Lisa: U21 Global Citizenship Course (October 2020)

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

― Margaret Mead.

2020 and its entourage of lockdowns, restrictions and other treats has undoubtedly made us all feel a bit helpless. With the “I’m going to change the world” passion that engulfed us at the beginning of the year slowly fading away, I decided to apply for the U21 Global Citizenship program. I had heard of the United Nations Sustainability goals, but only as a faraway concept with no real life application. Throughout the course, I quickly became aware that this is not the case.

I learned a lot through the different modules, but most eye-opening to me was how many other people were in the same position as me. Students from all around the world, from different backgrounds and walks of life and holding various different beliefs and values all wanted to play a part in leaving the world in a better place when we found it. It instilled in me a new confidence that despite all the lunacy going on in the world, hope is still found where we need it the most: in collaboration to solve our common problems. We might hold different opinions and viewpoints, but one skill that I learned from the course is that it’s okay to admit when you’re wrong and to have the courage to pick up a different viewpoint when learning new information. I’m not trying to downplay the difficulty that lies in swallowing you pride but rather want to stress the greater good that comes out of it, something you that will become very evident in taking this course.

In terms of advice that I would give to anyone interested in taking this course, I just want to say: Go for it, but do so with an open mind. Sure, you can go through the different modules focused on what you believe and ignore the comments of other people, but that isn’t going to get you very far. It’s in learning to work with others that we can make a change, and this course is the perfect place to get started on that. Learn to engulf yourself in the different goals and find one specific goal that speaks to you the most and then use your newly found passion and drive to make it a reality.

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