This afternoon during my Microeconomics class, I kept counting down the time: hours, minutes, seconds, milliseconds. It was only 12:55 and I could not wait for 12:56 to come. I counted 60 seconds down — 60, 59, 58, 57, 56 — until the clock on my phone changed to 12:56. I felt like I was going crazy.
Before a new university term starts, I always check the calendar to see how many weeks left until Christmas or summer holiday begins. Before the term starts, I count down the weeks until school finally ends. I count down the months until the day I can meet my high-school friends and brother. I count down the years until I can eventually graduate university and live abroad. I count down the hours at school until I can go home and lock myself in my bedroom. I count down the minutes until I finish my lessons at university. I count down the seconds until the time I lose my sanity.
For the past year, all of my life has been filled with counting down the time. When I have at last reached the exact day, month, or even year of my count-down, I neither feel sad nor happy. Drenched with isolation, I think to myself: “What now?”
You might assume me as one ungrateful brat for not knowing how blessed she is to be able to continue her study as an undergraduate student. I won’t blame you for that. But you see, I am grateful. I study my ass off every single day, trying to aim for the best GPA because I know it will make my parents jump into their ideal picture of heaven on earth. I constantly push myself to keep studying the things that I have zero interest in, every single day (the library has been my refugee). I do know the fact that no knowledge is ever a waste, but sometimes I just feel genuinely disappointed in myself. I can’t help thinking, why… why am I doing this to myself? Forcing myself to study things that I have no passionate in, after those wasteful years in high and middle school.. It’s just downright disappointing. My parents might think that I enjoy my study because I get good grades, but no.. The thing is, those grades are deeply superficial. To get those 2-digit numbers, I literally force myself to indulge in several different textbooks and exercises from the library. And I never ever enjoy every minute of it. Never, ever. I used to think that getting good grades would give my life more meaning, an achievement or something. In reality, good grades only satisfy my vanity, and most people’s expectations on me.
When other adolescents dream of having the perfect girlfriend/boyfriend, I dream of studying abroad, preferably in countries with cold weather, majoring Literature with a minor in Psychology. I dream that someday, I will finally be content with myself and my life, without counting down anything ever again. You see, mid-nights are always the worst. When the clock ticks to 00:00, I keep worrying about my future. Will I always be trapped in the labyrinth of fulfilling others’ wishes instead of mine?
Frankly, I really do not want to give up on things that I truly believe in, just because I underwent some “failures”. I will keep studying as hard as I can, for the rest of these 3 years (back at it again with the count-downs). As much as I hate doing it, I genuinely want to make my parents proud; I want them to be able to say, “that’s my girl, whom we have raised so well”. It’s just.. most of my time at school is being wasted on me not paying 100% attention to the lecturers by drawing shitty pictures of girls with skinny faces and bodies. I know I should be concentrating on the lessons, but I can’t. The more I want to concentrate, the more I get cynical about these business-related lessons. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t! Sometimes I just want to shout at the top of my lungs, saying things like “I CANNOT DO THIS ANYMORE”, but I refuse to be tackled down by things that won’t matter anymore, few years down the road. Or will it still matter? I just don’t know! I don’t know! I am so lost at this point of my life, all I want to do is be born again as a baby. When more privileged people have the chance to study aboard despite of their diligence and intelligence, I can’t help but soak myself in bitterness: Why Not Me? Why Them?
12:55…..12:56…. Tick-tock, the time seems to stop working