I’m stranded in a place that I can’t quite put my finger on, much less come up with a name for it. All I know is that: I’m on this transitory platform waiting for a train that never took off to the destination that I wanted to go badly. Life is notoriously peculiar that way – never going the way you think it should. Plans get derailed and bad news never had good timing. But you see, there’s always the next proverbial train that you can hop on to get you to the other end of the rainbow, the one with that pot of gold sneering at you because it knows that you can’t reach it, yet.
So as I wait for my time to traverse into a new phase of life, I’m grateful for this interruption in my rough sketch of a timeline, to do the things that I love and have always wanted to do (more on this later on!), to discover opportunities that would never have been unearthed, to meet people that I would never have expected to cross paths with. It’s like taking a sabbatical without actually having to pack a bag or catch a plane. It’s also almost like being in a rejuvenating boot camp to groom myself mentally before I step into the big bad corporate world.
Graduation, though only two months ago, seems like a hazy memory from another decade. Tinged with a slight regret that I never turn out to be the sterling scholar that our society looks up upon, I still take a certain pride in having myself emancipated from the throes of boring 9am lectures and confounding exam questions that I still don’t know the answers to.
Going to Melbourne for my tertiary education has been a strangely funny thing, in retrospect. I remember being enamoured by the thick glossy prospectus that had managed to seduce bright-eyed prospectives like myself to enroll as students in an institution which spewed promises of quality teaching based on a well-established curriculum and a vibrant campus life right on the sprawling lawn that is about a hundred and fifty years old. Barely into my first semester, I quickly got bored of lecturers who can’t even speak English audibly and tutors who stroll into class 30 minutes late – all the things that have marred my initial perception of studying abroad that would somehow be worthy of every AUD that my father has put into making it all happen.
Having a huge expectations gap was why I found it odd and funny – I thought I would enjoy learning all that the Commerce degree entailed, I did to a certain extent, but have instead developed a rather warped outlook on scholarly pursuits. My strongest friendships were forged outside campus, not down the hallways. I thought I would be in reverence of a professor or maybe a cute tutor as an extension of my quest for knowledge but have instead grew a deep respect and admiration for the head of the non-profit establishment I spent a lot of time volunteering at, a benevolent Aussie woman who just turned sixty. The more important lessons that I’ve learnt in Melbourne resonated off the sidewalks more than it did from within the four walls of a classroom.
For posterity’s sake, here are montages of some of my graduation pictures. To everybody who came on that beautiful morning to share the moment with me, most of whom came bearing gifts and cards, thank you. â™¥