Semester Starts today Royals, here are key 7 things Every University Freshman actually needs to know

My baby (18-year-old) sisters brothers, daughters or Sons are leaving to embark upon the best four years, Three years or Two years of their lives and I’m left here upset (jealous). But it got me thinking – what is the best big-sister advice I could give them that was not the typical “study hard, stay out of trouble” advice?

So here are 7 other important things I wish I had known from the start.

1. Think you studied enough? Study more.

I cannot stress this enough for incoming freshman. Far gone are the days of “reviewing” your notes and getting an A. Welcome to the world of studying for two weeks and praying for a B. It’s so critical to spend enough time studying for exams in University because, trust me, they are harder than you think they will be. And you’re actually paying for your classes now, which means a failed class is wasted money. Or increased loans. But what might be even worse than just a bad grade is the fact that your GPA will have a tough time springing back. Don’t dig yourself a hole – utilize every resource you have from Quizlet to Study Blue to your campus-tutoring center. And if you think you’ve studied enough, study more.

2. Be an adult.

I will never forget my first class of University. I was so excited sitting there, waiting for class to start, when high school behaviours practically hit me in the face all over again. Actually you gotta find it difficult to find your true coursemates and class. I happens if you didnt attend orientation. You always see students moving up and down looking where his/her coursemates are. I remember in trying to look my class i found my fellow Coursemate Marion, she was asking me the same issue being extrovert, she bullied me in the way that made all around laugh at me…. Jockingly asking me my names, Course and many things. Though it was a bullet to me, she later became one of the friends i will never forget. All in all we act that way becsuse we were immature and highschool behaviours hit our heads

Moral of the story: grow up. If it’s “not cool” to actually do the readings and work in college, then why is the library consistently packed? I used to go to the library with my friends to sit in the “Sociology life section” to maintain my social image. Oh, and also to study. High school is over, people. But if your maturity level is stuck there, you might have a harder time in university than you thought.

3. Be independent.

There’s nothing more irritating in University than the person who can’t do anything by themselves. Independence is something you have to get used to in college. This means eating a meal or two by yourself, occasionally going to the library by yourself, or walking to class by yourself. All of these things are perfectly normal and practically unavoidable in University. University forces you into being independent whether you’re ready or not. But when in doubt, at least your mom is always a phone call away on that lonely walk back from class.

4. Try new things.
Most people go into college with an idea of all the things they’re going to try once they’re there. Some people envision Social life, others sports and others Music Club. But don’t limit yourself. As cliché as it may sound, there are endless different things to try at school. Give them all a fair chance. You’d probably never know the Club Ambience exists until you venture out and try things. Try out for a sport, rush a sorority or fraternity, join a School club, etc. If you actually explore what schools offer, you’ll likely end up doing, and loving, something you never thought you would.

5. Experience the nightlife, WITH friends.

For a lot of people, experiencing the University nightlife and party scene is at the top of the list. And you should go out and experience it. Everything from tailgates to bar specials to socials will happen every weekend in Masaka and Kampala. But remember that University is a balance, which means balancing your education with your social life. And on weekends, balancing your drink, wallet, and cell phone. But seriously, University is the only time in your life where you can go out four nights in a row and only be mildly hungover. So experience all there is to offer on the college party scene, but use your brain.

Thinking that heading to the bar solo sounds like a good idea? Think again. Be smart and go out with your friends. And most importantly, be a good friend.

6. Don’t major in something you hate.

I went into University completely set on being either a Teacher Education major or Information Technologist and pursuing the path of athletic training. Within my first semester at University I quickly realized how wrong I was, after being advised by my Father. I am now a Social Scientist, Psychologist professional. Do not stick with a major that isn’t working for you. You have plenty of time to explore and change you major and you should take full advantage of that. You’ll never know what truly interests you until you give it a chance. If you have the slightest interest in something, take a class on it. It could spark a passion and be your future career. Or it could be a bust and serve as nothing more than credits. But you’ll never know until you try.

7. Cherish every single second.

People are not lying when they say these are the best four or Three years of your life. So go out on weeknights, celebrate every little event, make meaningful friends and enjoy every second. The years of college will fly by – enjoy it from the very start.

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Our Three Years of University life that hold endless Joyful memories. By Lukonge Achilees

I went back to my University on Tuesday 11th June 2019 few months ago after being invited to participate on the event of instalation of Vice Chancellor of MRU Prof. Vicent Kakembo and to talk to soon-to-be graduates and a wave of nostalgia slammed into my chest. Looking at the main entrance where, Five years ago, I stood for the first time, entranced by the possibilities it represented, I smiled a little. I thought of that 18-year-old walking through those doors for the first time, his backpack strapped securely in place with at least 10 highlighters inside, ready to take on his first University class and start the path to his life.

