2012 marks the year that I finally completed my studies.
It has been a long journey which began at a mere age of four when I was still such a cute little peanut.
The notion of completing college probably seems a lot bigger for me than it does for many people, simply because eight years ago, just the thought of enrolling into a good college felt rather impossible. But impossible is just a word, invented by people who are either too scared of failures they don’t even want to try or too soon to give up.
But what about men giving birth? That’s impossible.
Oh, honey. Haven’t you heard?
What about curing cancer? That’s impossible.
No, Sir, that is not. We just have not managed to find the cure. That does not mean it is impossible, it simply means that humanity needs to wait a while longer while the scientists are experimenting and doing their best to invent one.
I understand now that given enough effort and passion (and sometimes, a splash of desperation), almost nothing is impossible in this universe.
Was it hard? Arguably. For me, though, it was. Was it the hardest thing in the world that I’ve ever gone through in my 24 years of life? Most definitely not. But it was difficult, maybe it’s also due to the fact that I was enrolled to the School of Engineering, majoring in Electrical Engineering. I mean, those resistors, capacitors, transistors, circuit designs stuff weren’t exactly very fun to me. And did I mention how one incorrect connection may result in burnt fuse, and oh what’s the smell? oh my god is it my hair? Those guys would never understand the intensity of having their hair on fire.
I did it, though, managing to score a bare minimum on most of my modules, failing once (Integrated Electronics is the bane of my existence), and acing a few ones, so few I probably only need the fingers on my two hands tops, with some to spare for my first-class-honors mates. How do you people manage so many A’s, really?
And then I am done. On that last day of my Final Year Project presentation, I took the time to walk around my campus. Those memories. They just almost suddenly flooded my mind. Benches on the parking lot which honestly witnessed how much work I did for that Bachelor’s Degree, academic buildings, canteen, even the medical center – god knows how much antibiotics I’ve inhaled throughout my 3 years in school.
What’s weird though was the feeling that overflowed my heart as reality knocks. I completed university.
Have you ever wanted to prove someone wrong so hard, tears welled up on your eyes? That’s the kind of feeling I’d been holding in for the past 7 years since I finished secondary school.
And that one fine day, knowing that dude, I’m done proving you wrong, I realised that I actually didn’t care anymore. It did not matter to me anymore if these people know that I, the once complete failure, managed to bounce back. It didn’t even matter if anyone were proud of my accomplishment. The only thing that mattered right then was how I finally let go and forgive.
Because it finally occurred to me that the one person I’d been holding grudges and blaming on is me. That 15-year-old me who screwed everything up. I made peace with her, in fact I thanked her, because she made me to be who I am today – tough and persistent. Most importantly though, she taught me to not take life too seriously, to understand that it is human to mess up once in a while. I need that failure to keep both of my feet on the ground while holding my head high, knowing that from here onward, nothing – not even myself – will be able to stop me from doing my best.
Thank you, 15-year-old me. You took one for the both of us.