Check out the first post of Cynthia’s Life Aspirations’ Series here: http://www.globalyouthjournal.com/the-pursuit-of-happiness/
The Prime Goal: To graduate University as fast as possible
Many years passed by and I entered Grade 9, a different and a (at that time) distant intangible goal became clearer to me like a rising sun: I have to enter and graduate University as fast as possible. I get to go abroad to study and learn new things faster, and to go back home to be with my family faster. It sounded simple in theory but in practice it was challenging, although that was how everything else worked out in life. Without thinking further down the road, I set it as my biggest possible achievement in life. Then I figured that everything came with a price, a sacrifice was needed to be done.
I loved drawing and I insisted that I would be studying architecture or interior design as a major in a certain university. Unfortunately due to the university’s policy changes, my age became the barrier that kept me away from achieving that desire. I was 15 years old and was trying to enter the university, but the university rejected me because the minimum age was 16. That feeling of being rejected and having to sacrifice what you wanted was certainly not pleasant. In the end I opted for a university that had no age specifications, and it specialized in commerce majors instead.
Eventually I was done with Grade 10 or O-levels and 3 days after my prom night I left for Sydney, Australia. I started my Foundation studies with an optimistic spirit, but I had troubles in dealing with homesickness and having to memorize the roads (I am very bad with directions and often got lost). Fortunately I had my brother with me, but we went to different universities. We divided our chores and he was in charge of cleaning while I was in charge of cooking. We did our own laundries, although his version of doing the laundry is only throwing his clothes into the washing machine then to the dryer and then taking them out, leaving me to fold and iron his clothes. We argued over small matters such as my lack of cooking skills or his daily (yes every single day) continuous demands for me to go grocery shopping. Nevertheless I felt happy and grateful of our bond and to have him as a great and reliable older brother.
99% of my school mates were still enjoying their graduation or vacation days during my first semester of Foundation studies. Sometimes I would turn green to the core when I see my Facebook notifications filled with photos of them hanging out. I felt left out back then. Moreover I missed my parents and younger siblings so much that sometimes I had to leave my Skype on video call with them from night till morning. I had plenty of friends and they were wonderful people, but it still felt different. I can blame the Indonesian upbringing of spoiling their kids too much. We get everything we want so easily on a silver platter. I had maids and drivers and so I did not need to care about household chores or remembering the roads, but frankly of course I am not and never will complain over that.
So I struggled emotionally during my first year in Sydney, but academically I was performing all too well. I literally amazed myself when I graduated Foundation studies with a perfect 4.0 GPA and being the youngest in the entire program. Hence my second option turned out to be my silver lining. In addition I was content with pursuing accounting as a major, which was totally unexpected; trust me I was the most unlikely student in school to study finance or accounting and my accounting teacher can give you several reasons for that. During the holidays I returned home to Jakarta and brought back news that entertained my parents heart and ego. Whenever I left to go back to Sydney, my heart always felt like it was breaking a little. My father always made sure that he sent me off in the airport, and he never missed it even once.
I really believe that the relationships we make in our lives make us strong, and plays a role in who we are. I pushed myself to perform well academically in order to test my capabilities and to see my parents’ smiles. Everyone is driven by self-interest, but not completely since we have our loved ones who can take more or less 50% out of that portion, and be our driving force.
This is the second entry in Cynthia’s Life Aspirations Series. The third entry in Cynthia’s Life Aspirations Series, “Figuring out what truly mattered” will be posted next week. Follow Global Youth Journal or like the Facebook page to stay updated with the release of the next post.
Cynthia was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. At the age of 18, she graduated from the Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Currently, at the age of 19, she works in her family business of manufacturing industrial paper and corrugated boxes. During her free time, she enjoys writing about the lessons and situations she encounters in life, and the people she meets. Most of the writing topics revolves around reality and how it works from the perspective of a “19 year old”.