. I was tired and exhausted. Maybe because it turned out that one of the bullies apologized but kept it going. Maybe because I could sit in the classroom during lunch and hear how some of the boys called me ugly.

I won`t say I was mad at the teachers for not being able to fix it, because I knew that they weren`t magicians who were able to change people. The bullies had to change themselves, they needed to have the will to change their behaviour towards me. Obviously some of them didn`t change their behaviour until the very end of the secondary. I still had my moments of frustration and only during the recent years I`ve thought that maybe the teachers felt hopeless too and they did what they thought was the best to do.

Because the truth is that there won`t always be someone around to fix your problems and get rid of them. In this case, my teachers couldn`t fix the problem, because they couldn`t force my classmates to change themselves. But, what they could have done, was to be there for me, listen to me, make me feel safe and accept me for who I am. Which they did. Sometimes all you need is a caring person who wants to listen to what you have to say. Countless times I sent JK an e-mail. If you`re read my blog for a long time, you`ll know JK was my main teacher during my three years at Østmarka (the Secondary School I went to). He was not only a teacher, but a friend for many of us. We could talk to him, and he would listen. I messaged him some evenings, because I was sad or frustrated. Usually he`d show up the next day, ask me to knock at his office door later and we`d end up talking.

Kids can be very mean to each other and therefore it`s even more important that we have teachers who see their students and make them feel safe and sound. Who make it easier for you to be in the classroom and to be at school, especially when your classmates are saying not so nice things about you or are making fun of you. Thank you, JK and all the others teachers that were kind to me and saw the strength in me, even when I didn`t. Thank you for seeing me. Thank you.

RED FOR LOVE

Winter this year is treating us quite well. At least that`s what I think. I`m sure a fair share of the majority believe it`s cold, even though it`s -2 today. It`s been worse, so I`m not going to complain. Plus it means that I can wear less “warmer” clothes! I find it weird how people in Pakistan call +15 for “winter”. It makes me laugh. I remember I saw kids who were covered up in big jackets when I was in Pakistan in December three years ago… And it was almost +20? That`s insane. +20 here is like proper summer here in Norway, so +20 was more than okay for me who doesn`t love heat. But my family in Pakistan thought it was blooming cold and proper winter. They sure haven`t been to Norway, haha.

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I`ve been at school today. We had a history lecture today, about the USA and how they became a nation with so much power. Interesting, buuuut I`m looking way much more forward to the Second World War and especially Holocaust! I managed to forget my lunch at home, so guess who went straight to the kitchen just as she came home? I`m glad I didn`t have a long day today.

IMG_2110It`s not always that easy to take pictures, haha.. my lovely red jumper with a skirt. Thought I`d try something a little difference. 

Hope this Wednesday`s treating you all well. Celebrate love today and every day!

STUDYING ABROAD?

Hey guys! I hope you`re doing well. I just came home from a family visit. Today`s been quite a long day. It was also a little too hard to get up today, bet I wasn`t the only one, haha. But, all in all it`s been an okay Monday!

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So, over to what this post is supposed to be about. This isn`t something I`ve mentioned on here, but: I`ve been wanting to study abroad for a long time. The opportunity seems great. Meeting new people, getting out there, living in another country for some time and studying there. I`ve been thinking of Canada, The Netherlands, Germany, India… God knows where I`m going to end up. I`ve been unsure about whether I`m actually able to get in or not, because of my grades. But, we got some information today at school which made me a little more hopeful and also got me thinking “oh my God, what am I even up to?!” The whole experience seems so new and I don`t exactly know what I`m even considering, haha… So, if anyone of you have studied abroad, whether that was 10 years ago or just last year, please share your experiences in the comment section below.  Where did you go, what was it like, what did you study? Did you miss home too much? Was it worth it, was it fun, scary, exciting or nerve-wrecking? Or maybe someone you know, have studied abroad?

So yeah, let me know below! I`ll appreciate it a lot. 🙂 

THEY SAY THAT GREAT THINGS TAKE TIME

I`m not popular, nor do I have many friends.

As a child I didn`t really have any friends. There and then I did I have people I could hang out with, but now I`ve realised they weren`t actually my friends. None of them stayed – some “faded away”, while others abandoned me. I was little, didn`t understand as much as I do now and didn`t really stand up for myself. In high-school I had many days where I felt lonely. For a long time, I didn`t really feel like anyone tried to listen to me or saw me who I am.

But, during my second year in high-school I got to know two girls, Sara and Thea. It started with me sitting with them. Slowly we started talking more and more and during third year I visited them and they visited me. I remember I once told them “I don`t trust you, it`s going to take a while for me” and they were like “well, just know that we trust you.” Some words can mean so much to you. They didn`t go all like “oh, why don`t you trust us, don`t you consider us your friends?”. They didn`t judge me, instead they gave me time and kept being the kind human beings they are. That meant and still means so much to me. I know that I could literally do anything to them, and they would still be kind to me. Thea is still here in Norway, while Sara is in Australia. She`s going to stay there for a couple of months and of course I miss her. I think it`s easy to think you`re going to drift apart when the distance is so huge, but I know we`re going to work it out and that missing each other will do us. Besides, Thea is still here!

Some days ago, Sara messaged me. “I just want to remind you of how fantastic, strong and cool you are, and I miss you.” Those words touched my heart and made me emotional (I`m perhaps the most emotional person on this earth).

I remember how I sometimes used to think before that the pain was never going to end. It seemed like the times I was going through at that time, was a phase I had to walk through forever. Many of us feel that way – it can feel like a never ending roller-coaster. You ask yourself “why me”. At that time I didn`t understand why people were being mean to me and making fun of me either. To be honest. sometimes I even found myself thinking “am I not cool enough or beautiful enough for people?” It feels like I wasn`t  popular or fabulous enough for most people, because after all, I didn`t really have that many to hang out with.

I still don`t have that many to hang out with, but you know what? I might have few friends, but the ones I have are fantastic. That`s good enough for me, because at least I`m cool enough, beautiful enough and fabulous enough for them. And that`s all that should matter.

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//Photo: here