I have tagged 3 blog posts with resilience:

Train Rides and Textbooks: A Glimpse into the Rhythms of College Life

A young student on a train, engrossed in her phone, with books and a powerbank beside her.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, November 13, 2023, 15:20

Sitting here, staring idly out of the train's window at the murky gray landscape, the leafless trees stoically bearing the biting chill of 2°C weather, I am vigorously tapping away at my phone, shaping the thoughts that materialize into today's blog post. Muffled conversations and the rhythmic clatter of the rail tracks create a soothing soundscape, the perfect backdrop to my musings about college life.

College, more than being a mere step in the academic ladder, appears as a symbol - a stage upon which we mould our identities and sharpen our intellects. Each day unfurls a medley of new experiences, colourful and vibrant, interspersed with the monotony of lectures, seminars and ridiculously tight deadlines.

The effervescent buzz hum in lecture halls, the hushed whispers in library corners and the comfortable silence buried within pages of texts make up the rhythm of college life. It's an excellent dance of ambition and knowledge, dreams and reality, cultivating resilience in the face of the ever-so-familiar dread of failure.

While gloom might sometimes cast its long shadow amid the nerve-wracking anxiety of examinations or perhaps during those solitary moments of reflection, it's always met with a steadfast perseverance. Speaking of which, the news today about Prime Minister Erna Solberg's decision to seek another term, staying unflinchingly single-minded in the face of criticism, is a testament to that very dogged determination.

There's a beautiful sense of liberation that accompanies a stint at the university - marked by a shedding of one's inhibitions and embarking on a journey of self-discovery. And it's not just about the individual; it's equally about the community. The diversity that kaleidoscopes across the university campus is overwhelming, granting us the invaluable gift of perspective.

The train ride back home emerges into a quiet oasis amidst all the noise, offering a moment to soak in the day's learnings about journalism, world events, and life itself. My phone, just as it starts giving warning signs of a dimming battery, is promptly saved by a trusted companion since the dawn of college - my powerbank. It may seem insignificant, but for a blogging enthusiast and perpetual student like me, it proves to be a silent saviour. It's solar powered, the renewable source of energy offering a glint of hope in the looming climate crisis and teaching us an important lesson of resilience and innovation.

Brightening up my train rides with its continuous supply of charge, it is a reflection of the resilience that college life demands, a reminder that we can always recharge, refuel and reflect before leaping into another day of learning and discovery.

For all its highs and lows, college life is a beautiful contradiction - exhausting and exhilarating, demanding and rewarding, melancholic and joyful, all at once. It's a journey that deserves to be savoured, with the hope that every challenging paper, every train ride, every act of turning on a powerbank instead of wallowing in the dim glow of a dying phone, will lead us towards becoming the best version of ourselves.

Tags: personal reflections journey of self-discovery college life personal reflection resilience

Continue reading

Resilience and Hope: The Blueprint for Building Healthy Relationships Amidst Grief

A weathered hand holding a young sprout amidst snow, symbolizing growth amidst hardship.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, October 26, 2023, 16:29

A dull grey layer of clouds hangs heavily over my head, reflecting my mood and the heartache of a nation mourning the loss of a young life. With every tiny droplet that pecks at the window of the train, my thoughts travel to the coastal town of Lyngdal, where the currents of grief run deep today. I just read about it, about the tragedy, about a loss so sudden and heartrending that it feels personal, even though I never knew the boy.

Building healthy relationships - that's supposedly the title of this reflective piece; yet how does one talk of fostering connections and nurturing the bonds that tie us together on such a dismal day? The sting is too raw, the sadness too heavy, the grief too profound.

A relationship, healthy and thriving, is a tree that requires constant nurturing; watering with time, fertilizing with understanding, and pruned with mutual respect. But sometimes, despite all the efforts, the tree can still be struck by a sudden winter, freezing the life out of it, numbing the roots that hold us firm.

However, it is important to remember that a winter never lasts forever, and neither does the pain of losing someone. It's heartening to see that even in these times of physical restrictions and barriers, a connection is still being kept alive, the strength of the relationship not diluted by distance.

A funeral being broadcast is, on one hand, a reflection of the harsh times we live in, but it also symbolizes an underscoring truth - human relationships, no matter through what medium, run much deeper than the surface. Sitting miles away, we grieve for someone we never knew simply because of the shared human connection.

