Alumni Update: Von Aeruthayan, Malaysia


Photo: Von and Ciara sporting matching blue hair in their dorm room taking a selfie while watching the sunset.

A Story of Platonic Fates over Tectonic Plates

Hello, Global Gazette! This is Von Aeruthayan from Malaysia. I was an exchange student at Kansas State University (K-State) in Fall 2019.

Grief became a central theme for the first few weeks of my daily life when I got back home to Malaysia. However, as I began my journey of healing, I found hope in my best friend and ex-roommate, Ciara. I didn’t think I deserved to experience joy until I met her at K-State.

Ciara would be the first to know everything: I got a new date, my professor offered me to be a part of her research team, I got her chicken parmesan from the Derb (dining hall). We’d watch the sunset from our dorm room. She’d set up a hammock in our dorm room and knit and tell me she’s living her best life.

Ten thousand miles and fourteen hours apart, Ciara and I are still best friends! One weekend, there was a thunderstorm happening in Kansas; it was sunny in Malaysia. We just called each other and painted.

I never thought I could afford platonic affection of this magnitude. I miss Ciara, and I miss K-State. I miss Kansas too. Ciara taught me the most important lesson in life is to stay hopeful and to laugh. Now, I’m working my way to graduate school at K-State in hopes of reuniting with Ciara and to laugh at her dumb jokes in person.

Von Aeruthayan, Malaysia, Fall 2019, Kansas State University