Sunday, December 19, 2010

How Different My Life Is

I can't believe it's been 5 months since I left Jakarta and one quarter of my studies have passed. So many aspects of my life changed and I have learned a lot from the experience of living by myself.

Ever since I knew I had the opportunity to study at the US, I felt that I was obligated to make the most out of it. I still do. I have to work really hard, learn as much as I can, get good grades, make people back home proud, and prove that a Psychology major can do good in Business School. Apparently it's far more difficult than I thought it would be.

I used to be a laid back student and felt that getting a GPA above 3 out of 4 is good enough, thus I didn't put too much effort in studying. Now, almost everyday, I study until past midnight even though it's not exam week, I have to do group discussions, read case studies, and do readings. It is indeed typical for a student, but I don't usually do this during college and high school. The student lifestyle change was sort of frustrating to me. During class, I felt that I have to understand and contribute in class discussions. After class, I have to rush through my lunch and go to group discussions, where I also felt that I have to contribute. By the time I'm home, I continued studying or make write-ups, which takes me quite some time because I don't feel very confident with my academic writing. If the above activities are not fulfilled, I feel very anxious, which frustrates me. There were times where I actually cried because my anxiety has taken a toll on me, and eventually frustrates me even more because I feel pathetic that I've become such an ambitious student.

As for my daily life, it has also changed a lot. I live alone, and most of my friends I hang out with live pretty far from my apartment. As much as I like being alone, it gets lonely every once and a while. But most of the time, I like being by myself and have the liberty to do anything I want.
Of course, I do all house chores by myself. Grocery shopping, cleaning, washing, cooking, paying bills, you name it. I thought this part of living alone will be tough for me, but I actually enjoy doing it. I like walking through the aisles in the supermarket, cooking the way I want it to be, have a sparkling white sink, have a clean spoon when I need it or have my clothes smell good. I get to appreciate those little things I never pay attention to.

Other than enjoying house chores, there are other surprises I experienced. Considering that I have always lived with my parents my whole lifetime, it's surprising I have not cried, not even once, because of homesick. Being in a long distance relationship with M.S. is also not as difficult as I thought it would be. Furthermore, living far from home made me understand what my sister is going through this whole time, I feel that I'm closer to her because I feel the need to talk to her more often. It's embarrassing how I only made a skype account after I moved, which is 5 years after my sister moved from Jakarta.

A couple of weeks ago my friend asked me whether or not I'm happy here. I hesitated when I answered that question because I never thought of it. After writing my thoughts on this post, I know for sure what my answer is: I am definitely happy.

Happy holidays!
Greetings from my frustrated-yet-happy-student desk