Walking through campus that day as a grown man, memories came flooding back. Good memories, hard memories, and memories we made together.

Even though I’m happy where I am in life, it made me a little sad to think those days are long gone and life has moved on.
It made me sad that all those moments slipped away so fast.
It made me sad that I didn’t even realize what I’d be missing.

Social workers infront of administration block.

It’s been Two years since we took that graduation day picture in front of the main administration block, two twenty-somethings ready to take on the world. We’d met during the formative years of our lives, three small-town boys who happened to sit near each other in our first university class, and other 20 colleages.

We grew inseparable over laughter and stories about girls, over classes that put us to sleep and classes that made us want to cry.

Three years. It seems like an eternity, yet at the same time it feels like these years have passed by in the blink of an eye. It wasn’t just the sheer amount of time we spent together—it was the fact that these were the most transitional, impactful, life-altering three years of our existence. In three years, we’ve seen each other at our very best and, inevitably, at our very worst.

From day one, we saw each other through every up and down on life’s greatest emotional roller coasters. From being heartbroken, to falling in love, to even falling in love with the ones who broke our hearts—we were there for each other with advice, hugs, moral support, tissue boxes and of course, plenty of laughs.

For three years, we laughed, cried, and trudged through the exhaustion that is university life.
At the time, all we could think about was getting out and moving on. We talked about dreams and how we couldn’t wait to start life. Those three years seemed like a stopping point or like a purgatory before we could get to the real parts of life, the good parts.

hen there was the anxiety of selecting a path for our futures. Sometimes we changed our minds, like myself i changed from Education to Social sciences, sometimes we second-guessed our decisions and sometimes we just sought reassurance for the path we were already on. No matter how impossible it all seemed, we were in it together.

Everyone told us college goes fast and we’d miss it, but we didn’t listen. We were in such a hurry to grow up and move on. We complained and moaned and whined about our exhaustion. We couldn’t wait to take the last exams, write the last papers, and say goodbye to those years.

Now those inside jokes we made and those moments we had are faded memories. We’ve grown up. We’ve traded our weekly frozen mocha runs for the doldrums of adult life. We traded meticulous study sessions of Mr. Luttamaguzi Johnbosco we’ve long forgotten for 40-hrs of work.

We still talk, and we still share our laughs. But the laughs are fewer and farther between because we’re busy now, busier than we ever thought was possible during our university years. We’re busy living life, and we don’t have time to laugh about funny Luswata Shafik’s Jokes, Mario Akatusasira wierd Statements, Erumbi Ritah’s Adult comic jockes with Uncle Ssembatya Deo, Mr. Luttamaguzi’s happiest Lectures, Mr. Lwanga’s Craze actions and talks, or go on crazy field trips like Nabugabo Sand Beach, Mbarara and on sad events like Funerals or make up ridiculous dances in Club Ambience.

Standing there on that day where we used to sit and talk about tomorrow, discuss about papers and coursework, I wish we’d have held those moments a little tighter, grasped the moments a little harder.
I wish we hadn’t let go so easily. I wish I’d known when we said goodbye on graduation day, we’d miss that time more than words could explain. I wish we’d have taken a little longer to soak it all in.

I wish we’d known the time we felt rebellious for talking to each other would be something we’d laugh about later. I wish we’d known that those moments of laughing until we cried on our crazy field trips would be things that would make us smile and miss who we used to be.

I wish we’d have known it would all go too fast, and those moments were good moments to cling to, even if they were in the midst of sleep deprivation and uncertainty.

ut we didn’t know. How could we have known?

They weren’t great years because of a lack of responsibility or because of an excess of freedom. T hey were the best years because they were the years of dreams, the years when life had so much potential and yet such simplicity, too. They were the years that we bonded over crazy hopes and uncertainties for the future. They were the years we decided who we wanted to be—and none of it felt out of reach. Reality hadn’t tainted our perfect views, and working hard made everything feel within reach. We felt like the world could be ours, and we were energized by that thought.

So on that day, standing on campus, I took a picture to remember. I took a picture in honor of all the memories we made so that I had something tangible to attach to those moments.

It took a picture to remember, but maybe I didn’t need to. We didn’t hold those moments tightly when they were happening because we didn’t know they would be important. We didn’t know they would shape us and move us into the adults we’ve become.

