Being on a college campus can be overwhelming. I’m confronted daily by fees, homework, rehearsals, callbacks, tests, quizzes, and finding time for friends. It almost makes me forget that the world continues turning and life doesn’t stop just because I’m at college.
Leaving home is hard for some and easy for others. For me, it’s difficult to be away from home. I miss my family, and my friends at home seem to go on fine without me. It may sound selfish, but it just boils down to my want to be with friends and family.
Then I’m confronted by the fact that there is a world beyond home. We have a president with a trigger finger for tweets, a regime across the world threatening to annihilate us, racist marches that end up in harmless protesters being killed, and natural disasters that threaten the lives of the innocent.
I was out with friends a couple weeks ago at Empire Slice House, 1734 N.W. 16th St. We were celebrating a close friend’s 21st birthday. I had an absolute blast, and, when I got home, I got into my warm bed, reflected on my amazing night and fell asleep. I was safe and sound–only worrying about some homework that had to be taken care of.
I slept without problem and woke up a full nine hours later. I opened my New York Times app on my phone, and I saw the hurricane’s destruction in Texas.
While I was laughing, enjoying friends’ company and eating incredible pizza, people were fearing for their lives. They were without power and getting 20 inches of rain in just 24 hours. Some people were watching as their homes literally washed away. Some people got no sleep that night and woke up in the morning thinking, “what am I going to do now?”
That was Harvey, and now Floridians are going through the same thing with Hurricane Irma, too.
It’s difficult, as a college student, to face these facts. It’s difficult to look at death and destruction. It just leaves us feeling helpless. What can I do? Sure, Texas isn’t that far of a drive, but I have responsibilities here. I can’t just pack up and leave to go help the relief efforts. I have my education and obligations to fulfill. I can’t donate either because I’m broke. It’s difficult to self-maintain, but, sometimes, we have to.
Other than the donation efforts, we cannot directly help at this point in our lives. But, there is one thing we can do to help: stay informed.
Keep up on the facts. Learn and be ready for the next disaster. Tell family and friends how important they are. It is crucial that we do these things, so our thoughts and hopes can be focused on those in Texas and Florida struggling right now.
Those states are not the only places on earth facing disaster. In an age of advanced media, we are able to see all of the other disasters around the world. It’s important to stay focused. We must stay informed and aware. That’s all we can do to help.
Turn on your TV, subscribe to live updates and learn about what is happening around the world. The best way to combat disaster is to learn from it.
I’m doing what I can to stay informed and continue telling loved ones how important they are to me. The next step is to learn if there are any ways for students like myself to help realistically.
My thoughts go out to all those affected in the hurricanes and to those around the world who are struggling.