Marouf Alemeddine: “You don’t realise what you have until you lose it”

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Marouf Alemeddine has decided to change degrees after his first year of university. He explains the reasons behind transferring from Medicine to Teaching, and what inspired him to follow his dreams. Interviewed by W’SUP editor, Dania Roumieh, Marouf shares the challenges he faced after losing his grandmother, emphasising the importance of prioritising yourself and your mental health as a student.

 

Why did you decide to change your degree?

“Many things … on top of COVID-19 changed my perspective on what I want from life – my grandma got sick and passed away. I realised that I wanted to take on a career path that not only gave me a better direction, but also gave me a quality of life, and very rewarding.

Marouf Alemeddine

 

What made you want to transfer from Medicine to Teaching?

“As rewarding as medicine can be, and as great of a professional it is in the real world – I felt that I had to find my true passion … I feel that helping students is my passion, and that teaching goes beyond the classroom…

 

it’s not a matter of what content you teach or getting your HSC, it’s about developing long-term relationships with your students. I still remember my teacher from high school and till today, he’s honestly my biggest inspiration when it comes to teaching. Because without him even realising what he’s done for me – he’s a role model for me.”

 

Since changing degrees, how are you finding studying considering all the obstacles you’ve faced, in particular with COVID-19?

“When everything transitioned online because of COVID – I was dreading it. I used to enjoy engaging in conversations with my classmates, and I found that interacting on zoom calls wasn’t the same. I found it much harder to adapt and I still don’t feel like I’ve completely adapted…

 

On top of that, with my grandmother passing, I made everything harder. I realised I needed to take a break impulse and see that I needed to mentally recover. I was mentally and physically drained and I couldn’t keep up. It’s important to take care of your mental health.”

 

How have you managed to maintain your wellbeing and yourself since?

“I put my studies on hold for a second and I began to kind of appreciate everything that was around me. I think that really helped me, just being grateful for what I have, because as cliché as it sounds – you don’t realise what you have until you lose it…

 

After losing my grandmother, I didn’t want to make the same mistakes of putting my studies first and my family second. There were so many times that she was healthy, and for instance, I wouldn’t go to that family barbeque on a Sunday because I had worked, or I was studying…

 

I never really sat down and thought to myself: wow, this could be the last time we’re all here together. You begin to really appreciate what you do have, and I don’t want to make those same mistakes again…

 

After a while, I started to go out and enjoy life more often. I enjoyed the free time I have with family and made the most of it before returning back to university. I started to enjoy the small things like going to pick my sisters up with my mum, or going to cafes, or fishing with my friends. I’m constantly reflecting on my life and can’t afford to make the same mistake of sacrificing my mental health. I gave myself that free time to think about the company around me, and that’s what really helped me get back on track. It’s a work in progress but it will always be a work in progress”.

 

Marouf’s words of advice:
You have to prioritise yourself. Be selfish. Put yourself first, because I found that I was constantly putting myself second. So, if somebody needed something, I dropped everything I was doing and helped them … even though it was hard, I wanted to help them and that it’s a good thing. But you have to always put yourself first”

 

Dania Roumieh

I’m a final year Bachelor of Communications (journalism) student that aspires to explore the stories…

Dania Roumieh

Dania Roumieh

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