Do you remember that scene from Harry Potter, where Horace Slughorn invited his students over for a dinner? Well, it seems like my university has taken this idea and adapted it! Basically, every once in a while there’s an event where us, students, get to spend an evening with one or another lecturer at a café, a bar or any other informal environment. The main idea is that we get to know them in a whole new light, see them for who they are as people and what stories they have to tell. Today I had decided to attend this unusual little event. This particular one was hosted by ELSA, an association for European law students and those whose studies are associated with law, I believe. So, I went there, got to know one of my favourite lecturers as of yet and a couple of thoughts crossed my mind.
It’s become a worldwide joke by now that even though it might seem like adults are really responsible, in reality, they still don’t know what they’re doing. Well, the truth is that with time you get some sense of direction by simply graduating, getting a degree and specialising yourself in one sphere or another. You see, from the way the lecturer was talking about his life today and what led him to be here doing what he’s doing, I understood that there was never a master plan to do this, do that, eventually publish this, get these benefits and so on. Life is not about having it all together, it’s a constant journey towards that and never reaching this stage of fullness. You know, he said, not exactly in the same context, but – who said that building yourself and having it all around you is the way to happiness? Maybe deconstructing yourself, leaving a piece of you – your time, your efforts, your best ideas – everywhere you go is the true path?
The reason he’s one of my (and quite a few of my fellow law students’) most-preferred lecturers not because he knows his subject the best or he teaches you in some incredible, unbelievable manner. It’s that he feels very real, it feels like the person that you see is the true actual person with no mask on. And I’ve always known that I want to be that. People like him, real and true, have always inspired me in one way or another. Of course, as he mentioned, we can all speak a lot of languages. And those languages aren’t really all spoken out loud. These languages are knowing how to act in various environments, what variation of speech to use here and there, we know what attire is appropriate for certain events and spaces. I’ve noticed that this can be sometimes be taken to extremes by a lot of people, yes, even myself. Sometimes we don’t just speak the set language, we change our entire ethnicity. Instead of adapting our own unique personas to the situation, we put on a mask and create a whole new persona, that rarely reflects our own true selves.
And yet, my absolute favourite thing the lecturer said was that you should always stay a student. Stay your twenty-year-old self for the rest of your life. Even if you have grey hair or can’t walk anymore, you should keep your student-like attitude towards the world. A student will always find something good in everything, they’ll recognise the easiest way for them to do anything and somehow they’ll manage to get some profit out of that. Take this for example – every student has issues. Bigger or smaller, financial or emotional, academic or health-related – everyone has them, but you know what? They’re still probably the happiest group of people in society! So, I wish you from the bottom of my heart, dear reader, to always stay a student and enjoy your life.