But now we know. Now we hold those moments tightly and appreciate a friendship, a segment of life, and the part of our journey that turned out to be more than just exhaustion and cramming for tests.

It turned out to be the foundation for who we would become and for the good moments we will laugh about for years to come.

I’ll miss each and every one of you for more reasons than I can count, but most of all, I’ll miss you because of the way we took care of each other. Looked out for each other. Loved each other, in spite of the stupid arguments or frustrations that occasionally threatened our relationship.

So, friends, I hope you know how much I love and adore you. I hope you know how much I respect each of you. I wish nothing but the best for you; you all deserve love, happiness, and friendship.
This isn’t goodbye, it’s just a “see you soon.” Nothing is ever permanent, our distance is only temporary. Friendships are like flowers, we must continue to water them so that they can grow. Our friendships have grown and blossomed, and they will continue to blossom as time goes on.

Thanks Marion Akatusasira, Kizito Abdu, Namatovu Safiina, Okot Ben, Elipu Bruno, Namagembe Doroth, Katushabe Gloria, Natulinda Prudence, Kirabo Joan, Ssembatya Deo, Matovu Steven, Luswata Shafic, Nambalirwa Diana, Waliggo Keneth, Lukonge Achilles, Kasibante Gilbert, Nakafuuma Lilian, Erumbi Ritah, Birungi Sarah, Nakabira Soadu, Precious Chloe (Shamim) and Kwagala Betty for the memories.

Our friends and Soulmate that defines the course of our life. Thanks Social workers for the memories. By Lukonge Achilees

Your twenties are a weird time, for a lot of reasons. You become an actual adult with real responsibilities (because college didn’t count). People your age start having babies. You start looking at the world with a new pair of eyes. Topics like the merits of using one communication company versus another become part of your everyday conversations. You think about dating everone. You think about 401k’s. You think about your own mortality. You talk about how Christiano Ronaldo is better than Messi. Sports become the talk of every day, Man u vs Arsenal, Chelsea vs Liverpool, on the side of girls, relationship conversation become daily routine, Marion is in love with Nicholus, Abdu loves Safinah, Shamim has four Boyfriends, Ritah in love with…) that is twenties..

But one of the weirdest parts about your twenties is the way that your friendships change.
It was so easy, before now. Yes, you worked hard to make sure your friends had good birthdays, and someone to talk to about their worries and fears, and someone they knew they could always count on. But still, there was less effort that went into it. Because your friendships in college were your LIFE. You saw them every day. In class. In your dorm room. At any Club around campus that you went to. On the walk to Ssaza. When you stopped in aresturant for a Lunch on your walk back. At the meetings for the organizations that you were involved in. At any party you went to. In the dining halls. In the kitchen you shared in your beloved 4-person apartment senior year. Your friends just showed up, like magical little surprises, everywhere you went. Sometimes took you in his or her room, like i used to go to Marion’s Room, Prudence/Gloria’s room, Kenneth’s room, Abdu’s room and Ben/Elipu’s room.

And it was such a natural part of your existence – the knowledge that you would simply see your friends with no planning required – that you didn’t even think about it.
But then you’re in your early mid-twenties and slowly, and then suddenly, no matter how many friends you have, you feel so, so alone.
Because the foundation of your life, no matter how happy or unhappy you are, is this: wake up, make a living, go home, sleep, wake up, do it all over again. And if you work hard enough, that existence is sprinkled with little happy hours, intramural sports leagues, book clubs, catch-up dinners and Ahh-I’m-so-tired-can-we-reschedule dinners, Memorial Day Weekend reunions, Kabaka birthday run, MTN marathons, Facebook chats. And they make you happy, and keep your social calendar full, and ensure you get the emotional recharging you need from the people you care about. But it’s not natural. It takes effort. Even the most exciting reunion dinner with a friend from college is still tiring – no matter how happy it makes you – if you’ve been up since before sunrise for work.

So little by little, after you blink and realize you’re now twenty-seven instead of twenty-two, your friendships begin to fizzle. Not by choice. Not because someone did something wrong. Not because you no longer have anything in common. But because your friends aren’t the sole focus of your life anymore. Because your life is no longer just wake up, go to class, do homework, and then socialize.

Your life now is bills and deadlines and job interviews and performance reviews and taxes and maybe searching for a mate and maybe trying to make it work if you’ve already found a mate and attending weddings and being in weddings and going to baby showers and trying to find the energy to do laundry after work and crowded subway rides and snoozing the alarm three times and flying home if you (ever) have a spare weekend because you haven’t seen your family in four months. There’s so much to think about now, so much to worry about, so much to get done.

