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Friends can bring out the best in you.

I had always been amongst those following the bandwagon approach of limiting education to classes and grades. But one very good thing that LUMS has done for me is change that mindset. At the risk of sounding too full of myself, I will say this that in my three semesters here, I have seen myself grow as a person. Yes, there have been a lot of negativities too, but for now I’ll choose to ignore those. I am no longer afraid of getting up and speaking in front of people; in fact, I’d like to take up more opportunities to do that if they present themselves. My writings are no longer restricted to random fiction or pointless stories, but instead I am more interested in writing about general issues surrounding us and topics of concern generally, even if all I’m doing through my writing is giving an amateur commentary of the entire thing.

College is supposed to be about fun and parties and experimentation and what not, but the main underlying principle is that of gaining education. And with not even half of my entire college experience over, I can safely say that said purpose is being achieved. Even if the things I pride myself on knowing (and some of those things might actually be quite useless) may not have been a direct result of my courses here, I can still safely say that my eagerness to gain more knowledge is a direct result of those courses. And isn’t that fulfilling the criteria of why we come to college anyway? It’s not just about being able to get a job when we graduate; it is also about how well groomed we are as an individual at the end of our student life. And even if sometimes my grades might indicate the opposite, I hope and know on some level that when I walk out of this place, I won’t just have a degree but will be, to put it in layman terms, smarter than I was, and not just book smart.

I started writing this by saying that friends bring out the best in you. Why do I say that? Because the amount of knowledge and understanding that you gain outside the classroom will also be highly dependent on the company you keep, and the maturity of your conversations, which ultimately lead to determining the kind of person you’ll be as far as your character and your interactions with people go. And in essence, how much you grow as a person largely depends also on how well your friends can bring out your positive, mature, responsible side. It’s stupid to say that no one can bring that out in you, because everyone has these qualities, and it’s only a matter of how good your company is at helping nurture it to make you aware of the intellectual side of your character too. I say this based on personal experiences, because my conversations have ranged from rating the hotness of a movie star to the topics such as the controversy over moon landings, famous Italian buildings, Kyoto protocol, former United States Presidents, the comparison between Wizard of Oz and the Federal Reserve, the allegory of the cave, and a lot more. It just makes me much more aware of the level of sophistication between the different kinds of company I have.

The Pakistani society really needs to be more educated, because education in this country is still seen as an entity available only for the ‘elite’, instead of a tool necessary for all. Changing your display picture to cartoon characters on facebook will not help stop child abuse, thus raising serious questions on the rationality of humankind as a whole. An Islamic educational loan cannot be done with gold unless it is on the spot, because the value of gold may have risen by the time the student pays the loan back to the bank, thus adding elements of interest to the loan and hence making it impermissible. These are just a few things still on my mind, something that I would want to debate on with someone or maybe blog about later. For me, this comes into the category of certain topics worthy of having intellectual conversations on, even if the level of intelligence as such may not be so high. But then again, we can’t really rate intelligence now can we?

The point of the entire above post was, and this comes at the risk of sounding pompous and full of myself, but the main theme of this was that I feel somewhat intellectually enhanced. Maybe after I’m done with this anthropology reading I’m doing right now I’ll blog about it and give an entire summary of what I read. That’ll make for a good revision and some good writing too.