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How Malala Yousafzai Taught Me Gratitude

Photo By Ariel Lustre

 

Let’s all be very honest with ourselves. College is hard. Figuring out how to be independent and take care of ourselves is even harder, especially when you are trying to jump both hurdles at the same time.

 

We have all been stressed to the point of tears or possible insanity at some point or the other, and there has been at least a few days where we ask ourselves, “is this worth it?”  However, I was able to be introduced to a young woman who would change my entire perspective on education.

 

Malala Yousafzai did not see her education as a burden, but rather the greatest possible thing to strive for and fight for, no matter the cost. The cost of her fight for education? The bullet of a member of the Taliban wounding her in the face. But what has she continued to fight for? Education.

 

To Malala, education is a lifeline and a privilege not granted to all. Upon reading her book, I Am Malala, I could only reflect on the thousands of times I had complained about having to get out of bed to go and be able to get FOR FREE my education.

 

Where is Malala now? She is at the forefront of the fight for education. Her Malala Fund is fighting for the rights of women everywhere to have access to education, fighting ignorance and misogyny. She is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and a voice of our generation.

 

But what is most important to her? Gaining higher education at Oxford University. The mind the Taliban tried to destroy is now gaining her education at one of the best schools in the world.

    

Malala and I are in different places certainly. I am not a beacon for feminism and a voice that presidents and rulers listen to with eagerness. I am not busy writing books and running my own mission for educational equality.

 

But I am a student, gaining my education. We both probably stress over homework and exams. We both have sat in lecture halls. The only difference in our student status? She fought for hers, and I have never have had the need.

 

So ladies, I’m not saying it is easy. It is hard, but education is our privilege. In the spirit of thankfulness, let’s look around and realize just how lucky we are to be here today.

 

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