Humans of Jacobs: Tallina Tallae

Humans of Jacobs: Tallina Tallae

Every move you make, every step you take, every loss you suffer, and every win you celebrate becomes a part of you. There’s a God above and there’s a reminiscence of things that makes the world go around its axis. There’s a limit to the countless stars in the skyline, there’s a song that still needs to be sung, there’s love that is still to be found, and there’s life still to be lived. The theory of a multiverse do exists and the fact that everything is written does remain. How should one then, I sometimes wonder, go onto live their lives? The answer isn’t simple, of course, but Tallina has surely taught me that no matter what happens, it’s the line between the start of our time and the end of it which actually counts and that line, we have total control over.

It’s always a pleasure interviewing someone from the same country I am from. Tallina, however, is from everywhere. “I grew up in Beijing, China, and the pathways, dragons, fireworks, ribbons, all enclose the memories of my childhood. Visiting museums, zoos, aquariums, and historical places with my family is how I would describe my childhood, full of exploration and excitement. There was always a curiosity in the air and I remember my dad would always ‘vlog’ all our trip. Looking back at them brings back fun and embarrassing memories, but in all honesty, that’s what childhood is about.

“I come from the ethereal city of Islamabad, Pakistan. The roads where peace and beauty surrounds you. Situated in the heart of Pakistan, the capital city Islamabad has everything for locals and tourists alike; from the cool breezes of the towering Margalla Hills to the magical trails that home some of the most majestic creatures, Islamabad will always be one of my favourite places to me. Additionally, the ambiance is filled with a mouthwatering aroma of the luxurious street food. The grand Faisal Mosque, for sure, is the identity of the city and with the beautiful landscapes to its amazing weather, Islamabad is a dream city. The soul of culture radiates in the colorful area The Lok Virsa. From music festivals, savory street food to cultural rays, Lok Virsa is embedded in the beauty of the colorful culture of Pakistan. I’ve always been proud of the fact that I was born in this capital beauty. Growing up in international background, I have come across people from all over the world. I’ve learned that everyone is different in their own ways, but at the same time all the same. Each person has a story behind the curves of smiles there are so many sufferings and behind every action is an event. But everyone is ready to be there, to be friends. It is so hard to find helpful people yet I have met so many of them. The people of my hometown vary, but are filled with hospitality which I’ve always appreciated. The people of Bremen are strict, not that very welcoming, somewhat rigid on the outside, but it’s their one smile that fades their strictness and gives you a friendly warmth.”

When asked how she ended up at Jacobs University of all the universities she could go to, Tallina had a very simple answer and a logical one at that. “In my school years, we were given the choice of studying German or Chinese language, I opted for German. I felt very close to the German culture, its language, and it sowed a seed of hope for me to pursue my bachelors degree in Germany. To pursue a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) was a choice of challenges, but I didn’t enclose myself to pure engineering. I had interests in international relations which made me also take the International Relations Politics and History module in my first year to explore this field. I certainly think that it is important to not close oneself to one field, I may be an engineer but that doesn’t stop me from doing poetry and writings. Writing is a passion that was born within me since the age of seven and to this date it thrills me.”

She continues, “My poems have varying themes but a similar flow. They play a huge role in giving my mind some rest. Music, random scribbles, and rhyming verses are some other things that I am very passionate about. Jacobs University has always been known for its international and diverse student body and this factor attracted me the most. To blend in colors of cultures and explore and learn about them has always been exciting to me. I have been asked several times if I had a choice to turn back the time and change my university, would I do it. My answer, however, is always in the negative. There are so many memories and moments attached to these three years I spent at Jacobs and these adventures and explorations are irreplaceable. I cannot imagine my life without these wonderful people I met here.”

Tallina plans on staying in Germany. She plans on obtaining her Masters and maybe even her Doctorate from Europe. “The future is always uncertain for we don’t know where it will take us and so I always like to keep my options flexible and have several doors to unhinge. I dream of pursuing my further education or maybe a job in Germany or somewhere else in Europe. I believe I already have a strong connection to Europe’s lifestyle and I wouldn’t want to move anywhere else. Wherever I go in life, however, I can’t forget my hometown, I’m attached to my family and visiting them after every few months is what keeps me going. Moving to Germany was a hectic process, I remember during my A-Levels, I already had my acceptance letter and I was in the havoc of visa applications. The process is lengthy, but I think the right guidance can always ease it. I had a friend who helped me in every step of the application which made things easier. But despite that, the nervousness and fears were always there, ‘What if they reject my application?’ These uncertainties always used to send shivers down my spine. The more we move forward in life, the more responsibilities fall upon us. There’s always some procedure that we have to go through whether big or small. You may have to go through the process again and again, but if you know you’ll make it at the end, re-doing the process is alright.”

