By Fatma Bujsaim (@Fatma_Bujsaim)
Remember those days when we were late to class in high school because we just felt like being late; no responsibility, no extreme consequences. The days when “I was sick” or “My dad’s car broke down” was enough for our absence. Sadly to say, when we move to the next stage in life, which is university, things are not the same. Even if our cat died that day and then our car broke down and when we took a cab, lightening struck and gave us a flat tire. The only reply we will get is “That is not our problem, it is yours. Deal with it”.
James Piecowye, an associate professor in Zayed University’s college of communication and media science, is one of those professors whose class starts at nine thirty a.m. and if we enter the classroom at nine thirty-one we are marked absent. It is very frustrating when that happens in a university that has a strict attendance policy; 4-5 absences and we automatically fail the course. Failure is not something any one of us wants on his/her transcript.
So after a long time of expressing feelings of frustration and annoyance, mostly done in our head or out to our friends, we start to realize that being on time means a lot more than avoiding academic failure. One of those things is showing the respect we have for the person we are meeting at that specific time, whether he/she is a professor or a project partner or a family member.
Everything in life is linked together in one-way or another; the human brain connects things in ways we cannot imagine. Somewhere in sophomore to junior year, when our goals are clearer to us and we know what we want (part of it if not all), we realize that being late or being on time shows the level of commitment we have for things, and how much it means to us. Every action we take or decision we make affects us, our goals, our education, our work and our nation, be it in a positive or negative way.
Through our time in university, we find role models we look up to; people who are a source of inspiration and motivation to us, people who make us strive for excellence no matter how small or big it is. We develop ideas and plans based on their ideologies, their achievements, or merely based on their existence.
Our late father, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, also known as baba Zayed, has worked long and hard to unite our seven Emirates and create this nation. He transformed sand dunes into a heaven on earth, and plain seashores into a land filled with skyscrapers. Nothing more than a dream turned into a reality.
One man, hand in hand with other men, created the county, the nation, the land we live on today. Throughout our days we keep on mentioning how much we owe those great men, especially our baba Zayed, and saying that the things we do and our goals are all aimed to live up to baba Zayed’s legacy, to give back to our own country for educating us, providing us with good healthcare, and a good living. But how much action are we putting into our words?
Our actions show the level of commitment we have for our goals. Everyone can talk, but not everyone can do. To act does not require a lot of effort; it starts with a will that is then transformed into a small action, leading us to acting upon our words. That small action could be showing up in time to a class or a meeting. Taking the responsibility and making an effort shows how much we care. People say little things matter but they do not always bother with them.
No good reason is ever good enough. And no excuse is ever excusable. I found my reason for commitment somewhere in between running to class and being lectured by a professor and writing down my goals and how to achieve them. If you have not found your reason yet, it is not too late; it is never too late to find your source of motivation to pursue your goals.
This, my friends, is what I found out while I am on campus; I wonder if that is going to change after graduation.
After graduating with a Bachelor degree in International Studies and a minor in converged media, Fatma still finds herself hungry for knowledge, which led to her enrolling in a postgraduate program. Her passion for both reading and writing has made her extend her stay in Sail eMagazine so that she can learn & develop her skills. When not buried in her books and novels, Fatma is found on tennis courts or in a classroom learning a new language.
She wrote her previous column: “Just another undergrad” hoping she can give what she didn’t have when she was a freshman: comfort and guidance, and also bring back memories to all those graduates out there. She wonders if things are going to be the same after graduation.
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