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What it feels like to continue a higher level of study? -

I never had the thought of continuing my study at a higher level and I never expect that I made it through. Recently, I'd passed my Viva, and soon will be graduated. I don't think I can make it through, but it turns out I made it.

I am not bragging about how proud I am of myself, nor how good I am in the study and how I felt so good about myself. But, when I look back at that time of what I am going through, the hardship, the problems, and all of my up and down emotions through all the years of studying, I want to share what exactly I been through to that process. 

I'm not saying this is one hundred percent true, but mostly when I met with people that know about my background study, they think that I am so good. But, the truth is,

  1. I never had a great achievement in school.
  2. I don't know almost everything.
  3. I learn all from the below.
  4. I waste so much money.
  5. I am stressed.
  6. I am still learning.
  7. I always think there's a lot of things I missed.
I was having no money and had to borrow some from my parents. We are not from a rich family, and I had to pay off my studies fee.

When I decided to study at the age of 25, I was actually afraid of being compared. Being compare based on the job, compared based on who got married first, or any related comparison. Truthfully, I feel sad because you just wanted to do your part without being question by anyone. We understand the choices we made but not everyone will understand them.

At some point, I wanted to give up and stop. I almost made up my mind, stop and find a job, satisfies everybody feels. But then, I remember how much money my parents help me with and how supportive my family is, by saying you had gone this far, don't give up. And to think that if God helps me to be in this place right now, He would also help me until I can make it. So, I continue my studies even I know I am far behind everybody else.

What you should prepare to continue to a higher level of study?

  1. Prepare your mind, be strong. It is not the same as taking a degree. For a Master's or Ph.D., especially research, you are in your own way.
  2. Money. Pay the tuition, the cost, and the materials you use for your research. But if you can, apply for a grant or student financial aid, it would ease your burden.
  3. Make a friend. It is a crucial thing to get along with your colleagues especially at the moment where you feel like giving up.
  4. See your supervisor. Get along with your supervisor, he/she is the one who will help you with your thesis.
  5. Keep going on. At one point, you will felt alone, and pressure with your thesis, time, and surrounding you. Remember one thing, you choose this path, finish it, and never gave up.
Also at that time, I'd been asked by some people about the random question, such as,

why you continue to study? ....
You are wasting your time ...
still no job?.... 
wasting money ...

Honestly, I don't have an answer for that, at least I am happy doing the thing that probably the opportunity, doing research and study more. Sometimes it hurts because people won't understand the choice you made. But there are also some people who say, if the things you do make you happy, then do it. Why bothers what anybody else thinking, right?

And after so long, I just let it slip, hear what other people say behind my back but at the end of the day, I still make it. But still, I don't do that to satisfied people but above all, I grow myself from it, I learn to level up my skills of thinking, my writing, my research not just in terms of academics but also how I deal with my stress. During the period of my study, it had made me think that there's a lot of things that I don't know and I need to explore and dig in and learn about them.

If you ask me again, why I continue to study? I had no reason to answer that. I mean, you do what you love. As you go along with the journey, you will find that there's a lot of things you learn without noticing them. Enjoy the process, enjoy your hard work, it well worth it.

"With a stressful life, doing research, added with pressure people puts on you, lab, statistics and being compared by others. It is worth enough for me."


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