It was another one of those dreary wet days at UNC. As far as my limited vision could see, there was a sea of wet humans trudging along to class, splashing their feet in the muddy puddles of rainwater that covered the expanse of the brick paths that criss-crossed throughout campus. The students fortunate enough to have remembered their umbrellas struggled against the wind, which tossed the umbrellas against each other and threatened to turn them inside out.
I was just another person in the sea of wet humans, getting from class to class. We all had a common goal: put one foot in front of the other and get to dry land as soon as possible. It was the kind of day humankind was meant to stay indoors, in the warmth, safely watching the pitter patter of the raindrops from our windows. Alas, the professors, the university, and the higher powers of the education system were working against us. No matter the extent of the rain, it seemed that classes must go on.
It was on such a Monday when I left my LFIT class in a bit of a daze. My LFIT (Lifetime Fitness) class was an aerobics class that I was taking for the sole reason of graduating from college. I was in my senior year and the university would not give me my degree unless I took a gym credit so here I was taking an exercise class. I normally left class aching and sweaty and tired, but today, we had a yoga teacher substitute who basically let us sleep for half of class. I guess that nap was what left me in a daze because I forgot to take something very important with me from the gym room. Something I would never have ordinarily left behind. My water bottle.
There are few things in life I love more than a fresh cold glass of water, and I think it is fitting that my body needs water to survive. However, there is irony in the situation that was to follow. Because on this day, which was actually today (I was just making it dramatic by making it seem like it was some other day), I was surrounded by water everywhere I went. Water falling in buckets down from the sky. Water in the yucky puddles on the ground. Water seeping into my shoes and socks.
But it wasn’t until I had gotten out my food and started eating when I realized that I had forgotten my most important water. The water that was in my bottle that I had filled with ice and water in the morning before I had left the house. It was this realization that struck me with some important revelations.
Do I, Nur Kose, take my access to water for granted? Up until this point, I would have said most definitely not. I love water so much that whenever I have a glass of fresh ice-cold water, I savor the moment and appreciate it. Some people may think I’m slightly obsessed, but these people do not realize that we would truly die without water.
And that brings me to my next point. For those of you who came here to hear the end of my story, fear not. It is coming. But I have something else to say first.
Even as I mourned the separation from my water bottle all day, I still had access to water fountains scattered across campus. I complained that I had to walk all the way to the fountains every time I wanted a drink, but I still had water I could drink (even if it wasn’t in my pretty Carolina blue bottle). So it wasn’t like my life was in danger (unless you consider the massive water puddles I had to walk through to get to class; arguably, the paths were flooding, so there is that to consider).
But there are people in the world who literally don’t have water fountains or fresh clean water to drink. And sometimes, when you don’t feel thirsty, or you don’t leave your bottle behind in Woolen Gym after LFIT, it can be easy to forget people who actually are water-deprived in a way that being Carolina blue bottle-less isn’t.
I’m walking in the Move4CleanWater Walkathon on November 17 with my delightful, cute, and wonderful team Sparkles of Light. My lovely sister Meryem and cousin Nabiha, as well as some of our friends, will be walking together, and we collectively have a goal of raising $2,000.
So, if you read this story, I daresay you should donate to our team and support our aspirations to allow others a chance to have fresh, clean water like we do.
Donate link –> https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/sparkles-of-light
Okay, now that we have provided the donation link, let us continue with the story.
So, yes, Nur’s water bottle was still lonelily sitting in the basement classroom of Woolen Gym and Nur was on the other side of campus with wet, wet roads and sheets of rain in between.
When my classes were finally over, I was in a bit of a dilemma. Should I brave the rain and make the journey back to Woolen Gym to retrieve my water bottle? Or should I ditch it, abandon my water bottle, and hope it would still be there tomorrow when I could come in a better state of mind and perhaps in the daylight?
The people around me who were tasked to help me make my decision were not much help. They simply said that if I wanted to, I should go get it. And if not, I should not get it. The problem was that I wanted to be reunited with my bottle, but I simply did not want to go and get it. I just wanted a miracle to happen and for my bottle to just appear before me. However, miracles do not simply happen like that, so it was not to be. I had to make a decision.
It was getting dark (the whole daylight savings thing was making it dark wayy too early) and the rain was coming down hard. More people suggested not getting my bottle than getting it (although by a narrow margin). And I just did not want to walk all the way to Woolen Gym in the rain. So, I decided that I would go home, and I would come back tomorrow and hope that my bottle still remained where I left it.
I braced myself for the wind and rain, and I walked out into the great outdoors once again, headed to the bus stop. I reached the bus stop, the rain whipping at me, and I looked at the handy sign that announced when the bus would arrive. My bus was going to be ten minutes late. That is when I decided that if I was going to stand in the rain anyway to wait for my bus, I might as well have spent that time walking to Woolen Gym and retrieving my bottle. So I took one last glance in the direction my bus was supposed to come from, and then turned around and made the trek to Woolen Gym to get my treasure. (Okay so it was an approximately less then five-minute walk, but it was pouring rain and I didn’t even know if the gym was going to be open since it was past 6.) But I figured that if my socks were already wet (there are few things I dislike more than wet socks), what’s the harm in them getting a little more wet. I walked quickly (because there was still the matter of getting back to the bus stop in time to catch my late bus). I walked up the steps to the building, pushed through the heavy doors, crossed the length of the lobby, then walked down another set of stairs, pushed another door open, walked through a hall, opened another door, walked down some more stairs, and finally got to my classroom, which was…surprise! Occupied.
I peeked through the window in the door and saw that there was a yoga class going on. And right at the front of the room was my water bottle. I stared, contemplating my next move. I had made it this far. Nothing was going to stop me now. I opened the door, went in, and got my bottle. I apologized for interrupting the class as the entire class stared as I walked in. (Everyone was standing on one leg in an awkward position with their arms spread out like wings.) The teacher kindly said that it was no trouble. I grabbed my bottle, and I fled.
I rushed out of the building and headed back to my bus stop as fast as one safely can in the pouring rain and flooding streets. And I miraculously arrived in time before my bus arrived (and you thought miracles can’t happen, hah!).
So, yes. I got my bottle, alhamdulillah. I have been reunited with it. (As I write this, the rain continues to fall heavily outside, but as I can fully appreciate, I am indoors in the warmth and dryness of my room, which is one of the greatest things in the world.)
Yes, so that is my story. I think I have covered all that is necessary. If you have made it to the end of this narrative and you have still not donated, I would suggest for you to please, please (please) donate at this very handy link that I will place here again for your convenience: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/sparkles-of-light.
I would very, very, very much appreciate it if you could donate any amount to my cause. If you have already donated, I wouldn’t mind any extra donations, as well.
Because, as we all have realized (I hope), water is extremely, extremely precious, and I think we should all share this amazing resource.
That is truly all for now. So long, my friends. Until next time. Stay dry and have a good night.
I know I said that is all, but I must clarify that UNC is beautiful, even in the rain, which was difficult to say when I was walking in the rain, but now is not very hard to say at all. So enjoy this picture of the Old Well, a symbol of our university.