Today, after days of being cooped up at home studying for my final exams, a good friend took me out for some fresh air, milk tea and a peace of mind. I was out for barely an hour, and I found that most of the things I said were about how tired I am of being here. 45 minutes into the conversation, and I realized that I wasn’t only rambling, I was ranting. The past two years have been undeniably fruitful. I have done more things than I ever imagined I was capable of, and if I had seen the current me three years ago, I would have been proud, and honestly, very skeptical. Yes, I have accomplished a lot, but at what cost?

I drag myself to campus every day, feeling nothing but dread. Don’t get me wrong. The lessons I learn are invaluable. But I come back every day with my spirit weakened, because I am being taken advantage of, underappreciated, and most of all, oppressed. Sometimes, I wonder if it’s worth it to continue pulling most of the weight in group assignments, and allowing this to happen day in and day out. I wonder if it’s worth it that people of authority and power are threatening us and making us do things against our own free will. I also wonder if it’s worth it that there are so many people there who are just fillers of your time and place in university– and literally only one out of a hundred people are actually friends with you without expecting anything in return.

I have encountered so many instances when I was forced to do on my own, what other people do in groups. I find myself glued to my computer screen, not because I want to, but because I have to. Because I remind myself that if I depend on others, I will get nowhere. And that is one lesson I have learnt over the past two years– depend on no one. For many years, I was naive enough to believe that people will always be there to help– because I have been blessed with great friends, but in reality, when you’re forced to fend for yourself, no one will lend a hand.

I am reminded about how worth it it really is when I make my parents proud. This time, however, I am so jaded that I sincerely believe I will disappoint everyone around me. I am tired of constantly taking one for the team, and stressing more than others. I am tired of constantly being the subject of verbal abuse hurled at us just because of people who want to throw their weight around. Most of all, I am tired of just being here and having to deal with people who don’t care at all.

And now, people will say, “that is life.” Yes, that is life, but surely, there is more to life than kneeling at the feet of others? Seeing people who unabashedly solicit your help just because they know that you are capable only makes me want to deliberately sabotage everything, but that will be at my own expense, so I let myself be pushed around.

But I remind myself that I am doing this for myself, my family and everyone who underestimates me. I am here to prove my worth after my fall from grace when I was in Form Six. What keeps me going is knowing that my sacrifices will pay off in the end, and that I am molding a better future for myself this way. I am truly grateful for people who have stood by my side and believed in me, including the small handful of friends I hold near and dear to my heart.

This ride is going to end for me in a year, so all I need is that one final push to get me through. I am tired and jaded, but it’s now or never. I can’t change my future if I don’t craft it for myself. I am almost there.

Author: Natalie Ha

I remember being enthralled with the written word ever since my parents started reading fairytales to me at a young age. Seeing the power it has to influence behaviours and mindsets, I have learned, over the years, to translate my thoughts onto paper, in an attempt to positively disrupt the lives of others. Having my written works published in various forms of media has empowered me to weave stories that people can resonate with. I look forward to the life-long process of perfecting this craft, and hope to see my work touch the hearts of many in the future. This blog attempts to do just that - and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy penning it down.

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