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#69 Junior No More

April 16, 2010

It is this time of the year again. When you watch fellow students say goodbyes to a chapter of their lives they cannot wait to get over, but would only dream of reliving again — college. When you watch some of them sigh in relief for the brief respite in the form of summer holidays before launching into another challenging year of waking up for 8am lectures and churning out 5,000-word essays on tight deadlines.

It is the time of the year when I sit down and look back on everything that has gone down in this academic year, and reminisce on where I was just a year ago and be amazed by how much has changed (or not) in 52 weeks of university life.

A semester ago, after a debauchery-filled school term of study abroad, I launched myself into a studying frenzy powered by my renewed hunger for nerdom and armed with brand-new shiny highlighters to dive into piles of journal articles and photocopied book chapters. Realizing that gouging on academic material did nothing for my passion in geography and my learning curve, I slowed down a little this semester, okay a whole lot, and tried to find a way to live in peaceful harmony with college life…

It wasn’t easy; my natural propensity to skip classes when I am too tired to open my eyes in the morning was a true hindrance to my intellectual development, and my penchant to procrastinate nearly failed me, saved many times by my ability to perform decently well under pressure. After countless failed self-chastising sermons, I have come to accept myself for who I am, and tried to work my other merits to accommodate my stubbornness to reflect and change.

Here, as I sit here reflecting (to no avail), in my last days in university as a third-year college student, I’m glad to say that I’m still inherently the same person I was when I stepped foot on campus as a fresh-faced newbie… Of course, alas, I’m no longer as rough around the edges, with a spark of intellect and wisdom (however delusional this may sound) in my eyes, and with the enhanced ability to exercise gumption needed to avoid potentially fatal-to-one’s-social-circle pitfalls.

At the co-op this afternoon, I saw a couple of graduating students eagerly trying out the deep blue gowns they would be donning on their graduation day, which would easily be one of their most memorable milestones in life, and I tried to conjure a mental flash-forward of how it would be like one year from today. I couldn’t see anything definite, but I felt a warm glow of positivity emanate from deep within. I may not be a prophet, yet one thing for sure, I’m on my way to the shining light at the end of the tunnel of undergraduate life, but before I reach the point of triumph, it would be a wholesome summer — yes, I finally got a posting to the Himalayas for my summer internship — and a very challenging final year ahead. But first before all of that dreamin’ can begin, allow me to tackle the dreaded final exams, and then I’d be able to stand proud and say ‘Bring it on!’.

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