I feel disconnected from my educational institution
There are lots of people who look back on their old school days with great fondness – reminiscing about their classrooms and halls, and basking in nostalgia. There are those who feel connected with their university campus as well, genuinely enjoying their undergrad years. But, there are other people, who feel no such sentiment towards their educational institution. You look at the people who do feel a sense of attachment to their schools and can't help but feel dissonant. It makes you feel like you never quite belonged anywhere.
The topic of "belonging" and the absence of it in an individual can branch into a myriad of questions. As someone who, in general, struggles to find a real sense of belonging, I most certainly never uncovered it at any of the institutions I studied at.
To say I do not feel nostalgic about my school days would be a lie. But when I do find myself reminiscing, I tend to remember the fun I had with my school friends rather than the institution itself. It's the people that made the place tolerable. Other than that, I associate the place with frustrating schoolwork, the creatively obtuse curriculum, and having to follow irrationally strict rules.
My high school or college gave me an even harder time. It was basically everything bad about school but significantly worse. Even though my friends from school also attended the same college, these two years or so were truly frustrating for me personally, and my time there only filled me with dread and anxiety.
The connection I feel with my third and present institution – my university – isn't very strong either. I simply see it as a means to get a degree and advance my career. The open-credit system entails that I won't always have the same schedule as my friends, giving me little incentive to linger about after classes end. As of the time of writing this article, my university is in the middle of transitioning to a new campus. Thus, a lot of people have begun romanticising the old campus (or in our case, the roads, and the street food vendors) and I just cannot relate.
Oddly enough, my childhood friends and partner all study at a different university which I often find myself visiting, and I end up having a better time at their campus than I do at mine. This just harkens back to what I felt at school; the people make the place better.
It is quite clear that this lack of connection to my academic institutions stems from all the negative experiences I associate with them. It may be the same for you and that is okay. Even if a sense of belonging is not found in these places, you can always find it elsewhere.
Sabil is a student at BRAC University.