And it is in these moments, in-between the grocery shopping and the cooking and the commuting and the late nights at the office, that your soulmates begin to emerge – the two, or three, or four friends you have that become your other little family. The people that carry you through adulthood. The ones that act like a talisman inside you on your darkest of days. There is nothing wrong with your other friends. Nothing they are missing, nothing they did to upset you. But there is something extra that exists between you and your soulmates. There’s the warm feeling you have in your stomach when you sit at dinner with them – a feeling that comes from the easy conversation, the bottle of red wine that you all agreed on with just one look, and the feeling that you are sitting amongst people who truly understand you. There’s the wave of relief that washes over you when you are reunited with one of them in a hug, because it’s been a few days since you’ve seen them and it feelings like eternity. There’s the knowledge that when you have a bad day at work, or a broken heart, or a feeling of being lost in the middle of your own life, that they will listen to you, they will hear you, they will know how to make you feel less alone.

Your twenties bring the death of a lot of friendships. But they’re also responsible for the birth of friendships that are much deeper, fulfilling, and heartening than you’ve ever experienced in your life.

For my first couple years out of college, I mourned a lot of friendships that I just wasn’t ready to let go of. Like, Akatusasira Marion, Naturinda Prudence, Waliggo Kenneth, Luswata Shafic, Katushabe Gloria, Kizito Abdu, Namatovu Dafinah, Nakabira Soadu, Shamim Precious, Kwagala Betty, Kasibante Gilbert, Okot Ben, Elipu Bruno, Matovu Steven, Erumbi Ritah, Nambalirwa Diana, Humaya Swalehe, Ssembatya Deo and many more from lower classes. I thought of the way we were in college – how light, how simple, how easy it was – and I wanted it to still be that way. But it couldn’t be. I had friends across the country, some halfway across the world. Friends who were getting engaged, friends who were having babies, friends who were moving up the corporate ladder at a shocking pace, friends who were drowning in the stress of grad school, friends who literally had no clue what they were doing. And it wasn’t that I couldn’t be friends with people who were in different situations or stages of life than me – on the contrary, that’s one of the most beautiful parts of friendship. But I couldn’t have a three-dimensional, all-encompassing, we-know-every-detail-about-one-another’s-current-life relationship with all of these people, all of the time, all at once. Because life was getting in the way. And it just wasn’t possible anymore.

Eventually, I came to terms with the fact that it just couldn’t be the way it was in college. Life was different now. Not worse, not depressing. Just different.
After a long enough time, a space began to grow between my friends and my soulmates. Not a bad space, not a negative space – just a space that helped me to understand the difference. My friends were still my friends – we occasionally exchanged funny text messages back and forth, especially on our whatsapp group Social Workers. We liked one another’s statuses as a lazy way of showing we were happy for each other about the good news we were sharing, I smiled when old pictures of us popped up on Facebook especially about our graduation. And that was it.

And then there were my soulmates. The home I had away from home. The family that took care of me when mine was five hundred miles away. The ones who never had to ask “What’s new with you?” because they already knew my boss’s name and my plans for next month and how I spent my Saturday mornings now that I was no longer a drunk college student. The ones who, even if they didn’t live in the same city as me, I somehow felt even closer to now than I did in college.
It’s great to have friends in adulthood. People you look forward to seeing again at weddings, who make you smile when you see they’ve written on your Facebook, whom you exchange texts on whatdapp, whose Snapchat stories still make you laugh. But what’s even better is the emergence of your soulmates. Your tribe. Your supporters, your family, the ones who keep you sane. The ones you would do anything for, and vice versa. The sanctuary from small talk, the pep-talkers, the ones you can trust to tell you what you need – not want – to hear, the ones who will watch Making a Murderer with you for six hours. The people who make you feel like the best is yet to be.
Most of those other people will always be my distant friends. And I’m okay with that. I’m at peace with the fact that it will never be the way it once was. Because why would you want to go back to the past, after you’ve found your soulmates? But all in all memories of your best days still ring in your minds. Thanks friends, thanks social workers for the best memories.

The kind of president i want. By Lukonge Achilees

I do not write about politics because I want to.
I write about politics because it is my responsibility as a human being.

If we were in a different world, or in a different situation, I would much rather get to my writings about Social Work, Counseling abd adventuring, and philosophy first (I will get to them, eventually).

But I have spoken before of the fire consuming the world, and of my existential responsibility to douse the flames. Alas, I write about politics. Because it is my responsibility. Because it is what I need to do as a human being.

