I have tagged 1 blog post with empowerment-through-education:
From Classroom to Commuter Train: Reflections on College, Choices, and Connection Amidst Norway's Landscapes
As the train slices through the chilly November afternoon, my fingertips hover above the warmed keys of my laptop, guided by rhythm of absent thoughts. The scenery changes from the steel and concrete of Oslo to the familiar patchwork quilt of forests and quaint wooden houses that mark my journey home.
These commutes have become a small part of my college experience; sitting quietly in the corner of a train, a spectator to the changing landscapes outside while fighting the urge to succumb to the lull of the train. It's soothing really, a moment of solitude that seems to exist outside the cycle of assignments and deadlines.
College can be an overwhelming tumble of new experiences. Lectures, seminars, group work and a slew of emails that ask more of me than I think possible. I've come to realize it’s not just about learning in classrooms, but equally about learning myself - my limitations and strengths, both equally important, and equally worthy of acceptance. With every assignment, every research paper I write, I feel an incremental change, a growth, a shift in perspective. And this very train ride becomes my anchor, my time to process the thoughts and discoveries of the day.
Reflecting on the day behind, I am drawn to a snippet of news I read earlier, a chilling account of a missing woman from Ålesund. Been missing for several days now. The sad reality that she may be out there somewhere, battling the same cold I am shielded from inside this comfortable cabin stings me. The details of the woman, still fresh in the cyber pages of smp.no, are etched into my mind. A stark reminder of my privileged reality; to live an uninterrupted life, to have the freedom to take this journey every day, to ponder, and to write my thoughts down, unthreatened and unafraid.
It’s a sobering reflection, one that makes all college stress seem trivial. Somewhere in these hours spent learning and growing, it's worth remembering that the world continues its dance outside the university bubble. That people are fighting unspoken battles, that same world is darker to some people than it is to me. In all this maelarchy, I become acutely aware of one thing - Choices. The power to affect change. The power to carve my own path.
In the vast spectrum of college life, filled with all shades of experience that are too complex to pour into words, I somehow find myself grasping a deeper understanding of life’s fragility and beauty. There’s something about college that triggers immense growth, not just academically, but in personal perspectives. And amidst the lessons taught in classrooms and libraries, there lies another lesson, a silent one, pulled from the delicate leaflets of newspaper columns and lived experiences.
As the train pulls into my station, I pack away my laptop and don my coat, steeled against the unforgiving chill. My heart still feels heavy with the news of the missing woman, her life another unknown narrative being written somewhere outside this train. Pushing away the curtain of thoughts, I step onto the cold platform. College has changed me, I can feel it. And it's not just knowledge taking root, but empathy growing within me. A desire to use the power of words wisely, to shed light, to make a difference. Even if it's just by writing about it - every word a pledge, a silent prayer. A hope wrought in ink that the woman missing in Ålesund is found soon, safe and sound.