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Vulnerability is not the same as weakness: on the benefits of opening up

Inside the Programme

Vulnerability is not the same as weakness: on the benefits of opening up

Published 27 October 2022

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My year in residence was honestly a dream come true, even though COVID-19 impacted some parts of the year and we endured hard lockdowns. We persevered and made the most of our time as the Class of 2021. My key takeaways from my year in residence were:

Do not fear vulnerability. The world conditions us to not share our problems and our fears because they are viewed as weakness. However, I made it one of my aims to be fully vulnerable and share my truth. From our first in-person gathering I shared my story of who I am, what I have achieved and what I have gone through as a disabled young man. Painful as it was, it helped me form genuine relationships. During the year I shared with my classmates that I was fundraising for my next pair of prosthetic legs. The assistance I received in spreading the word about my Go-Fund-Me page was heartwarming and some even contributed towards the purchase. Eventually I raised enough funds to purchase the legs; this was a lesson in the power of opening up.

The power of common good. I was part of an amazing pod group of five members. For our learning journey, we visited the Willow Arts Collective, an organisation that helps and accommodates homeless foreign nationals. We spent the day with the people there and learnt a great deal. It was encouraging to see how people supported each other through farming and other means, showing the power of common good when people come together and unite. We assisted by donating some money towards the collection of refuse at their location.

Camaraderie. Genuine effort was required to make friends and to stay in contact despite not being able to meet in person most of the time. I still was able to make amazing friends and enjoy their company

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