Praying for England

I don’t think I have to explain how the world has turned upside down lately. The recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and in London have left me speechless. I have friends and family in both cities and I’m glad to say they are all safe.

I think the release of Super Women is perfect timing, seeing how the world is in need of saving.

Today Brits go to the polls to decide the future of their country. I really want to encourage people to go and vote.  As an international student studying in the UK, the election effects me and I can’t help but hold my breath.  A lot of the issues concerning immigration, security,  health, and taxes etc will have a ripple effect no matter if you are British national or not.

With the recent terrorist attack in London, emotions such as fear and anger are at an all time high. People are looking for someone to blame and it can be easy to classify a group of people as the root of the problem. However,  I believe hate can not win over hate and voting in favor of hate won’t give you the outcome you want.

I don’t want to put my own bias opinion on who the better party is, but I think it’s important that you know where your party stands on those issues.

Therefore I wish all my UK friends good luck. I understand the decision is not straightforward and I think the fact that you are voting shows tremendous commitment in trying to improve the politics in the UK.

If you are living in Bristol and you don’t know where the registered polling station are? Visit the Bristol City Council Website

If you live outside of Bristol make sure to visit Where do I Vote website.

 

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Who knew it would be France

Anytime I hear the word elections or polls my eyes start to glaze over and my brain switches off. Elections have started to become a little bit of joke to me, with the result of every major election feeling like a bad joke. But it seems like the joke is finally over after France voted Emmanuel Macron their 25th president.

This has probably been the most anticipated election in French history. After France’s western allies England and America both had controversial elections, that led to massive social media black lash. It was France’s turn to see if they would be following the same disappointing path as their western allies or be the example of change.  The decisions were between Emmanuel Macron, a pro-European Union centrist, who’s campaign message was all about openness, free trade, and a defense of globalization. His opponent Marine La Pen campaigned a different message to Macron. Le Pen was pro leaving the EU and her campaigned was based off her protectionist, nationalist and populist manifesto. Unlike Macron she is against globalisation pledging to put a stop to immigration.

Immigration is always a hot topic with every election campaign, especially refugees coming from Islamic countries. La Pen deemed Islamism as one of the biggest threats facing France. I wonder where I have heard that before?

nbc-fires-donald-trump-after-he-calls-mexicans-rapists-and-drug-runners

That’s right Trump. And it’s no surprise that Trump has even approved La Pen’s strategies.

Islamophobia is at an all time high with many politicians blaming refugees and Islamic communities for terrorist attacks. France has had several terrorist attacks over the years,  such as the November 2015 shooting and bombing attack that happened in several locations around Paris. I wasn’t surprised by La Pen’s comment about Muslims and thought many French people shared her view. There have been reports of women fined by the French police for wearing the hijabs and Halal supermarkets forced to sell pork and alcohol.  

I know it’s not fair to blame a whole country for the actions of a few, but I have trust issues. And with the results of Brexit and Trump can you blame me. It seems like countries are closing their doors to people and saying “sorry we are full”. I wish politicians could see that the answer is not excluding different ethnics groups, but including them and making them feel that this is also their home.

The election of Emmanuel Macron broadcasted a message of unity to Europe. In his speech, he promises to not only to put France’s interest first but also defend and protect Europe. (Take notes England this is what it look like to stand by your allies).

For more information:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/albertonardelli/france-is-electing-a-new-president-today?utm_term=.eg7vL4qO0#.yuBAoe5pj 

The Peak and the Pit of Second Year

Second year it was good knowing you

      To say that second year went by so quickly is an understatement. It’s only been 3 months since Christmas break and just last week I submitted my final essay of the year.  Is no one else concerned? I’ m officially halfway through university.

Right, after I submitted my final essay, I was sitting in the library feeling relaxed. Only for that feeling to be replaced with a feeling of anxiety, of the inevitable results. I sat there calculating the possible outcomes and suddenly I felt like I was in the dark hole in Get Out, slowly falling further and further away from the light.  Then my thoughts led to the entire school year and I started self-evaluating myself. Did I accomplish everything I set out to do? Or did I fall into the same ditches I always do? I would never say I didn’t accomplish anything in university because that would me I never left my room. But, I can be honest with myself, and see where I didn’t try hard enough.

The Pit: Not staying focused.

I’m kind of known for having a short attention span. In my opinion, I think a lot of millennial’s do. We don’t like a long introduction, we want to get the meat of the problem and dig into that. So want I mean by lack of focus is sometimes my ability of not staying focused on the initial problem and putting my energy somewhere else. Towards the end of the school year, I found myself with a lot of work to do and feeling like there wasn’t any time to get it all done. Some people would think I got lazy, didn’t do the work ahead of time, and now you are feeling rushed. I can confidently say that is not what I did. I know myself and I don’t like the chaos of finishing work last minute. To be honest I started planning and thinking about my assignments days before the deadlines. I had a schedule and plan all put together. But I didn’t stay focus to my plan and suffered some my minor setback, my laptop not responding and my phone getting lost. I felt overwhelmed and collapsed into this world of panic and depression.

The Peak: Getting comfortable in my surrounding

I know this doesn’t sound like a HUGE accomplishment. You would think I had a whole year to get comfortable in university and in Bristol. However, my introduction to Bristol was rushed. When I arrived at Manchester airport at 10 am I had until 4 am to get to Bristol and then to the registration office, or else my student visa wouldn’t be valid. When I finally started classes, everyone in my year had already grouped up so I was alone for awhile. I know it sounds like a cliché international student feels alone in a new city.  And while I have been lucky to travel, I wasn’t truly alone. My sister was always around I always knew someone in the city. Being able to adjust to any new environment is not easy. So when I started to know my way around Bristol and stopped asking random people for directions I took it as a huge accomplishment. I gained friends and moved in with a friend I felt comfortable with. I have seen first hand what happens when you feel out of place and how it can leave you feeling alone and depressed. Being able to call another city your home means that you feel safe. Because there is no place like home.