I write about politics because I see a society corrupted by money, I write about politics because of all this, and because anything less than screaming the truth at the top of your lungs would be outright cowardice.

I write about politics because I don’t want to come up empty-handed when my future kids ask me what I did to thwart the danger of Dictarial leaders, of Global Warming. Because I want future generations to know that King Mwanga and president Museveni gave their heart and soul fighting to make their future a better place: to ensuring that it’s even livable in the first place.

I write about politics not because it’s what I want to do, but because it is what’s right.

Therefore,

I want a president who knows the worth of those around him and doesn’t wish to step on that.

I want the president who feels the life of the poor, who grew in the same situation, who can inspire the lower class people.

I want the president who is loyal to people, who is common in the eyes of civilians, who not so brutal and arrogant.

I want the president who is not tribalistic, not nepotistic, not oppressive, not seggregative, and discriminative.

I want a president who respect people, who respect government institution, who dont call himself superior than others.

I want a president who wakes up at 5 in the morning to see the sunrise because it’s the simple things that matter most.

I want a president who isn’t afraid of standing for what he believes in, or against what he doesn’t.

I want a president who puts himself low so others can feel what it’s like to be high.

I want a president who isn’t afraid of the truth, but sadly, it doesn’t take much to get under your paper skin, does it?

I want a president who’s been where we’ve been. Who’s felt what we’ve felt.

I want a president who listens more and talks less.

I want a president who breaks glass ceilings every day and is proud of what they’ve spent their life creating.

I want a president who practices mindful thinking, not mindless tweeting.

I want a president who would throw themselves in front of a bus for us,but unfortunately, I think you’re the one driving the bus, Mr. Museveni.

I want a president who does yoga.

I want a president who wakes up every day blessed to be alive.

I want a president who practices kindness in the most sincere way.
Because that’s what makes a president worthwhile, President Bobi Wine.

Find courage to believe in yourself you will never regret. By Lukonge Achilees

There is something truly amazing about believing in yourself; something so deep, so meaningful, magical and inexplicable. Believing is the virtue of holding on to one’s capacity to endure and wait . . . and expect even if everything seems grainy, vague and unsure.
Believing in yourself is like crossing a busy road. It’s like taking caution while taking the risk, all together in a full pack of determination. It is like loading your heart with all the purest intention and inspiration you can pick along the way.

Believing in yourself is being aware that although the road is dark and unclear, there is still a tiny little ray of light that will brighten the path.

It is about training yourself to be able to see in the dark, it’s like allowing yourself to get lost and be found. Believing in your own abilities is taking the power to spin the wheel and change destiny itself.

It may seem hard to believe in YOU, but that’s a common belief since not everyone has the courage to do so. Believing in you is the act of trusting others. . . trusting them not to discourage you, trusting them to support you, trusting them to trust you. Although it may seem like you’re relying on their justification, trust me it is not – Trusting others means believing in yourself. . . it means believing in your own way of making things work for the better.

Believing in yourself is about taking the train unknowingly. Not sure about the final destination, yet enjoying the ride throughout the whole time. It’s about learning as you journey, and achieving even greater experience as you go along.

Believing in yourself is bravery. It is knowing that even if nobody else looks up to you, you’d still go ahead and pursue your virtues. It is about linking reality and your dreams; it is about looking at yourself in the morning every morning, whispering a simple reminder of how wonderful you are.

It is about you, telling yourself to trust your actions since you can never please everyone. It is about you believing in YOU first and foremost.

Believing in yourself is liking your SELF, it is loving your SELF, it is trusting your SELF, it is knowing your SELF, it is appreciating your SELF, and most importantly it is
being your SELF.
Come to think of it. . . If you don’t believe in YOU, who else will? Believing is committing. It is trusting completely without any trace of doubt, and it is leaving everything in your own judgement. It is having faith your own ability, and it is gathering all that strength you kept hidden since day 1.

This is not an act of selfishness, or self-praise, or what not. It is NOT an act of patronizing your beliefs, It is not even a promotional message of not depending on others; it is rather a motivational move of changing your ways for the better, for a healthier change we all yearn and crave for – because in order to see the ‘change’ we all seek, we must become the change that we are praying for. CHANGE has to begin within you.

Remember that the smallest institution of life is YOU — as a whole entity, YOU as a SINGLE human being, and YOU as a unique and beautiful creature. It is but proper to believe and improve YOU first, before turning to others.

Believing in yourself is about opening to possibilities and accepting failures. It is about you, growing from a dreadful caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly, it is about you being a bee — spreading sweetness from one blooming flower to another, it is about YOU– promoting self-consciousness and awareness in the world. It is about you, not listening to negative criticisms, rather absorbing all the bad comments and using each painful experience . . . piling it all up, to be utilized as a stepping stone for improvement.

I hope you find the courage to fight for your ideas and your dreams. I hope you always find the strength to stand alone until you make it to the top, until you find your tribe, until you find a way to stand tall and prove everyone wrong. I hope you don’t let their words discourage you or their advice veer you off the path you’re on. Don’t let their limited minds diminish your big dreams. Don’t let their experiences hinder yours.

I hope you find the courage to take off. Move to a new city, change your career, start over, share your heart with the world, give your talent a fair shot. I hope you understand that this road is not easy or smooth and you might find a lot of bumps and a lot of people giving you wrong directions but I hope you take that road anyway. I hope you keep driving and I hope you navigate your way through all the dead ends and all the roadblocks. I hope you know that the final destination is beautiful and it’s worth it.

I hope you know that getting lost on that road is the best way to get lost and ultimately, the best way to find yourself.
I hope you find the courage to wear your vulnerabilities and your scars like a badge of honor. I hope you don’t let people shame you or make you shy away from your emotions or your feelings. I hope you don’t let their own insecurities make you believe that your struggles are not valid or that your voice doesn’t matter.

I hope you don’t let their meaningless words stop you from finding meaning in your life or finding your calling. I hope you don’t let them make you feel small because you’re capable of doing so many great things. So many big things. So many magical things.

I hope you find the courage to believe in yourself even if you’re too old or too young, even if things aren’t shaping up the way you want them to, even if it’s taking you years to accomplish what someone else accomplished in a month, even if you feel like you’re in the wrong dream. I hope you find the courage to be persistent, to try again, to rise up, to build up yourself when others destroy you.

I hope you find the courage to be your biggest fan until you have real fans. I hope you find the courage to clap for yourself when no one else claps for you. I hope you find the courage to know that you’re bound to win no matter how many times you’ve lost.

I hope you find the courage to believe in yourself because that’s the only thing that will protect you from the naysayers and everyone trying to belittle you. That’s the only thing that will warm you up when people turn cold. That’s the only shield you’ll ever need to win your battles. I hope you find the courage to believe in yourself because you have what it takes to live a life you’re proud of. A life dictated by you , not anyone else.

Believe in yourselve, dream more, change your story.-Lukonge Achilees

Lukonge achilees with kids

My friend, I know you might have had a picture of how you wanted your life to be, but some uncontrollable tragedy swept it away. We all have a certain picture of how we want our lives to be, and sometimes it gets ripped from our grip and smashed to pieces. Our dreams can get crushed in an instant, in the most horrible ways, with irreversible results.

In counseling, this is called intrapsychic grief: the pain of losing what could have been and will never come to pass. It’s just as painful as any physical loss, and like any kind of grief, will remain overhead like a dark cloud for a long, long time.

We might be living in a life right now that doesn’t feel like it’s ours, you and I. we might be in a different place than we had hoped for. Today could be different than you had imagined and planned a year ago. Your heart will pull for another chance, another door, and another world.

We wake up in a daze, wondering how things changed so fast. We wait, hoping it will go back to the way it was.

The three hardest words to live with are often: in the meantime. Yet in the meantime is the whole thing.

If you are waiting for your “real life” to start, after graduation or when you’re married or when you get to big city, you will stay in a holding pattern. The time will pass anyway. The tide doesn’t wait.

So I hope you will consider starting in the meantime.

When dream dies, it dies. We can mourn. We pound our chest. We can bleed. And at some point, we must let go and not linger. You can open your hands to another dream. I hope you don’t try to revive something that’s dead.

You can get over what’s over because you are not over yet.

When the 10 count is over: you can count to 11.

What comes next will not be what you had envisioned. It might be better or be worse. I hope you will keep dreaming anyway. I hope you will consider God can do a new thing.

You are free to pursue something new.

This is how you can change your story

I am trying to change my story. I am trying to change my narrative. I am trying to trying to change the voices in my head.

I am trying to tell the world another story about myself. I am trying to make it a story of hope, faith, and success rather than a story of struggle, despair and failure.

I am trying not paint myself as a victim anymore. I am done blaming my parents, my school, my friends, my community or my culture for all my setbacks. I am working with what I have got. I am finally figuring out the right paths for me. I am finally driving in the right direction. I am finally learning that it doesn’t have to be a sad story with no destination. I am finally learning that I can still change the ending. I can still make it a happy one.

