Famed Pakistani activist and nobel peace prize winner, Malala Yousafzai has graduated from United Kingdom’s esteemed Oxford University with flying colours. The activist graduated with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) in June and has made her country rather proud. A recent YouTube original, Dear Class of 2020, featured the young activist alongside Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and more stars came together to celebrate graduates. Since, Malala Yousafzai has taken part in an elaborate interview in which she describes her final days and ending at the university.
Her ending time at the university was not how she had imagined it as she did not get to savour her final months on campus. “In March, I packed up a few things from my room at Oxford University—books, shoes, clothes—enough for the three-week Easter break. Months later, I am still at home with my parents,” she was quoted as saying by Vanity Fair. She went on to add that “Throughout the spring, I took classes by Zoom and final exams in my bedroom. In June, I graduated in the backyard,” recalled Yousafzai.
The young peace laureate then went on to explain that she returned to Oxford for two hours during which she collected her belongings and moved out for the last and final time. “Like other 2020 graduates, this was not the ending I imagined,” she said. The education activist recalled how at the beginning of the year she told herself that she would walk every street in Oxford, take pictures of every beautiful garden, drink tea in every café, and eat in every dining hall on campus – especially the Harry Potter one.
“This was my last chance to see, hear, touch, and taste it all—and I missed it,” she said. She went on to express, and we completely agree, that education was so much more than a syllabus, since college is the first time several youngsters get a taste of independence. “We set our own schedules—even small decisions like what to eat or how to spend a Sunday are thrilling,” she reminisced. “In my early days at Oxford, a senior student told me that university life is sleeping, studying, and socializing—and you can only pick two.” She then expressed that studying and sleep were mostly sacrificed.
As part of her co-curricular activities, Malala Yousafzai said she attended cricket matches, college balls, and joined the Pakistan Society and the Oxford Union. She went on to recell how her friends would often push her to abandon her studies and go to a debating society or a pub. “I don’t drink, but being the only sober one in a group of students arguing over Brexit is its own fascination,” the youngster said.
“I watched Rick and Morty or The Big Bang Theory and left my assignments until the last possible minute, submitting many un-commendable essays. I stayed awake until 5 am to see the sun rise over the gardens. I still haven’t mastered laundry,” said Yousafzai as she took a trip down memory lane. During her time at Oxford, Malala also indulged in listening to inspiring lectures from some of the world’s greatest thinkers and leaders, adding that she learned just as much or more from her peers. “And I am still learning every day from young people,” said the activist.
Malala Yousafzai was a mere 11-years-old when she started advocating for girls’ education in Pakistan—and 15 when she was shot in the face by the Taliban.