Family is what Tallina cherishes the most in her life. Like many of those who come from the better part of the world, she also feels a special connection with her family. “I had never really lived away from my family so initially it was hard for me to live by myself. I’ve always believed that we always take our family for granted and only when we have to live alone do we realise what a huge role they play in our lives. I am, however, grateful for this experience as it has made me independent and much stronger. I have attained great exposure to life outside the nest of my home and I believe it has prepared me for adulthood to come. Here in Germany, I also worked for the first time in my life. I started working in the Mercator College Office in my second year and third year and it gave me great teamwork and problem-solving experiences. It also enhanced my social skills, which makes me even more grateful to Jacobs University.”

When asked about her friends, Tallina said that although she loves to mix with all kinds of people, she likes to keep the best ones the closest. “I’m not a fan of having huge friend groups. I believe one should have friends that are genuine whether it be one or two. But I love staying connected. From my childhood friends in China and my close friends in Pakistan to my friends here in Germany, I plan on staying in touch with everyone. I can’t put a wall of differences among them because for me, they all mean a lot. All-in-all, I will always cherish these people. There are so many people in this world, but I’ll be forever grateful to the ones that crossed my path. I feel very blessed to know these people.”

Tallina plans on eventually returning to Pakistan. She, however, wants to become someone first so that she can help those who were never as fortunate as she was. “I want to be in a position where I can give back to my country even if it is a small contribution. Since childhood, I’ve been inspired by people who help others and I hope that in the future I am in a position to help the people around me. And of course, I would want to start from my country. I’ve always been inspired by Abdur Sattar Edhi Sahab, a Pakistani philanthropist and I aspire to serve humanity just like he did. My small experiences in charity events, for example, the time I visited an autistic school have always inspired me to be able to help these people around me and this is a core motivation for me to become successful in life.”

When asked about regrets, Tallina had the best answer possible. Her answer even gave me a piece of mind for like everyone else, I too, have some regrets. “My regrets in life probably revolve around the times I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I felt a whole within me that would only enlarge with each insecurity and failure I faced. But these regrets are important, I believe, as they help one to rethink and reshape my thought. As weird as it sounds, it is sometimes the regrets in lives that pave a path for a better chance. I believe it is important to address to yourself your faults and to be able to correct yourself and save yourself from even bigger regrets. I remember there were times I’d be in my dorm and would contemplate my decisions in life. Those were especially hard times as I would miss my family a lot. I remember thinking to myself, Is this time I spend here worth not being with my family? In all honesty, I still don’t know the answer to that, but I know one thing for sure, my decisions in life can never separate me from my family. It is my parents’ evergreen efforts that enabled me to stand in the position I am today, no matter how much hard work I pour into it, it is their pillar of strength and support that keeps me standing. So I hope to attain success and be able to thank them and to travel the world with them. “

Now that she has graduated and is onto better things in life, I asked her to recall the time she spent at Jacobs University. “My time at Jacobs shaped me, it taught me a lot about community, and there are so many attributes that I learned from the people around me. It also taught me a lot about so many countries and cultures. The events at Jacobs, furthermore, gave us a great break from all the study stress and I believe, the college competitions unified us. Chanting for our colleges, the adrenaline, zeal, and impatience was a great deal of fun. My college office experience helped me experience all the behind-the-scenes during these occasions as we would play our part in planning and organising them. Apart from the events, one thing I’ll miss from Jacobs is my room, honestly, we had the most comfortable accommodation at the university.”

In the end, Tallina had a wonderful message to give to her juniors at Jacobs University. Being the speaker at the graduation ceremony, I advise that she be heard so that maybe when our time comes, we may have the honor of saying farewell to our batch like she did. “Three years will pass by in no time, make the best of it. It feels like just yesterday that I got my visa. My three years at Jacobs were the longest and shortest years. It’s really hard to explain but when you’re done, you’ll understand. Also, don’t let one failure define you. If you disclose yourself to it, you will miss out on the unfolding of events awaiting you. There were times when I felt so disheartened, but then again, a series of events made me realise that over time everything changes. Your motivator should be you for it all starts with you. We are so busy with everyone around us that we forget that it is in us who we want to be.”



Humans of Jacobs: Tallina Tallae