Originally published in @theU on April 8, 2020
“I am an international student, which is a community of about 10% of the students here at the U. I came from Iran. We all made a long journey to get here, that’s common between all of us. Helping others, feeling their pain, and being with them is the least that we could do as a human being. Especially since our community may be the minority, being together and helping each other is very important.
Getting a degree might be the top priority that any student has. However, I think that could be just one goal during school! As a human, we have enormous potential and power, especially when we are together. If we isolate ourselves from others, we get weaker and weaker.
To be involved with other activities will enrich our personalities and make ourselves a more powerful person. Being in school is an exceptional opportunity to know ourselves better, find out more about other communities and cultures, and feel the great experience of being active while in an academic environment and making the most of it.
As a member of this community, I believe it’s our duty and role to help this community as much as we can. We are all busy with schoolwork but have enough time to help other students. I haven’t made a significant contribution; all I have done is to motivate, support, and cooperate with other international students so that we all can make a better community.
I believe that we all could do more to support our community, keep it alive and active. We all could start from our community, try to feel more united and help keep it alive, and further help other communities.
We should also accept our differences, focus on what we all have in common, and try to have a mutual understanding. By being together, we could reach further steps. I would like to ask everyone to acknowledge and respect the effort of those who are active and initiate activities, even though we are all super busy. Help them as much as you can, since it is equal to helping yourselves.
It makes me feel great when I see that someone cares about other’s problems and pain as well. It is the true meaning of a human being, I believe.”
—Omid Atlaschian, doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering,
inaugural recipient of the International Student Council Scholarship