Friday, 18 June 2010

''Improvement begins with I''

My mum has planned a graduation party for me in order to celebrate the end of student-hood and a new beginning, a new chapter in my life. She's excessively organised everything, invited a number of people (most of whom I haven't seen for many years or didn't even know existed!), booked out the venue, arranged what to eat, what to wear and to top it all, she did this in a matter of 1 and half weeks! Seriously, never underestimate my mum's organisation ability - the woman is gifted! I am absolutely grateful and love her for her efforts to make it an enjoyable day for me and my friends, but the reality is, the entire event has actually got me worried about the future.

Even when I handed in my final assignment it never occurred to me that my student days were officially over. Years of being a student - sleepless nights - tears shed before exams - parents consoling me that 'it's all going to be alright' - coursework's and essays- it was coming to an end. 6 years ago the idea of graduating and wearing the cap would have caused goosebumps to ripple on my arms but now, everything I was living in a different time zone and that life had passed me by so quick. I never did sit down and reflect. What was I going to do with my life now? Mixed feelings, mixed thoughts - I was happy, sad, worried and glad at the same time.

Up to this point, I always worked to my full potential to get the highest grades during my student years. I was a perfectionist in the sense that everything I did I would give my 100%, to the point where I would go on for 3 consecutive days without any sleep. I was never satisfied with a piece of work that I had completed and thinking back now I realise that I was too hard on myself. I never did give myself a 'break' since getting top marks in an exam or in my coursework's was enough to keep me happy. But the reality was, I never stopped to think WHY I was studying and WHAT I was working so hard for? What did I want to achieve in life? What was my aim? Instead all I would get is a sheet of A4 paper with my name and a shiny emblem on it.

So I decided to list a number of things that I aspire to do in the near future and the things I consider myself to be generally good at. I love writing and plan to publish my own book in the future, but I know that this can only happen with time and experience. I also want to gain a lot of experience in the field of journalism next year, whether it's voluntary or paid, it doesn't really matter. As much as I enjoyed my years of education, I did have to cut down on my social life. Now that University is over and I'm out in the real world, I realise that experience is just as much important as that A grade on your record. Without contacts, without any extra skills...I'm just like any other University graduate. But I don't simply want to do work for money. I mean
’s money's great, right? It’s no use pretending that it’s not important. It is. Very much so. But, money’s not everything. To me, the key element in a life’s work is passion. Why would would I spend days without sleep over my education if I didn't feel passionate about the outcome? What exactly was I working for? I love being able to pursue work that empowers me to carry out such passion. And creativity. And meaning. And joy. I love empowering people through my words, whether its written on paper or whether it's by speech. I love helping people and generating ideas and contributing to society as much as possible. I love voicing my own opinions and combating injustice. I love to travel and as much as I have a desire to backpack around the world and see different places and experience new cultures, it's something I can't do on my own. Maybe in the future.

Looking at my scribbles of writing on the piece of paper, I realise that while half of my plans may seem a little to idealistic, it's not impossible. And, while the thought of getting out into the real world scares me, I’m also really, really excited!

So, will I be able to achieve my dream and become a successful author and freelance journalist? Well, you never know since with determination and a passion to succeed, anything is possible!

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