A relationship therefore, more than ever, is a commitment to pain just as much as it is a promise of joy. It is a vulnerability, an exposure, and the silent assurance that there will be someone to share in both your joy and in your sorrow. It is this that makes the loss bearable and the memory unforgettable.

Even as my fingers tap out these ostensibly dispirited words, they struggle to grasp the inherent melancholy any loss brings. It's a hollow feeling, like an echo bouncing back from a cavernous dark, undermining the certainties of life, intimidating the fragile essence of relationships. With the heaviness of these thoughts, I find it hard to stay dispirited. Instead, I find a certain sort of quiet strength that is underlined by hope.

Because if a relationship is a tree, then it is more than just about its nurturing; it's about the resilience to weather each season, each storm, and each loss. It's about the courage to outlast the winter and embrace the spring that always follows. Maybe that's the answer I was seeking all along, the key to building healthy relationships: strength in despair, and the courage to always hope for better days.

I watch as the train traverses the rural landscape, a reflection of a country in mourning. Yet amidst this somber scenery, I also see resilience, a landscape enduring cold autumn days, preserving the hope of a spring, mirroring the delicate strength of human relationships. So, in the gloom that this tragic loss brings, perhaps we can find the blueprint to building healthy relationships – sprinkled with a dash of hope in the resilience we all share as humans.

Tags: relationships resilience grief loss building healthy relationships

Continue reading

Celebrating Personal Triumphs Amidst Global Struggles: Embracing Our Everyday Victories

A woman cheering on a mountain peak, small Earth globe in hand, implies personal triumph amidst global issues.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, October 12, 2023, 09:14

As I sat on my usual morning train from home to Oslo, chugging through the brittle 7°C weather, I couldn't help but dwell on a profound sense of melancholy. The drab hue of the cold outside reflected my inner turmoil, while I grappled with the news article I had just scrolled through on VG - another narrative on political power, this one discussing the decaying grip of Hamas in Palestine. Stories such as these, dealing with the interplay of power and responsibility, always trigger a battleground of thoughts within me.

This morning, in particular, it cloaked my previously intended blog topic, ‘Celebrating personal achievements', in an almost sombre introspection. I found myself asking, 'What does it truly mean to celebrate personal achievements, when set against such a vast canvas of collective human struggle?'

But then, perhaps it is even more relevant to address this topic amidst the broader brushstrokes of global anxiety. We all live lives of relative contrast - our personal victories may seem insignificant against the backdrop of the world's uncertainties and intractable political dilemmas, but they are, in fact, profoundly relevant.

I feel it's easy to downplay our personal achievements, particularly when we're routinely exposed to the struggles people across the globe are facing. We think, 'How can I celebrate getting a good grade, a promotion, or finally managing to afford that vacation, when parts of the world are trembling under the strain of power, poverty, and fear.' It may seem inconsequential, even selfish, to revel in our success when there is so much suffering elsewhere.

But then, when we think about it, isn't it these very melancholy juxtapositions that make celebrating our personal achievements all the more essential? More so, when these achievements come as fruits of persistence, resilience and determination in the face of adversity?

It's the little victories we take for granted that breathe life into the somewhat gloomy fabric of reality. The collective human struggle is significant, but equally significant are our individual journeys. They humanize the broader narrative, giving it a face, giving it a voice, giving it 'us'.

Perhaps, it's time to shed the guilt attached to celebrating our personal achievements. Perhaps we must understand that every personal achievement celebrated is a push against the looming despair the world tends to throw at us; it's our own way of telling the world, 'Despite you, I rise. Despite you, I hope. Despite you, I celebrate.'

Each day we continue to try, to strive, and to succeed is a testament to our inherent human resilience — a resilience that, despite a crestfallen heart and a world full of strife, refuses to bow down. So, today, let us choose to celebrate our personal achievements, big or small. For these humble triumphs are reminders of our strength as individuals, a strength that mirrors the perseverance of humanity at large, irrespective of the formidable challenges we collectively face.

So, here’s to a toast to our personal achievements – a beacon of optimism, a sign of defiance against global despair, and a celebration of our indomitable spirit. No matter the grim stories around, let’s hold onto our hopes, victories, and celebrations. After all, what is life but a series of battles fought and victories gained, both personal and collective?

Tags: personal achievement global issues resilience self-reflection personal achievements global anxieties

Continue reading