58) What do you need?

I realise, there are many awful things we see right now, and also a lot of solidarity. A lot of important things have been said about it already— about the importance of this conflict [Russia invading Ukraine in February 2022], as well as critique of Europe’s (non-)actions in many other conflicts.

Many of my fellow students have been quite struck by the conflict. Not directly, rather psychological in different ways and for different reasons, but still it affected them. And while I found it hard to know how to help them talk about it, someone else offered their help.

One of our lecturers who had noticed the students concerns and thoughts offered us to come to him privately and talk about our worries. Nothing big, but a gesture to show that he was there for us. Later, others at the institute did similar things. Some of those, who we had so little contact and connection to throughout our whole degree due to the Covid-pandemic, showed that they cared for us, reached out to us. It felt good to be seen again, thought of. And now I know again that what is important is to let people tell what they need.

This is not supposed to portray us, meaning citizens in Northern Europe, as people suffering hugely from this conflict. It only shows me the kindness of such little gestures, and of the empathy. And hopefully this being there for each other helps, so that we can be there for when we will be needed to help others.