Final official post of my bachelor days (soon after this I’ll post about post-graduate euphoria).
I have passed my thesis defence. It was about 15 minutes of presentation, 30 minutes of defence, and 15 minutes or so of committee internal evaluation. I was a bit screwed at the last 10 minutes of the defence session. The questions were not kind of ones I’d anticipated by creating back-up slides. It was out of my wildest imagination (ok, it’s exaggerating). Questions were mainly about something I didn’t do, instead about what I did. But all in all, I stayed cool during the discussion, and thanked the committee for advice.
During my waiting the result period, which was almost forever, two lecturers came across me and asked why the committee hadn’t announced it yet, while other colleague student who was supposed to start defence after I was finished. Nevertheless, I got 8 for overall grade. Something to celebrate.
My final touch of this one year of studying in Holland will be finishing self-assessment of competence, my poster for graduation ceremony and last work for the company. Ok, here I am, having finished the competence assessment. I’m also preparing for a work interview.
People say the hardest time of one’s life is about to start at this age, where you start to worry whether your decision to work, and postpone your master degree, is correct. Or whether you can endure another year of living away from home. Or whether you, after having been experienced in international working environment, would find a job easier in your home country.
Personally, I have a plan of working abroad. Then, I’ll be back to my home country to teach. Being a lecturer is a way to contribute to my country, and from personal point of view, academic opens a room for self development. You can build your career from associate professor rank, then go up and up, obtaining research scholarship or post-grad scholarship in the name of education — which is easier than obtaining it from private sectors. You can also be a consultant for government projects. Moreover, being a lecturer can give you opportunity to teach the society, the essence of being a teacher.
Nonetheless, I’ve come up with the decision through all hardship having things running deep in my mind. As it’s not enough, I had to face the decision-making time alone, with nobody was capable enough to be my supervisor in deciding. Yes, deciding. This was not a subject of teaching at any colleges. No matter how old you are, you will eventually find out you’re standing in crossroads. Regardless you have somebody to tell you the right thing or to spark your brain with the idea, you will face it.
Doubling the challenge, just like I did by taking all by myself as an expat student, rouse the stakes. After all, you’re an adult. You have to design your future by yourself, or by taking into account people’s needs, for instance, your partner and your parents.
Standing in crossroads with so many signboards offering new directions to go seems overwhelming me for a moment. I was totally lost that time and my emotional condition was unstable. I got angry easily to trivial things, and I had lots of quarrel with my parents and partner. At least, I was sober enough to rely on God’s spirit. It’s only God who is totally aware of your situation, no one else is. It’s only God who is available for you to seek help 24/7. It’s only God who is never tired of watching you crying powerless although you’ve been that embarassed to even show your puffy eyes to your partner.
Shortly, here I am, spreading the good news that it’s very normal to experience this. It’s not special for somebody in particular; it’s a certainty for everybody to stand in crossroads. Being an expat, on one side, can double the disastrous and chaotic feeling. On the other hand, being an expat, where you finally get accustomed to new things, really helps recovering your spirit. You just need to believe that, by being an expat, you’re stronger and you’ll be able to cope with this situation, and your successful effort will be a precious example for a not-so-disastrous condition luckier people experience in.
P.S.: going back to your country doesn’t mean you come back to your comfort zones. It is oftenly seen that expat people, especially who have spent quite some time abroad, need to re-adjust to their country of origin. Time changes, so do people. However, this uneasy situation is easier to cope with than in totally new country.