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The Value of People

By Sam Ross

The most wonderful part of life is the people we meet and associate with during it. That’s why it can be so satisfying for me to lead a busy lifestyle – because at the end of the day, I feel like I have made a positive difference to the people I’ve met (hopefully). It is also very necessary to realise that these people will naturally change over our life span.

I originally wanted to write this week about how attached we become to material things, but we also become attached to the people we spend our days with. Freud said that because we project ourselves onto those and the objects around us, when we lose them we lose a part of ourselves.

Something as simple as attending that regular committee meeting, and smiling in the street at those you often see in passing in lectures really makes all of the hard work worth it. Why? Because you are acknowledging someone, and each of you is recognising that the other exists. I once read a study that all we really want in life is to be acknowledged and feel valued, so every week when my “Passion Planner” asks me what I want to achieve, I make sure I list making time for people as one of my priorities.

Yes, I’m so often busy and crazy and people think that I never get a minute to myself, but where’s the fun in that? I would rather have coffee and hear someone else spill out all their thoughts and experiences of the past week, than sit on my own to “relax”.

Anyway, I recently moved away from my childhood home, closing the biggest chapter of my life so far, and though there are few people in Forres who were really interested in me, it is strange to finally turn that page.

Considering the idea that we project ourselves onto those we meet, it’s really no surprise that although I saw this change in my life coming, despite my acknowledging that at some point in my degree my University friends would replace my home friends, I found it difficult to say good bye to a long chapter.

I find it very radical to see how many people I know now that a mere year ago I attributed no value to. For example, this time a few weeks ago I mistook my thumb for a carrot, and rushed to the GP to get glued back together. The people I talked to about this were as concerned as my parents, but they were also those who I genuinely enjoy spending time with, those who truly make a life in St Andrews worth living.

In reflection, my best friends now are not school friends, are not forced through 5 days of school per week, they are friends for the long haul.

Perhaps you have already experienced this, and perhaps not, but when I attended the most wonderful dinner with friends, or when I see how interested and involved Camilla, Phoebe, Mansi, Alethea, David (and many, many others) become when Populus needs something sharing on Facebook, I can’t express my gratitude enough.

The feeling of having a friend is something that is incomparable to anything else – and if people are so vital, and valued in our lives, then we must have something to encourage it, to remind us of those we love. Populus is here to do that – to facilitate, to give you a space, to be there when you have time for a friend (old or new). And every time you need us, we will be free, accessible, and complete with conversation cards.

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