I am trying not to associate my age with everything. Why I am not married, why I don’t have kids, why I am not rich or why I haven’t traveled to all the countries I wanted to visit. I am changing my hopeless questions to one simple answer: faith. I am changing my story from being hopeless to being faithful.

 I no longer think everything in my life was delayed, everything thing was right on time, everything came exactly when it should have arrived – not sooner or later because now I have the wisdom to appreciate them, the strength to endure the obstacles on the way, the stamina to fight harder for what I believe in and the gratitude to be thankful for the whole journey.

I am changing my story from loneliness and darkness to self-love and light. I am changing the tone of negative self talk, of feeling inadequate, of being afraid of missing out, of being too attached to the minor things in life, of being too concerned about what people think to simply letting go of perfection, of deadlines of expiration dates and expectations.

I am human, I am still finding myself, I am still trying to understand life. I am still trying to define what happiness is, I am still trying to understand what kind of love I am looking for and I am tired of feeling sorry for myself just because I don’t have all the answers.

I am done trying to make story all about answers, I just want to enjoy reading it, I just want to enjoy living it. I just want to try to make it a good one. Even if it means having more questions than answers, even if it means not getting everything I want.

I am not going to change the essence of the story; I am changing everything around it. I am changing the way I write it. I am changing my voice, my tone and my speech.

I am taking my pain and heartbreak and turning them into something beautiful. I am editing my story, sometimes we forget that it’s still a draft, not the final manuscript and we can always go back and change it. It’s not over yet.

My Friends, Social workers, one important thing missing into your life “Kindness”-Lukonge Achilees

Lukonge Achilees with A young Mother. from sadness to coziest smile.

In the scheme of things, our lives are a millisecond in history compared to whats happened and what’s to come. As consequence, a majority of us strive to make a mark with little thought to the consequences that come with it. Our days are made up of the main prerogative of looking and analyzing our own success or likeability. Un fortunately, the times when thinking of others comes into play, is either out of benefit towards ourselves or how it comes across to the people we surround ourselves with.

Often times we forget the suffering that other’s outside our lives carry before our own. We forget that our love and understanding can be expansive. We take the kindness that we receive from others for granted and distribute little of our own. We forget to ask questions like: How have others taught me to choose kindness? How am I bringing kindness into my own life, so that I can bring it to others? You’re the start of kind. The people you surround yourself with, how you treat yourself, and the actions that you choose are what it means choose kind. Choosing kindness is more than donating money or calling a long distance friend. It is a daily practice that you choose to bring yourself and the people around you. It is a practice we often forget. To choose kindness we are extending compassion and understanding to our own and others sorrows. We are saying to others and ourselves: I hear you and I am here for you. Which I know sounds a lot like marital counseling advice, but sometimes you need to set aside your pride to accomplish a larger picture. In the end, we are choosing to allow others to speak out and suffer less; this is also the start to learning how to love.

Kindness is often something that I forget to extend to myself. It’s easy to lack understanding when we are looking at our flaws. It’s even easier to lack compassion for ourselves. Often we have the feeling of mediocrity, lack of self worth, and hatred for the things we cannot change. How do you choose kind for yourself? Do you acknowledge these flaws? Do you I hear you and I am here for you to yourself? By pushing aside your own self –hatred and by dismissing the acknowledgement of compassion for yourself you are turning away from kindness. Happiness cannot exist without the acknowledgement of suffering.

Once you can choose kindness for yourself you are able to bring it to others. You are able to extend the same amount of compassion and understanding that you would to yourself. When others treat you with hatred or bring their burdens to you, you should extend your kindness to them. Love is as expansive as you allow it to be. It’s easy to forget that others carry the same burdens that we do. By simply choosing to listen, we are choosing kindness, because we are extending our compassion and understanding to someone other than our self. In part we are starting to create an environment in which people look at you in appositive light and ar able to reflect our actions upon them and the people they love.

You can practice choosing kindness by simply being there for others.  You can make someone’s day easier by doing something for him or her. You can smile and display love in the capacity of offer joy. You have the ability to choose to offer kindness everyday through active listening and the kindness you extend yourself. But more than often we forget, we get frustrated at our own suffering, and we miss the opportunities we have to practice understanding. So while mindful of how we treat others and how we treat others and how treat ourselves, remember to choose kindness.

Can you recall a time somebody was kind to you? Now change the scenario and think of a time you were kind to another person? Call to mind their reaction and how you responded.

Move into your heart and notice the feelings there. If you read no further than this point, you know that kindness affects the user and experience-leaving a lasting impression.

In this fast pace world, kindness and compassion takes a back seat to selfies, self-interest and expendable human interactions.

