Welcome to NUS

Okay…. Here it is…. Start of a new year, start of a new life. I’ve just closed another chapter in my life last month. I resigned from STB-ACS as a math teacher to pursue what I called as my second chance. So here I am, in my room in NUS, late at night deciding to start my journal in different folder.

I’ve stayed here for 3 weeks now. Guess time sure flies. If you ask me how’s life…. Well, my normal life is still normal. I guess…. But my other life, namely my education/work life seems to be in danger. It didn’t take long for me to realize that it’s not gonna be easy over here. First day of school… That was all I need to start questioning my decision once again. I attended 3 different lectures and came back to my room with this awful feeling and a thought in my mind, “I’m so gonna fail.” I don’t want to blame the lecturers, as I was a teacher myself for 3 years, but well… I guess if I can’t blame them then I have to blame myself for not knowing what on earth they were talking about for 2 hours!!???!!! Oh, and the last lecture was for 3 hours, ended at 10 pm.

I thought, it’s gonna be simple. I would take 10-12 modules, depending on the prerequisites of the modules and graduate in 2 semesters. Well, the good news is I am waived from having to take the prerequisites, the bad news is taking a module without taking its prerequisites is like a suicide. Is like going to China without knowing a single word in Chinese. Wait… No it’s even worse, it’s like being kidnapped by an alien and not knowing how to communicate with them.

So in these two weeks, I have attended like 10 different lectures (or perhaps more, I’ve lost counts), thinking about taking 4 only at first (since the code 5 modules are all like WTH!!!!) but then rethinking about it. Since if I only take 4 modules (2 from code 4, 2 from code 5) like what I thought last week, I will then have to take 6 modules of code 5 to graduate next semester. Else I have to stay for another semester and God… I don’t want to ask money from my parents. So yea…. This week, I attended other lectures that I haven’t attended (yes!! I am that desperate!!), and came with a decision to take 6 modules. 3 of code 4 and 3 of code 5. The newest module I decided to take is tonight’s lecture. I forced myself to stay in the room for 2.5 hours though I had no idea what he was talking about since the first minute he talked. But I guess I did try to turn it into a funny moment. As when I looked around to other people in the room, they were also like looking at each other, smiling. I guess I was not the only one who was lost, eh? Half of the students already gave up copying down his notes on the board since like the first half an hour. So, noticing that, I was laughing (silently of course) and smiling as big as I could. A coursemate gave up after listening to him for 15 mins (I guess he is not my coursemate anymore), and I was really tempted to follow his footsteps and run to attend another module that I like. In the end, I decided to stay and cursed myself because of that. But yea…. This is my priority since it’s a code 5 module and the other one that I like is a code 4 module.

Today (Jan 20) is the last day to do add/drop modules and today is also, technically, the last day to decide whether to stay or withdraw. Again, I was tempted to withdraw since the first day I attended a class. Reason is, of course I am too scared to fail. Another reason is, one semester here is equal to one year of my savings. While I’m risking it to something that I’m not sure about, I’d rather use it to pay my tuition fee loan for my undergrad and go back to Jakarta and work again. But…. After thinking it through and talked to my friends and my brother about it. I guess…. Man…. I have no guts to go back either…. The pride…. I won’t be able to stand the humiliation of not being able to finish what I have started (even though, technically speaking, if I withdraw now, I haven’t started anything yet). Not only that, as a teacher for 3 years, I always taught my kids not to give up and if I give up now…. God…. I will be held responsible for giving a bad example and being a two-faced. I am not someone who gives up easily. My whole life is the proof. If I don’t try it myself, I will never know. I believe, God’s brought me here for something good. His plan is never for us to fail. So here I am, betting a what I view as huge amount of money for this decision. My plan is to give my all this semester. If that is not enough, then let’s start thinking about withdrawing again…. At least, by then I can say to my parents, I’ve tried my best.

And I guess…. I just don’t want to give up on my math…. Not yet….

Welcome to NUS….