Started from the Bottom

For the past few days I’ve been preoccupied with lots of school stuff, keeping late nights in order to meet up with certain deadlines and generally, wearing myself out. My muscles are complaining, my joints aching and my mind is constantly lost in thought. There are actually periods when I wonder why I am in such a hurry or why I have to work extra-hard or why I cannot slack off some of the responsibility, the only conclusion I can garner from everything is that I’ve finally outgrown or outlived one stage of my life and it is time to move on to another stage. I am standing on the finish line of this stage of my life and would do lots of outrageous stuff, in fact, anything to see that I leave this place with urgency. I have come a long way, too far to turn back; looking back, I can see the steady progress I made.

It was a few years back, though it still seems like just few days ago, that I was a fresh fish tossed out of my clear waters of comfort into new, unfriendly, murky and unclear waters. I was moved from my comfort zone into a kind of new beginning, away from my friends, away from my family, away from my previous reputation. I was in a whole new world where nobody knew me and I was to forge a new path for myself in this swarm of seemingly unending chaos (at least, that’s what it seemed like to me). I stepped into a land that seemed like heaven but was just a facial mask for the hell I was going to face. I came into a place where some had already familiarized themselves with and were going to take advantage of the fact that I was a novice to screw me over. I came into this place knowing that I had to make new friends if I was ever going to survive and I knew I was not so good in making new friends; I tend to be aloof and cold when amongst new people. Those were just the first in the many survival thoughts that came into my mind; my academic thoughts were relegated to some latent place in my mind, knowing that soon they would rear out their ugly heads. Soon, I began to question if I was up to the task, if I was ready and prepared the whole load of stuff that lay ahead of me, if I was emotionally stable enough to handle the crushing pressure that was to come. If I thought that I was all these things then, I was in for a huge surprise.

I was timid and shy and not ready to learn but the learning curve was steep. I had to learn real fast to engage my survival instincts. I had to throw away all the previous knowledge I had in order to embrace the one that lay ahead of me. Old things were passed away and all things had become new. I learnt to put away the childishness which had once been my clothing and put on the hood of adolescence. I learnt to adapt to new people and new ideas. I got to meet people crazier than the people I had once known. I learnt that you could no longer be laid back about academics but buckle so you are not left behind (and I learnt this in a pretty hard way). I fell ill over stupid stuff, I went hungry because I could not manage what was given to me, I grew wary with thoughts, I was tongue-tied in front of the ladies and while all these were going on, I grew. The years were tough, some were fun and some were thorns; I made new awesome whom I so sure I would never forget and I also met new people to dislike. I grew and grew in every aspect; the boy I one was is just somebody that I used to know.

Looking back at this stage, I can only laugh at the moments of the past; laugh at the decisions I made, laugh at the people I met. I can see how much progress I have made. I’m still shy at first but I am no longer timid. I have learnt the act of making friends, I have learnt the act of survival, I have learnt to be known and I have learnt to be anonymous. I have gained both street-smarts and book-smarts as well. Academically, I have gained lots of knowledge and insight but life-wise, I have gained much more. I have met people who have inspired and challenged me, I have met great friends. I have learnt that in that in the process of learning nobody is to be overlooked as knowledge can come from anywhere. I have learnt various life core values; I have learnt that sacrifice is also a core value in life as it has changed my perspective from selfish to selfless. There is a lot I have learnt that I cannot really put into writing as it would take too much space and the valuable time I have left to bask in the moments of my final days here. Here, at the finish line, I look back at my hustle and realize it has not been in vain, just a few more steps and I will be out of here. From my experience here, the future looks pretty promising and holds a lot. Goodbye, past… Hello, future!!!

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