A Letter to My Quarter-Life Age

Dear A Quarter Life Age of Mine,

Some people say that the quarter-life crisis is universal, It happens to people from all over the world, in all different phases of life, for all different reasons. I relaxed to figure out, why is it really even called a crisis?

In this age of quarter-life, I looked back, and reflected that living for 25 years seems like a roller coaster ride. It was a mixture of ups and downs that had given me a value of life which I am fortunate enough to experience. It was a time where I gained multitude life lessons that had shaped me into the person I am today. Among the mindset I adopted from the experience, there were three that have been fundamentally built my perspective in life.

First, is to always explore and explore and to not stop learning. During the university, joining competition was like new hobbies. Even though I have Advance Accounting I’s mid-test by tomorrow morning, I’d prefer to do a research on how to make a good MUN Resolution. I always wanted to prove that I am different from another student. But the more variety of competition I join (which always ended up losing), the more I realized that sometimes it is not my common things. I have explored debate, MUN, writing, newscast, research, all things you name it. But none of those fields seemed to be my things. The hurdle was not only in the difficulty of competition itself, but in adjusting with an environment where everybody else is as (or even more) passionate, smart, and diligent enough as you are.  More importantly, the standard was just higher and facing competition was just completely different situation than in the class room. In class, your lecture and friends would be okay for minor mistake you did, but outside of the class, you cannot miss a single thing. You are obligated to show the best performance, and talents, presenting the most original idea like no one else. It attacked me so deep for a while, but as soon as I realized when I did not give up and give it another try, there is a time when I eventually felt, I win. I have won over fears I might suffered through joining competition. I have challenged myself to go out of comfort zone, and say to the world that I can walk through whirlwind. At the same time, I am also lucky and humbled to know the sheer fact that there are countless individuals that are always in some aspect, more. I am humbled to know great minds, and share thought with inspiring people out there and thus add the motivations to never stop learning.

Second thing I didn’t quite expect to experience was to speak for what you believe. One day, my supervisor in office asked me to perform a task out of my job description which is to move all of the old-file from head office to the warehouse. He asked me to find a space (even if it is already full) by replacing all of file that are already good on the box and put that on table. However, I proposed new way that was more efficient and cost-effective. I spoke in front of everyone in our routine morning meeting about my thoughts to challenge my supervisor (in a good way). Everyone, including the Director of Finance eventually agreed it, and further used my proposal. At first, I was reluctant to talk about new scheme, or new ways because I was afraid of being denied. However, I was wrong.  Through this experience, I learn that ask the status quo for good is something I should always do in response of old-fashioned way, system, or procedure. I learn to always think out-of-the box to find a solutions that will bring benefit for anyone.

The last value I always keep is being acceptance for every conditional situation.  I learn that everything is not (always) belong to you, and will not be as smooth as your planning. I would face failure, get rejected and wait for hopes. I still remember when I applied for a position in top-employer ever, a state-owned oil company. Successfully passed the administration stage, I was invited to join interview session. I managed to wake up at 3 a.m so I could get a train at 4 a.m from Bogor Station because the session itself was conducted at 7 a.m. Even tough night before, I stayed longer in the office because it reached the monthly closing. I managed to dress in a good way with neat hair, blue tie, and white shirt (though with big bag-eye). The interview was one of the most enjoyable sessions I ever had as it lasted for 60 minutes discussing my resume with the HR people. The week after, I was again invited to do a psychological test. I performed as best as I can do, I eventually finished 2 PAPER (3 pages) in Pauli test where everyone else could only finish 1 and half pages. But the result was mind-blowing. I failed, and I could not proceed to the next process without clear reason why. Not to mention, this wasn’t my first time applying the same position in the same company. It had been my THIRD TIME of applying in the past three years. Through this process, again I learnt that everything will not be as same as your expectation, but that is how I learn to accept. In the near future, I will face the same experience again. And until the time has come, I am more than ready to accept, and never let the failure define me a lot because I will stand again every time I fall.

But on top of all, what I always believe to be the life changing experience until this quarter-life age was the time when I gain education without my parent’s expense. I successfully challenged my neighbor’s hypothesis that university is only for rich people. Some people might very easy to choose their university after high school. But that was completely different case on mine. Luckily, it was with Allah’s help that I was awarded a scholarship for my A.Md degree. Now, I am able to work full time to get paid which help me a lot in paying my S.E. degree. Furthermore, Being good at work yet (at the same time) maintaining good score at school (and competitions) are three difficult things to do, for sure. However, I managed to do that through all of weakness I have. Through this process, I learn how to manage time wisely, and effectively. I learn how to be a good team-work, and to prioritize what is urgent, and which one is important. I learn how to read college materials in a effective way also.

Now after I look back, I look forward. I will graduate this year at this quarter-life age, and I am now more than ready to develop myself even higher.

Not to miss, I thank God for everything Allah has given to me because I am firm believer that hard work won’t betray. I thank my Mom for her endless support and unconditional love. I thank friends, colleagues, and peers for the laughs and colors you bring into my life. I could not go through this process without you guys!

Welcome quarter-life age! I know it is not going to be crisis though. Because I am surrounded by loves, and positive vibes.

Bogor, 7 April 2017

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