Disillusioned

Exams, those treacherous things.

Not for the obvious reasons, no, I’ve spent three years majoring predominantly in human suffering. That’s the only way to sum up my degree, I spend everyday learning about the plight of others and to continuously be grateful that I’m one of the fortunate few. Its taken three years for me to get a grasp on this, three years for it affect me this much. Sure, I’ve looked in horror at images, felt empathy, compassion. But suddenly its become all too real, I’m not entirely sure what’s changed. I think its finally dawned on me that the people that fill my history and politics notes are not literary constructions, they aren’t just characters in a tragedy. I don’t know how I’ve gone my whole life not feeling this way, feeling raw. I don’t think I ever fully comprehended that they were real because what do words in a textbook or images really show you? That millions of unnamed characters are suffering somewhere in Africa, in the Middle East, somewhere far away from me? They’re nameless, faceless masses who seem impossibly fictive, who simply can’t be a reality. How have I spent 20 years not feeling so disillusioned with the world? I don’t know how I’ve gone my entire life being so complacent to people’s suffering. Because what have I really done to alleviate anyone’s suffering? Read an article, written about, sat for a while and remarked on what a great tragedy it is and then just as fast completely forgotten, too preoccupied with my own world, with my own realities. I don’t know why I’m fretting so much for a three hour exam when it could be so much worse, I could be one of them. I could be the person people read about in textbooks, the person that we empathise with, that we’re saddened by, that we hastily forget about. Instead, I’m the person who’s going to try and shake off this disillusionment, this unbearable guilt. It may be selfish to want to forget all that I’ve learned, all that I know. But all I want to do is erase my mind of other people’s suffering, about their hardship and sit complaining about mundane things like the horror of exams.

Exams, those treacherous things.