It’s 2020; a new year, new decade. Everyone is excited to witness the dawn of a new decade along with celebrations coming their way. As we celebrate, I think it is quite important that we show gratitude to the wonderful people and the lessons we learnt in the past year.
For me, joining Rotaract was a turning point in my university career as it exposed me and impacted me in a way I did not imagine. Therefore, above all, I am forever thankful to my friend for introducing me to Rotaract and supporting me throughout this journey.
At the very beginning, I remember attending to a few installation ceremonies and getting to know some of the Rotaractors and realizing that this was the kind of place I have been looking for to pursue my passion. And more than that, these were the kind of people I wanted to pursue them with. Thanks to all the people I met, it created the perfect first impression, good enough for me to stay in Rotaract and I am sure you also have your similar experiences.
Participating in the project Akhankara was one of the greatest opportunities I had, even though it started as a practical joke played on me by an annoying friend of mine, by tagging me on a WhatsApp group for the project. Now looking back on it, I consider it as a blessing in disguise!
There were many ‘first times’ that I encountered and experienced during this project, some even too embarrassing to admit so I will just stop at “what happens in Awissawella stays in Awissawella” However, the entire project turned out to be extremely fun mainly because of the positive vibe and the excitement equally shared by us. We always had each other’s backs. I recall one time, my friend had to come to university to drop me off at night after the project and would go back all the way to Moratuwa despite how exhausted and hungry we were.
Most importantly, what I saw amongst them was, no matter how utterly stupid we acted or sounded (which was a lot) it would just pass on as a joke but was never judged by it; everyone was appreciated and loved for their own uniqueness. The bonds we created throughout the projects would last long and I am grateful that I get to cherish all these beautiful memories together with them one day, when we are long gone from the university.
Being surrounded by a bunch of goofballs no less than I am and being able to be myself in front of them was the greatest pleasure I had. It was definitely a safe space. The many life lessons I learned through the projects and by being a part of this amazing family, moulded myself to face better or worse in the future.
All in all, when I step into 2020, I would not be doing justice to myself if I left behind the memories and friends made through Rotaract, without saying ‘THANK YOU!’
-Written by Rtr. Damindri Herath-