I know you’re used to me writing about blogging, writing, and productivity, but today’s post is going to be a bit different from my other posts. Today’s post is a personal post: it’s about me.
(Don’t worry, I’m not about to launch into a long, boring composition about myself or my favourite colour.)
Sooo last Saturday was my matriculation ceremony, but I didn’t want to attend. And I wouldn’t have if a friend hadn’t literally dragged me down there. I didn’t want to attend my ceremony because I wasn’t happy about it. Unlike most of my course mates, I didn’t see my matriculation as an achievement.
Another reason I didn’t want to attend the ceremony was because there was nobody coming to join in the “celebration”. My parents couldn’t come because of the distance between our house and my school. And my friends — well, I’m still terrible at socialising with people so I don’t really have friends in my department.
You’re probably wondering why I wasn’t happy to attend my ceremony. Well, it’s because I’m not studying what I want to study, and I’m still not happy about it. You see, I’m studying biochemistry, whereas all I’ve ever wanted to study is English Literature. Over the years, I’ve been very bitter about this misfortune. Although this wouldn’t surprise you if you read that post I wrote about giving up your dreams just to please your parents.
I’ve written several other posts on this blog and on Facebook that talk about people who are studying something different from what they had originally planned to study simply because their parents want them to. But at some point, I got tired of writing and talking about it. I still felt bitter about it, though, but I just thought it was useless to cry over spilt milk.
Anyway, some days ago, I was feeling sad about life again, so I told a few of my friends about how I’m feeling. Lucky for me, a friend who attends my school asked me to meet him yesterday. When we met, I poured out my heart to him; I told him about my feelings towards school and how I’m angry most of the time because I’m still yet to accept reality. “Reality” here means the fact that I’m going to be doing chemistry, my least favourite subject, for four years and possibly even for the rest of my life.
We talked for a long, long time, and I know this might sound cliché, but our conversation totally changed my mindset. Our conversation reminded me of the challenges I’ve faced in the past, and remembering my past somehow assured me of a bright future.
I was forced to remember that time in 2014 when I was asked to repeat a class simply because I failed maths and physics woefully. Four years later, I found myself teaching maths and physics at a secondary school. I also remembered how I felt ashamed to watch my classmates progress to the next class that year while I stayed behind and joined my juniors to go through that class again. I remember that it was this sad feeling that motivated me to become better. And I became so much better than I thought I could ever be.
I felt like a big coward yesterday; I felt like some stupid crybaby. Back then, when people told me, “You would never amount to anything”, or “You would repeat this class again”, or “You would never score higher than 30/100 in math”, I laughed, and then I worked too hard and read day and night just to make sure I proved them wrong in the end — and I sure as hell did!
But now, when people tell me, “You won’t last long studying biochemistry”, I ask myself questions like, “What if they’re right?”, “What if I’m not cut out for this thing?”, “What if I drop out now and save my parents’ money, instead of failing later on and bringing shame to them?”
I miss the old me — that guy who didn’t care about what people said about him. That guy who knew that while he couldn’t change what people said about him, he could decide how he reacted to it. Honestly, I miss him so much, and I hope I learn to become him once again.
I am grateful for the kind of friends I have, and I’m grateful for that very friend who reminded me that what I’m facing now isn’t any different from the challenges I’ve faced countless times in the past. Perhaps that was all I needed — a reminder.
I’m hesitant to publish this post; I feel like posting it is a bad idea, but I also feel like somebody who can relate to my experience might read this and feel motivated a bit. So I’ll just publish it here instead of hiding it away in my journal.
If you read up till this point, this is me thanking you for reading, but this is also me apologising for ranting and wasting your time. But sometimes, ranting helps you let off some steam, you know?
All right. So, erm, below are some of the pictures I took last Saturday during my matriculation ceremony. Okay, I know I’m quite short for my age, and I know I suck at posing for pictures, so please do me a favour — don’t remind me. 😂
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