But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


Some days,  - most days, in fact - I'm happy. I can't imagine myself on any other path in life and I have made peace with any and all mistakes I've ever committed in the past. I'm twenty and I'm learning so many things. I'm absolutely content with mediocrity, because if you average amongst the best of the best, can you really complain?

Some days, I'm aware of how much I know and how good I am at what I do. I realise how much potential I must've shown for my university to offer me a place and for my sponsoring body to offer me a scholarship. I must've made some form of impact. I can't ask for better lecturers and facilitators. In fact, I dread leaving this campus because it's just so perfect. But I'm also excited to be in Highfield, because can you imagine what kind of nerd labs await me there?

Some days, I'm excited for third and fourth year projects. What kind of fiction can I possibly bring to life? I can be a Big Hero 6 in my own right. I'm just so excited to learn what this course has to offer me. I want these four years to stretch two folds, maybe three. I want to do my masters and my phd in this university. Why? Because why not? The company is great, the environment is great, the reputation is great, the people are great, the opportunities that await are even greater.

Some days, I want to intern at Intel. I want to be a part of something big - and I'm going to do it. I'm confident that if I study a little bit harder, I can be on parr with the rest of my classmates. I can code my own labs, I can ace interviews with internship bodies, I can analyse circuits in a heartbeat. I'm confident that with a bit more effort, ELEC1206 could easily be my best subject. And maybe one day, I'll be able to speak some Mandarin, Korean, French, and maybe read cyrillic.

Some days, I aspire to be my friends. To be as cool and collected, smart and meticulous, adorable and charismatic, athletic and driven, intelligent and laid-back. One day, I'll come to love myself and I'll be on the pedestal with them instead of being on the ground. I crack jokes and believe that I am significant, I belong here, amongst the socially awkward, in this badly lit laboratory, trying to figure out phasor analysis and dielectric materials. I mean, where else would I be?

Some days, I'm present and ambitious and proud and confident and happy.

Today is not one of those days.


December just started a couple of days ago, and right now, in this moment, everything in your life is right. But why do you feel so empty sometimes?

There are days when you miss college, having Jigs as your roommate, watching Friends on your hard-drive during every dinner, nasi goreng made available for dinner everyday, feeling like you're actually good at something, feeling somewhat significant. Then, there are days when you miss high school, being so loved and accepted, calling people up and being in a movie theatre with them within the next 2 hours, Starbucks being the norm after classes, rolling with your crew, being an absolute nutter and that's okay.

But those days are gone. You're a different person now. You're still you, but in a different way. You think differently of the same things, your opinions and priorities in life have changed. Look at your life now. You're studying the exact course you ruled out first, you're listening to old songs simply because they bring you back and not because you'd give them a second listen today, you shamelessly sit in the front row whenever possible, you don't beg to be friends with people who don't obviously need you anymore. You're a changed person. You've grown, you've learnt.

Maybe having Jigs to come home to and complain about class about nice, maybe being able to ring Von up from across the highway was convenient, maybe sipping a Starbucks twice a week was a necessity to feel cool. Maybe all of these things were necessary to you at the time, something you needed, but not anymore. Have you ever thought about that? Maybe having another year of rooming with Jigs would've ended badly, or you wouldn't realise how much you truly appreciated each other's company. Maybe you wouldn't realise how much you took Von for granted, and deep talks in your car in the middle of the night wouldn't sound as appealing as it does now. Maybe you would decline a Starbucks in a heartbeat now because who the fuck has the money for that. See how you wouldn't do the same things in the same way if you were to do it again? It's necessary, my dear. It was necessary. But not anymore.

It's okay to miss your friends sometimes, and frankly, I'm sure they appreciate being missed from time to time too. It's okay to dwell on the past, because you had one hell of a time with your friends. You had such great memories that no camera can ever capture and no mugger can ever rob you of. It's okay to compare your situation now to how you were before, because it's only natural. But you must never let yourself be absorbed by it.

I know how you feel. You're swamped with an overwhelming amount of studies and assignments, you drown amongst your classmates, your closest friend in university makes you feel really small, you don't really get talked to, your cooking skills is too bad for your own tongue, and you think nobody really likes you, because why would they? I know exactly how you feel. It's a tough life. You feel outcasted for no apparent reason but for all the obvious reasons. You have absolutely no confidence in your abilities, especially when people on the next bench are wiring things up fifty times faster than you are and your lab partner have carried you for coding ever since paired work started. You're absolutely terrified of switching partners for design week, because what the fuck can you contribute to anyone else in this class? You're the lowest of them all, you know the least, you're the least committed and passionate and when everyone says they have no idea what they're doing, you internally wince because they still can't compare to how much you have no idea what you're doing. And as if that's not enough, how can you even maintain a scholarship if you can barely pass a test?

Darling, these can be toxic thoughts. I know you've heard this before, and I know you've experienced it for yourself to know, but these kind of thoughts are the exact kind that keep you up at night and rob you of your CGPA. As hard as it may seem, you need to believe in yourself. You've seen it yourself. You're capable of so much more than you think you are. You've proven that. Remember how proud you were that you managed to pull up your AS Chemistry by 2 grades? Sure, other people could carry it to the end, but did any of them pull up their chemistry by 2 grades? I don't think so. You think you're so mediocre, but you can't be any more wrong. You're so special. The only thing is that it's in a hidden way. Why else would your friends love you so much and stick by you for so long? And maybe if you are mediocre in your academics, you're in the number one school in the entirety of the United Kingdom for your course. So you may be average, but you're an average of the best. Isn't that enough for you? You made mistakes in your life, and maybe you come across as disinterested and awkward to people, but those who are patient enough to stay until the adorable comes out, those are the people who deserve to see you adorable. The rest of them? Well, that's too bad. They're missing out. As for your scholarship, you know you only need a bit more effort, just a tad more, and you'll be able to breezily pull through. You know it. I know you do.

You're so happy now. In so many ways, you couldn't have made better decisions. You made leap of faiths, made decisions that rests solely on your shoulders, but look how well they turned out. Your'e doing the very course that you ruled out the first thing you knew what university degrees are, 4 years ago. But you can't imagine yourself doing anything else because this course and this university and this campus is just so perfect, it fits your soul the way a velvet glove fits a royal's hand. You're so incredible, but you're the only one standing in your way. Maybe you can't always code optional work, but you can code.

Aishah, please. You're always going to be greater than you think. Please believe me. Please.

Now, get some sleep and get some work done tomorrow. Not because deadlines dictate your life right now, but because you love this course with all your heart.

You're doing fine. You really, really are.