I’ve finally completed my degree!
After 3 long years of my study, countless sleepless nights, countless time of studying, making mistakes, facing failures, feeling down, anxious facing my advisors, worrying about well everything, and bunch of other stupid shit I have finally completed my degree.
It took me 1.5 years for taking theories in class and 1.5 years for doing my thesis. Yes it took me 1.5 DAMN years to finish my thesis, a looping process of finding literature, trying methods, making mistakes, facing failures, and accepting that I have to repeat the process all over again.
It was tough, and it was exhausting. Especially when I realized the methods that I proposed didn’t work and I had to repeat the process from the very beginning.
In that moment, it’s insanely easy to blame on yourself, to look down on yourself and to feel useless. I felt that, many times.
Online quotes, motivational videos and self help books that work on most of my time, didn’t seem to help during that period. Even psychologist didn’t seem to help me much on that.
At times, quitting from school or at least taking other shortcuts sound very compelling. The idealism that I built at the beginning of my study slowly faded away.
I escaped from school once or twice that I can remember. After several failures, I came to a denial phase where I just didn’t want to go school or dealing with that stuff for a moment. Taking freelance job and joining communities became my top excuses of not going to school. It just felt good not going to school with an excuse of “I’m doing other productive things anyway”.
Again, it was just an excuse to take a break from college. There was actually no pressure for me to make money right away, my saving was quite adequate and my parents were also willing to support my funding. Even my new communities were very random actually.
It took me awhile to realize that I was just in denial moment of doing my college stuff. So I stopped all of those activities and started sitting in front of my advisors room from 9 AM to 5 PM every single day.
It still wasn’t easy. Well it still took me several months to finish the research. I was still trapped in the same repetitive process of studying, attempting, making mistakes, and starting all over again.
It really took courage to start working in every morning while failures on the other day were still haunting in mind. So in that every single morning I told myself:
“Deny, these days will be the days your future self thank you for. These days will be the days you will always proud about. Some day, this will be the good old days.”
I always keep the faith that my future self will proud of me. Not because I know I will finish the thesis, with all failures and deadline that was very close, the glorious ending was so blurry.
Instead, I will be proud that in one of my most vulnerable years I still refuse to quit. My future self will be proud that my younger self was not a quitter.
I know it’s not just about the degree or knowledge that you get from school. More than that, it is about how you create your idealism, shape your character and develop your personal framework that will be useful for your life ahead.
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I know I should give token of appreciation to numerous people in my support system. However for this occasion I would like to give appreciation to myself:
See dude, you finally did it. So if next time you think life brings you the hardest challenge and you feel like you want to give up pursuing your
goal, I wish you remember those days. It wasn’t smooth, but you did it anyway. I do hope you keep on fighting your goal.
So congratulation for your degree, now let’s find the real life challenges. GODSPEED.
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