“Another year in the books.” This was the first thought I had as soon as I submitted my final exam. It was a surreal moment, second year started in September 2020 and before I knew it, there I was in the middle of April 2021, in disbelief that I was halfway through my university career. As I reflected on this moment, I realized that unbeknownst to me, I had changed in more ways than I realized.
The biggest lesson I learned during my second year was how to keep swimming. There were many times I encountered hurdles, from not doing well in a midterm to crying before an exam, or even worrying about the health of my family, I had to constantly remind myself to “just keep swimming.” Not to mention everyday seemed to drag on, almost as if the events of the day kept repeating in an endless loop. To cope I learned to broaden my perspective and see things in terms of the bigger picture, and remind myself that I was working toward my future goals.
I am someone who is independent in everything I do, yet this year I learned how to rely on my family and friends for support. I learned that asking for help is a sign of strength. There were many times when I felt my mental health crumbling, but somehow it made a difference talking it out with my friends. Through my loved one’s support, I was able to see past the clouds and into the sun.
This year also taught me to be grateful. I learned to cherish the moments with my family and enjoy conversations with my friends. I realized the fragility of life and learned to seek love and happiness in whatever I was doing.
I also found myself in my passions - I realized my ardent love for literature and started making a habit out of it by reading every night. My books taught me to be a dreamer, to be brave and love oneself wholeheartedly. In particular, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, taught me to dare to dream, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
Most of all I learned to actualize my favourite quote, “The sun will rise and we will try again.” This year has been difficult to say the least, but I will always be grateful for everything I learned along the way. From the mishaps to the beautiful moments, life has once again taught me the unpredictable nature of the universe and how to find myself in it.