What keeps me going

  • going to my dance class
  • reading a book that has nothing to do with school
  • re-reading my favourite book for the 13245526th time (for real, for at least the 12th time including listening to the audio version)
  • listening to indie music (yes i like indie music i am a living caricature)
  • my nephew Caramel (you can judge me all you want i don’t care)
  • my family
  • small attentions
  • thinking about the great things i still have to accomplish when i’m older

No promises, huh?

Remember when I said « no promises huh? » ? Yeah well I underestimated the number of things I do in a day and how much free time I have left. In other news, I have officially completed all my classes for the semester! The only thing left to do is my finals week, for which I have a week of preparation starting from tomorrow (or like from yesterday if you count the weekend). I can’t believe how fast and how slow it went at the same time. I’m not gonna lie it wasn’t a piece of cake, like, it really wasn’t.

From September to about two weeks before the Halloween break, things were great. I went out, made friends, chilled. But then the weekly exams kicked in and it quickly became a mess. The difference with last year is that we had exams on Monday afternoons, but this year they’re on Friday mornings, which lets us tired, unfocused and unprepared because of the all work we have during the week. Anyway this is not another « LH rants about her school for the billionth time his semester ». Just to say, school’s been rough.

And with that comes friendships. Without going into a lot of explanation, this semester was crucial because our grades are used to make a ranking of the students for the attribution of universities abroad next year. And you cannot be friends with the top students without sharing at least half the pressure they are putting on themselves. Now, I know they are not doing it on purpose, so I decided to take a step back because I was becoming « not good enough », « lazy » and that was (still is) messing my brain up. I started to hate myself for « not living up to my potential » (that sucks) and it’s still something I have to come to terms with (blame it on my Slytherin and Ravenclaw sides I guess). And that is hard to explain that to your friends. Can’t really go up to them and say « Hey I really appreciate you as a friend outside of school but in class you are toxic and make me hate myself and my work because of how self-absorbed, out-of-touch and stressed about school you are », fulling knowing that they are in a burn out and they might just snap. In short, I’m glad the semester is over.

However, if I have to point out one thing that kept me sane for the past few month, it’s that I seem to finally have found a goal in life. Me, the lost student, clueless about what she was going to become once out of school, finally found a motivation! Ground-breaking!! My mind is bustling with new ideas, things to discover, jobs to try out and I can’t wait to have my diploma! My last few years of high-school were stressful because I didn’t know what to do after the bac, but being in higher education made me realise how much there is that I want to try out.

I guess there’s hope for everyone.

Some stuff I guess

Off to a good start, I already failed yesterday. Here’s what happened:

I spent my evening hyper-focusing on some programming task I had to do (that wasn’t even my priority at the moment bravo) and when I looked at the time, it was already past midnight. I don’t know how it happened but it happened. Wrecked as I was I chose to go to sleep instead of spending an extra i-don’t-even-know-how-many minutes trying to write something I wouldn’t like.

Anticipating today, I thought of something to say. However all I could find were things I’d rather keep private (for now at least) along the lines of family, privilege, self-worth and so on.

As I don’t really have much time to write in these hectic times (finals are upon us!) I guess the only semi-interesting thing that happened today is that I drove to school, miraculously found a parking spot (it’s La grève générale in France for the record) and saw two rose-ringed parakeet (perruches à collier I reckon) at my friend’s place and we spent 10 min marveling at them (they’re actually an invasive species don’t release birds in the wild!!).

« Health is wealth » – 14th Dalai Lama

As the 14th Dalai Lama said, « Health is wealth ». We can define health as being free of any kind of illness (stress, anxiety, chronic diseases…), feeling happy, or even having a good lifestyle and eating healthy. However, the notion of wealth is more complex as it implies different meanings: we could talk about wealth in terms of money and power, but also in terms of overall happiness and well-being. This raises the question: does health really bring wealth? Although being healthier could mean we could work more and earn more, being wealthy to a certain extent is necessary to be happy. We will then discuss the argument that wealth is necessary but not sufficient to happiness and health, and that wealth can be more than just money.

Firstly, being wealthy largely contributes to good health, as treatments for some diseases (especially chronic ones) can be very expensive. In Africa for example, it is difficult for patients to have access to an AIDS/HIV treatment because of its low availability and the lack of medical staff and infrastructures, researcher Lynne Wilkinson says. In addition to that and across all countries, healthy food is more expensive than junk food. A Harvard study found out in 2013 that eating healthy food costs on average 1,5$ more per day and per person. This leads to a higher rate of obesity among socioeconomically disadvantaged population according to researcher Mayuree Rao. In the United States of America, the price of social security means that some people can’t afford vital treatments such as insulin replacement.

Nevertheless, necessary does not mean sufficient. It is possible to be unhealthy whilst being wealthy if we talk about health as happiness and well-being. Social interaction can improve our mood but being wealthy cannot buy happiness and can even lead to social isolation. A study by the Columbia University even showed that rich children are twice more likely to suffer from mental illnesses compared to the average US population. This is probably linked to higher stress and anxiety due to high expectations and pressure to succeed.

Finally, one thing to consider is that wealth has different meanings. Wealth can rhyme with power and economic success, but also with academic knowledge, or valuable relationships. In this context, the definition of wealth can and will change according to factors such as personality or more broadly, the culture we were raised in. In the United States, wealth is strongly linked to success and fame whereas in India, wealth is a combination of money and a strong family. Thus, it could be possible to be wealthy without money in a culture that favours family, relationships and personal growth.

In conclusion, « Health is wealth » is a statement that is not applicable in many cases because of the high costs of medical treatments, the mental illnesses that can come with being rich or because of the very definition of the words « health » and « wealth ». However, it can be true in some situation, as physical and mental health allow to be more efficient at work and be more successful.