Why Learning History Is Important Today

Why Learning History Is Important Today

History may not seem relevant, but it is important
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Just this week, Bill Wurtz released a video called, “The history of the entire world, I guess,” a follow-up to the internet famous “History of Japan.” Filled with funny jingles combined with simple, yet effective animation, it summarized the world’s history since the Big Bang Theory to how the Earth and societies developed in twenty minutes.

In twenty minutes, another YouTuber made a video on a time-lapse of human civilization, since humans evolved out of Africa, documenting historical events and the world population along the way.

Among the visuals, great music, and commentary, one would know how the history of the world unfolded in distinct locations. It causes us to wonder about how we ended up here, in this very moment, reading this from behind our screens.

Therefore, I find a beauty in history—not in what happened or how many people died in the process, but in how people have innovated and fought and were like us today in emotions and dreams.

And a good reason to show to other people how, despite some people believing that they should’ve been born in a previous decade due to their art and culture, it may not be the best reason why they should live in that era. It’s not only because they don’t have the technology or the conveniences of today, but if they are not males of European descent who have a lot of money and influence, it would be significantly harder to live in.

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In the International Studies major at UW, students have to take three introductory courses: States and Capitalism, which focuses on trends between the 13th century and 1914; the Making of the 21st Century, which focuses on world order between 1914 and today; and Cultural Interactions in the Modern World, which focuses on ideas over the ages. A common thread between all three of them is how processes, whether through trade, or war, or pillage, creates these societies we have today. As the International Studies major also involves politics, economics, and anthropology, the history part sometimes sounds dry, if not irrelevant.

Personally, I liked the courses, and got a lot out of them. Most prominently, I’ve learned about the various trading posts in Europe, the Middle East, and China in the 12-13th century, and how they set the stage for what would be ahead in the 15th and 16th centuries. On the other hand, the making of the 21st century featured “world order” as a pivot point, and therefore the news articles we read about the world closely relate to world order and how it could transform overnight.

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What also makes history intriguing is how people would use it for their own aims, or to make a clear verdict to how people interpret events today. For example, in my Chinese class, we discussed about mainland China-Taiwan relations, and how any claims today are based out of who claimed it first. The Chinese argued it had Taiwan since the Three Kingdoms era, whereas the Taiwanese argue it was only at around 1885, when the Qing Dynasty absorbed it into China.

Recently, with FBI Director James Comey’s firing, discussions arose on whether it was “Nixonian,” or connective towards the Watergate scandal, potentially laying down the groundwork for impeachment. Others point out the lurch towards authoritarianism, which is not only historically for the modern day, but also emergent within the political science realm on how liberal democracies may not mark “the end of history."

Regardless on who is on the right side of history, and therefore worthy of the privilege of writing this for future generations, one cannot forget how important history is in determining our future. And if history is bound to repeat itself, how we can change it for the better.

Cover Image Credit: Marco Brambilla, "Evolution (Megaplex)," 2011

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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To The 'College Best Friend' Who Will Be My Best Friend For The Rest Of My Life

College friends are the friends you want to keep for the rest of your life.

Cassidy
Cassidy
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You have been here with me through the best years of my life, and even though we haven't known each other that long it feels like a lifetime. I can always count on you to be fully there for me through all the ups and the downs.

I count on you to cheer me up through all the drama and boy issues and I will always do the same for you.

College would be completely different if you weren't here with me because I wouldn't have anyone to go on midnight snack runs with or anyone to facetime about the cute boy in class talking to me. I also wouldn't have a shoulder to cry on when I am sad, or a person to share all my exciting news with.

You are one of the people I can see as being a bridesmaid at my wedding, and sharing all my future secrets with. Through these college years we are forming into the people we are meant to be and I fully feel like you have helped me become a better person, and understand myself more.

This being said we better continue being friends after college.

Going into my senior year, I worry about all the people I am going to miss because of the different directions our lives may take us, but even then I know we will continue to jump back into the old swing of things every time we see each other. Senior year I have planned to make the most memories of our four years of college and to just completely live in the moment.

After this year wherever we may go, I know that I will always remember all the crazy times we had and I am looking forward to more crazy memories with you.

Cassidy
Cassidy

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