Every person is waiting is waiting to be discovered or become rich, believing that holds the key to their happiness. Yet when they attain success, they long for their former life having underestimated the trappings of the fame and celebrity.

I enjoy this quote by Professor David W. Orr:

“The plain fact is that the planet doesn’t need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it”

Kindness is fundamental to human existence. We are thrust into the world as newborns and enriched with the kindness of our parents’ nurturing for the following years.

Humans are the only mammals with a prolonged gestation period. Other creatures rely on support for a brief time before becoming self-reliant. We are powerless at birth and depend on our caregivers to provide for our needs.

Therefore, kindness is sewn into the framework of our DNA. We are literally wired for kindness. Each individual has opinions on how to improve world, though no one wants to practice kindness.

Do no harm

World peace will not arise from overthrowing dictatorial powers or ending conflicts between nations. It will happen when humanity raises its consciousness beyond that of fear and hatred.

I have often repeated that peace is only a thought away. Its motives emerge through kind thoughts towards oneself and others.

“Unconditional love flows through specific channels of respect, integrity, purpose, meaning, value, response-ability, forgiveness, kindness, and compassion of our new, naturally ethical lives,” says author and psychotherapist Loch Kelly in Shift into Freedom: The science and practice of open-hearted awareness.

Kindness is not something that demands hard work. It originates from the simple act of doing no harm to others.

It involves judging less; however compelled you might be to do so.  The ego is quick to judge because it is victimized and hurt, so it retaliates in revenge.

Kindness, however, bites its tongue. It does not seek to be right but rather to preserve peace of mind. You gain little by giving someone a piece of your mind, other than inciting and separation. It was the Lebanese-born poet khalil Gibran who wrote:

“I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see” –Mark Twain

It might be clear to you that fighting force with force is not the way towards peace. But you might ask, does that mean allowing others to treat me unfairly?

No, not by any means, though you needn’t retaliate with overwhelming force. I am not implying you become a doormat; however I urge you to accept the lessons contained within the experience. Are you letting others treat you unfairly on some level? Or unconsciously giving them permission to do so?

“no matter how anyone responds to your kindness, just by repeating out loud the words you didn’t hear often enough or never heard at all, you guarantee yourself to be the one who exists each scene of life more healed, aligned and expanded than the moment before,” affirms author matt Kahn in whatever Arise, Love That that: “A Love Revolution that begins with you.

Benefits of kindness.

Kindness has many benefits including increased happiness and a healthy heart. It slows down the aging process and improves relationships and connections, which indirectly boosts your health.

People believe kindness is particular to those of religious faith because of their moral vows. Kindness does not require you to be of religious faith or even spiritual. Demonstrations of kindness are observed in man’s best friend, the dog. Cats show kindness and are treasured for their emotional connection.

Kindness broadens your life’s frame of reference and is a symbol of respect to value the receiver.

It influences the giver more than the receiver and has correlations with enhanced mental, emotional and physical well being.

People believe kindness signifies weakness and being taken advantage of. Its important to delineate between kindness and being a door mat to others. You can be kind and assertive when others attempt to profit from your kindness.

Author Matt Kahn states:

“When human interactions become a way of practicing self-acceptance by treating others with more patience, kindness, and respect, a constant need to be heard shifts into listening as an act of love”

You should in no way undermine your self-worth at the expense of others, but simply practice kindness while upholding your integrity.

Be kind anyway

It’s no surprise wicked acts have a greater impression on us than acts of kindness. We are alerted to fear more than goodness.

Psychologists believe we are wired to detect that which threatens our survival and happiness. We give attention to acts of cruelty in the news because it is perceived as threat to our survival.

In these times of disingenuous social media interactions, unkindness abounds as people hide behind screens.

This does not make it appropriate to abuse others. There is a person on the other side of the screen with feelings we must take into account.

An important lesson in kindness involves asking yourself:

How would I handle being the recipient of this? If it doesn’t fell good avoid the behavior.

“Hurt is hurt, and every time we honor our own struggles of others by responding with empathy and compassion, the healing that results affects all of us,” avows author and social researcher Brene Brown in Rising Strong.

I wish to leave you with a passage from mother Teresa’s poem titled Anyway, in which she states: “People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.”

Incorporate the smallest acts of kindness into your everyday life and notice the ripple effects.

The butterfly effect in Chaos Theory asserts that a tiny event in one region of the globe can have a substantial effect somewhere else.

Armed with this knowledge, it is the Dalai Lama who reminds us that if you can’t be kind, avoid harming others.