By Nazeefa Ahmed, September 20 2023—
Students are placed under immense pressure to organize their lives while still trying to figure out who they are. Balancing academics, finances, wellbeing, family and friends requires a great deal of effort that can cause mental strain if there is a lack of balance.
Fortunately, a University of Calgary student is opening the gate for the community and invites those who are struggling — or have overcome struggle — to share their experiences for others to learn from.
Amr Gohar is a third-year biological sciences student, research assistant and the host of The Bloomers. Gohar intends for his episodes to destigmatize mental health issues among the university population. He hosts student guests to discuss their student experiences and perspectives on mental health.
“I always felt like there was a lack of people being open in the world,” said Gohar. “Going into university and being with these people who are going through the same struggles as me, feeling, sad, feeling, stressed and feeling suicidal — I felt like there was sort of a responsibility and a need for me to be open to help people deal with their problems.”
Gohar also likes to discuss philosophical topics on his own, giving his thoughts on addiction, habit building, relationships and happiness, to name a few. His most viewed episode on YouTube discusses death, something that Gohar enjoys talking about to bring awareness.
“I feel like death is a very taboo topic and not many people have come to realize that they can actually die. It’s so important that you begin your every day with the end in mind,” said Gohar. “You must live for your legacy and I feel like existentialism brings focus to life.”
Since publishing his first episode two years ago, Gohar posted 50 episodes on YouTube. He provides advice to students who may feel mental roadblocks when pursuing a passion project outside of school, stating that shutting off negative voices — from the inside and outside — is key to consistency and fulfillment.
“If you’re making something that you’re sharing with other people, you have to remove people’s perceptions from your mind. When you first begin, you can’t really take in the negative voices that some people will give because there’s a lot of mean-spirited people in the world,” said Gohar. “As long as you love the idea, and it’s something that comes from deep within you should be able to do it.”
Gohar hopes that U of C students will contribute to the community, either as a listener, guest, or sharing the episodes through word-of-mouth. Then, his vision for the podcast can be shared with more people, creating a campus culture of acceptance and empathy.
“I wanted to be open. I wanted to have fun. I want to include other people and my community, which at the moment is mainly University of Calgary.”
The Bloomers podcast publishes new episodes bi-weekly and can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube and Listen Notes. Readers who would like to be a guest on Gohar’s podcast are encouraged to reach out to The Bloomers podcast Instagram through direct message.