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I have this weird fixation with institutions I study at. I’m not sure what to label it – but it drives me nuts.

Every time I join a new institution – and this has happened to me since Grade 6, I think of all the criticism I’ve heard about the place and say “okay, that needs to leave by the time I’m out”. Especially where it’s something I don’t necessarily view positively – those are characteristics of institutions I attend that I try eliminating the quickest. I’ve found this to become more of a challenge as I’ve moved up to University, and I’ve learnt one big lesson along the way.

Stop morally judging people or trying to assign your personal morality to your institution.

I tried doing this at school, I think, when I was School Captain. Decisions regarding student welfare were often taken based on my individual judgment about how I would perceive a change. I believe the student populace at that time had placed that trust in me to carry out that task – to make the decision based on collective interest, but I do think oftentimes when I was stuck, I thought about how decisions would impact me if I was the student affected by it – and then ended up choosing course of action (a) or (b).

But that’s not fair, I don’t think. Making these individual moral judgments can often assign personal morality to what is a unique place only because of the unique nature of people who study there.

My failure to understand this has led to a huge disconnect from my alma mater, and almost a loss of pride – something I try hard to fix each time I go back. I’m not able to identify myself with the school I studied at any longer – and that scares me. But maybe it shouldn’t.

Maybe it shouldn’t bother me that the school has done a 360 from my time there.

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