it’s 2.02 a.m in the morning as i write this.
i want to sleep, but there’s a lot inside me that i think i want to spill out. somewhere.
when i came here last february, i came here on my own.
no one came with me.
i remember pushing my luggage out of the airport.
the sun was out but i feel cold.
was it the wind, or just me feeling like i left something back thousands of miles away?
i don’t exactly know.
what i know is that at that time i found no feeling of joy upon arriving in a foreign country.
i guess i was just thinking: oh. okay. so i’m here. what now?
and then someone came to fetch me.
invited me to their home.
told me to sleep. or rest. but. whatever.
it’s not like i can sleep easily in a foreign place. i couldn’t even sleep on the plane.
i can’t sleep like i breathe.
and at that time, i wondered if i could really breathe.
and then came the course consultation day.
the usual: student meets lecturer(s)/program director/academic advisor. and then talk. discuss. decide the entire flow of your course. the whole thing.
when i came, i already know what i wanted.
i didn’t want a discussion.
i came because i wanted to tell them what i want.
and so, despite some of them not being convinced that i have a clear idea of what i wanted to do just bcause it’s my first few days after arriving (i mean sriously, wht kind of reason is that?), they eventually let me have what i want.
but that was after quite a struggle (frm me), trying to prove my point. because my academic advisor was soo concerned about me coming frm a “technical science” background but choosing a “social science” type of specialization.
of course i remembered him.
i remember his name. his face. what he said.
he kept repeating his point of view about me attempting to do something i’m not familiar with, and things like the challenge(s) of academic/essay writing, and again the 70% overall grade requirement in order to graduate with a master.
(the whole thing. as if i wasn’t aware of it bfore i came into this place. and saw him).
he goes on and on about not being “familiar” enough (or perhaps slightly hinting about not knowing enough or being capable enough?, i’m not exactly certain), saying somethng tht sounds like i might risk the overall grade and when i argued about trying something else/new discipline other than my past “technical science” bckground, and learning (more) on academic writing, and my suggestion of trying to go with my choice to see how it’s like first, etc., he was like, telling me that if anythng goes wrong with my grades in the first smster then it would be evn more dfficult to raise my grades in the 2nd one.
aftr our “discussion”, i knew i wasn’t going to follow what he said.
so i made my choice (and along the way i still rceived email(s) frm him “advising” me about my choice.
the thing is that, when i listened to him, although i do not doubt his experience and carefulness in “academic advising”, i can’t help but feel that he is telling me that i cannot do it even before he knows what i can or cannot do.
he didn’t even know what i can or can’t do. he hasn’t even seen my work or tutored or mentored me before. that was my first few days in the uni and my first few days with him.
i even explained to him why i wanted to do that specialized stream. i even explained to him what i was trying to aim at.
i thought that it would at least make sense.
but i don’t know why in the end i still received such emails.
and then i talked to dad. about choosing a specialization. but then. that’s another story. which i don’t feel like elaborating rite now.
so i made up my mind. (even when i feel like the authoritarian academic world is against it).
and then i met my head of program.
she was..okay (i guess). at least she lets me stay in her stream. and lets me reject things that i don’t want to do.
she doesn’t want me to do subjects that i might have remotely done before (in my undergrad years).
fast frward to 2 smesters later, i’m now sitting here. waiting for my 2nd smster rsults. bcause i would like to know if i can qualify for december’s graduation.
yesterday i met him. my academic advisor.
i was actually going to the office to pick up my final assignment (the one that is worth 65% of the entire subject’s grade).
i told him i’m going back d following month.
he looks surprised that i’m fnishng my stdies.
i don’t know why i didn’t stop myself. frm reminding him of who i was and what he was concerned about when he was academically “advising” me at the beginning of my studies.
when he asked about my choice i told him i chosed the specialized stream (anyway).
he asked about the year’s studies and i told him it was okay (i was okay. with it. i guess).
he asked if i am/was happy that i chose that specialization, and so i said i’m glad that i got to learn new things.
and he smiled that same smile.
and i guess he said “i’m glad it worked out for you.”
as i sit here wondering what my results would be (if they really are released tomorow),
what would it have been for me if i had listened to him and his advice?
what would it have been for me if i stayed “safe” and choose things that are “familiar” and instead of doing a major in a specialized stream i choose a non-specialized one because it’s less “risky” for my grades?
what if i had believed him instead of believing in myself (back then)?
he probably wouldn’t even remember me (like how he looked like he was struggling to remember if i was ever in 1 of his classes).
he looked like he didn’t even really remember what he’d said back then, until i reminded him of that period of time.
so, do you see what i see?
that sometimes in life there are people or things that can happen and make you doubt yourself and/or your choices.
and sometimes you might not know for sure if it’s the right choice. or if it’s entirely risk-free.
but to not choose it because someone is saying that you are not as capable as your choices require you to be, even when you haven’t even exerted your capabilities, and even when that person doesn’t even know you and your potential/capabilities, then that is a big risk itself.
because who knows, the things that you let go of today, will they come back again in the future?
and if they don’t, are we willing to pay for that kind of loss?
we just don’t know. the kind of future that we’ll be stepping into.
so i think,
don’t let people who don’t really know you, make you believe that they know you more than you know yourself.