Today was the second day of school. After my moral theory class, I was walking with some friends when a girl walked toward me smiling and waving. I smiled and waved back, thinking I might know her from somewhere but struggling to recall where exactly that might be. She explained that we had just had a class together and that that was why she had been saying hi.
This was a great segue for me to explain that I sometimes say hi to strangers without knowing who they are. And then, of course, I asked her to be my stranger of the day. She was excited about it. Her name is Geetika.
Geetika studied at the United World College in Singapore – an international school that brings scholar students together from all corners of the globe based on merit for their international baccalaureate program. She’s in her first year at UBC. She explained that she felt a little bit young in our philosophy class but I assured her, genuinely, of her intellect and brightness that exuded in just the few short minutes we’d been chatting.
Her advice? “Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Follow your own compass.” She explained that it can be really easy to compare yourself to others, especially in this day and age. But following in the footsteps of another person could come at the risk of sidestepping a unique path of enrichment and fulfillment. It’s important to stay true to your own passions and desires, and to set your own pace independently of what others around you are pursuing.