Reflection on the holiday and going back to university

My 2nd year of university is about to begin and I need to get a few things off of my chest.

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Tomorrow I will be going back to the other side of the country to continue my studies and begin my second year of law. Whilst I am excited and overjoyed about it, I also believe it is important to look back at the holidays and the previous year and towards growing as a person.

This holiday has not been a busy nor an active one. Instead, I took the time to relax, unwind, contemplate and reflect on 2017, and what is to come this year, in 2018. I purposefully did this for a number of reasons. Firstly, I was so drained from exams and the shenanigans of 2017 that I needed to catch up on this beautiful thing known as sleep. Secondly, I felt that it was particularly important to find some “me time”.

This holiday was a time where I could finally reflect on everything that transpired in the last year. I looked at how I have grown as a person, as a leader, and what has brought me to where I am now. What I need to always remind myself is that there will always be those who try to suppress your thoughts & actions, and evidently will work on bringing you down. Thus, it is important to learn from mistakes and disregard hateful remarks from those who seek to undermine you and your work. I know it may sound silly that I need to remind myself of this but sometimes you can easily forget the basics.

To the friends and wonderful people who I saw during this holiday, thank you for spending some precious moments with me. To those who tried to make plans with me, I’m sorry that we could not follow through and do anything. I know many times it was my fault for not being to organize something properly. You all matter to me and I hope that we can do something once I return.

Something that I strongly advise every single one of us, including myself, is to find balance between fighting for what we believe in and self love. Last year, I forgot about self love and care quite often and I was slowly falling down a dark path. Luckily, I realized what was happening and I was able to learn and grow from it. I know it is extremely tough to find the balance but it is part of the challenge of being human and it will continue to be a challenge for me too.

Finally, to anyone who cared enough to read all of this, I ask that you learn to accept people for who they are. Do not just “tolerate them”; you must accept and respect those around you, especially individuals from marginalized groups such as POCs, womxn, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people of different religions, nationalities and backgrounds.

We live in a problematic, oppressive society and it is up to us to continue the conversation and actively work towards dismantling structural, psychological, ideological oppression. Please make your spaces safe and brave ones.

Luke Waltham is a BA Law Graduate. He is a BA Honours student and has been an activist for transformation, social justice and human rights. #BTSARMY

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