Dread and excitement: the twin emotions of the academic year

As the academic year closes, our student bloggers reflect on their tenure here and how blogging for the Jewish Chronicle has impacted their lives on campus

August 29, 2018 10:37

I wrote my first piece for this blog just less than a year ago, with three weeks until I started at university. In about a month I'll be moving in to my second year house in Durham and I’m filled with many of the same emotions as I wrote about feeling then. Dread, excitement and desperate yearning for slower passing of the last summer days.

Much is the same as this time a year ago, but so much is different. I definitely know what to expect from university this year in a way that I didn’t last year and, on top of that, I feel like I’m in a far better position to shape my next two years as a student to be exactly what I want them to be. This includes the role that Judaism plays in my university life.

I think that other than the overt Jewish elements of my life - like travelling back to London every month to lead my youth movement - the ways in which Judaism has manifested in my life as a student are somewhat subtle, but entirely intentional. I didn’t get involved in the JSOC for lots of reasons and i think its fair to say that the level of engagement on the issues of Israel/Palestine at Durham are extremely low in comparison to other campuses (this year that was something that I welcomed, but that in the coming years is something I'd like to change).

Yet, writing these blogs has been the main thing that has confirmed for me (and shown to others) that every single part of my life is Jewish. My Jewish values are what guide me in all the decisions I've made, essays I’ve written and conversations I’ve had - at kitchen tables, pub tables, lecture halls and online. The way I receive the world is inextricably Jewish and Judaism, Jewish scripture, culture and tradition help me lead a life that challenges me and those around me. Most importantly, it has connected me to people I believe will bring change to the world.

I hope that my blogs have inspired conversations by students on campus and by Jews not on campus - around pub tables, kitchen tables and kiddushes alike - if we are to be anywhere near the community fighting for justice and peace that the Torah demands us to be.

To end what is my final blog, I'd like to thank Orli and Jamie (my fellow student bloggers) for being a constant source of support and challenge. They are two humans whom I feel extremely lucky to have both worked with and gotten to know over the last year and I hope that all three of us continue to be brave and creative enough to share parts of ourselves in words like we have done this year.


Asha Sumroy is one of the JC's regular student bloggers for 2017-18. She is studying at Durham University.

Read the previous blog post

August 29, 2018 10:37

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive