Tashfia Zaman

Tashfia Zaman graduated from BRAC University in 2019. In March 2020, she was diagnosed with coronavirus. After 12 days at the hospital, she has fully recovered, tested negative and been discharged. In these uncertain times, as we all fret over what the coronavirus outbreak means for our own tracks in life, Tashfia shares her thoughts on how to deal with this pandemic and what we should take away from it:

“This time a year ago, I was still a student at BRACU taking my last few courses. Today, I have managed to survive a pandemic with the help of a few home remedies and the support of my family and friends. My ordeal has ended. I am just happy to be alive and hoping things get better for those still suffering.

Between last year and this, I managed to graduate with distinction and got a job that is quite fulfilling, but sadly I too have a few regrets. I had rushed my way to the finish line and, for the sake of graduating early, took an easy way out. I majored in Marketing, even though I was passionate about subjects like Economics and Supply Chain Management. Numbers scared me and that was primarily why I didn’t even attempt a second major.

In the end, all the extensive planning for the future has been useless – I rushed, I multitasked, I studied just to get an A and not to actually learn anything. All this for what? Fast forward a year, I’m stuck in a state of uncertainty, somehow luckily recovered from an unforeseen disease. My life is entirely different from what I had planned back then. I should have stayed back to acquire more knowledge; I should have taken a few retakes to pinpoint my areas of improvement. To this day I wonder if things would be different if I actually took a leap of faith and studied subjects that actually interested me. At least then I would be satisfied with the knowledge and expertise I have acquired over the course of my time as a student at BracU.

This global pandemic has been nothing but a reality check for me, and it should be the same for all those people who are stressing themselves out just to excel in something that may seem important at the time. If you are a student or a fresh graduate, when all of this is over, know that it is completely normal to fail a few courses or get a few rejections before finally getting it right, do apply for that journalist/administration role, learn how to code even if you’re studying Arts or Literature, take a few extra minutes to finish your tea at Jahangir Mama’s tong. Go at your own pace and stop restricting yourself for a future that is uncertain.

Here’s hoping we learn how to make the most of our situation, without looking at the time, without conforming to society’s definition of “success”. The only focus right now should be on you and your faimly’s health, so eat healthy, get enough sleep and exercise, basically do everything to build up your immune system – but do not overstress. Pandemic or no pandemic, let’s only plan on making our mental and physical health stronger.”

Written by Tashfia Zaman and Raidah Morshed

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