2017 – one of the toughest years of my life so far, goodbye. Thank you for stretching me to my limits and making me a much much much stronger person than I ever envisioned myself to be. In a year where almost everyone around me was adapting to an entirely new environment with unfamiliar faces, having their new beginnings, I learnt to adapt to the same old environment with fresh new faces- I repeated my year 2 in Junior College.
In this fleeting year, I felt myself transition from a vulnerable and fragile kid to a strong and unwavering soul. Setbacks used to dishearten me and failures was what I determined myself by, but in this year, I decided to view every setback as a chance to experiment on how to improve, how to better myself. From every failure I told myself “It’s alright. As long as I don’t give up, this will not be permanent.”
When exam fears and anxiety creeped in, I learnt to breathe and take things as they come. One particular quote that saved my life goes like this
“I will breathe. I will think of solutions. I will not let my worry control me. I will not let my stress level break me. I will simply breathe and it will be okay. Because I don’t quit.”
I learnt to take things at my own pace and not compare mine with that of others, because as odd as it sounds, from the moment we were born, to the day we die, we all die as a single person. We were born to live life the way we choose to live it- there are no instructions nor is there the right way to live it. In today’s competitive society, it isn’t uncommon to hear adults say something like “you need to do well in school to succeed in life. Also, if you can, go for the fastest route. If you fail, you’re just probably not trying hard enough”. Therefore, from a young age, at least for me, I studied hard , and studied harder as I grow older. I always thought “I should take the fastest route and succeed in the shortest amount of time”. As a result, when I repeated my second year, I was lost. Adults always expect the best from the kids. However, what they fail to realise is that even though some kids, very fortunately, are gifted with talents and are able to advance to higher education levels in a shorter amount of time, not all are lucky, and others need to go the extra mile to try to match the pace of these talented kids. As such, when I failed to succeed in the shortest amount of time like I intended to, I told myself “since you are already a year behind your friends, you got to make your dream career your destination, however tough it may be, because taking longer would not matter as long as your final destination is what you had in mind”. Point is- there is no single way to live our lives,we do not have to live the way others expect us to live, instead we live making choices that allow us to keep going and progressing, and never give up because only after each hurdle we surpass are we stronger and better equipped for greater challenges in the future.
When the challenges seem insurmountable and the journey feels arduous, I learnt to be my own hero and gave myself the positive pep talk and encouragement. I seeked help from professionals and elders who have seen more of the world to better cope with my workload. I confronted my darkest thoughts and struggled lots, and eventually won the mental struggles.
Of all, I learnt that when one method does not work, change it. When you fail to reach your goal, change your plan, not your goal. I learnt never to give up on my dreams and keep trying and trying. A win won’t be satisfying without a fight, and the more challenging the fight is, the greater the satisfaction that comes after.
As I finally move on to the next phase of my life, I am feeling rather hopeful and thrilled to take on whatever 2018 has in store for me. Here I shall end off with- 2018, bring it on!! 😁💪