Alhamdulillah, I received an email earlier confirming that I am officially a registered student of UoM. Still feels quite surreal, to be honest, despite having gone through the drones of paperwork and administrative requirements and knowing that it ultimately culminates into this. I am going to be halfway across the globe in less than 2 weeks, mashaallah!
I’ve been asked countless times about how I’m feeling about this whole thing. How I feel about leaving home and family for such an extended period of time. How I feel about being separated from the mister. How I feel about being alone. And let me be brutally clear right now – for lying will be a fool’s job – I am scared.
Scared, yes, but also filled with so much love, hope and faith.
You see, this isn’t the first time I’m making such a crazy leap of faith. I’m not going into this whole adventure blind for I know what to expect, well sort of. I went away once, for the exact same reason, back in 2009. Except that time, I wasn’t intending to go away for 7 months. I was going to be there for 3 years.
Call it the folly of youth or the high after receiving spectacular ‘A’ levels results, but I made several crazy decisions that year. I rejected 2 scholarships from 2 different ministries (one because I did not want to wear uniforms throughout my bond, the other because I was told to study something I did not like) and got the brilliant idea to study overseas on my own funding. I was tired of the shackles of the rigid Singaporean education system and had wanted to break free. On hindsight, all I had wanted to break free from was my own life in Singapore.
I knew I was capable of surviving on my own and my results could grant me entry into any prestigious institution of my liking so I chose ANU for its proximity to home and for its superb International Relations programme.
It was an eye-opening and challenging experience filled with so much growth and self-discovery. I spent the first few days exploring the place and the nights crying, not knowing how and what to adapt. I questioned my decision to be so far away from family and friends and leaving the comforts of the familiar. Thankfully, amidst all those tears and confusion, He sent some kind souls my way to guide me through the turbulent first few weeks.
“Verily with every hardship comes ease.” (al-Inshirah: 5)
I eventually fell in love with being away. I loved my independence, I loved the the thrill of being alone, I loved my room, the scenic campus (none of that concrete hogwash like NUS!) and the lecturers there. It was so different from the stifling heat I knew of Singapore.
My breaks were spent roaming the campus and I eventually stumbled across this beautiful pond. It became my permanent chillout place. 🙂
I built so many beautiful friendships as I went along which I still keep until today. ❤
I learnt that life was meant living out of my comfort zone. There were so many times that I felt it was easier to stay cooped up in my room but I’d always forced myself to head out anyway. I’d go on excursions with other fellow undergrads, I’d join in mass cooking sessions, I’d do some random crazy shits just for the joy of it, hahaha. (Oh boy, were there some crazy shits I did! :P)
I had to eventually come back due to a financial crisis that befell my family. I came back, took on a full-time job (read: camp!) and eventually took up another scholarship and continued in NUS.
Perhaps one of the main reasons why I jumped onto the opportunity to go on exchange was the fact that I never finished studying in ANU. It’s like I’m going back to a part of me that was never fulfilled. I never did let go of that particular dream, despite the years, you know.
Ahhh, but I’ve digressed once again. Sheeesh.
What I meant to say was that, yes, I am scared. But I know that it takes more than fear to live life. Having gone through living overseas once proved to me that I am capable of doing so, it’s just that now it’s by different circumstances.
Life is more than living within your comfort zone. More than hiding behind your fears. More than doubting your own abilities.
Life is about taking leaps of faith, one after another. It’s about going above and beyond what you’ve ever imagined possible and surrendering yourself to whatever comes your way. It’s about facing life head-on with sheer dogged determination and perhaps one may say, stubborn tenacity.
And of course, a dash of good luck doesn’t hurt sometimes.
So to those of you who have been waiting for the right moment to jump into a new beneficial venture, wait no more. Take your leap of faith. Go forth and chase your destiny! ❤