I am in the last days of my university life, my Architecture degree, and this life hasn’t been easy. Five years that make up most of my academic life, were supposed to leave beautiful memories and a stronger, more professional version of me. That’s what everyone says, but that is not the case. When I open up my box of memories from the past five years, I come across hardships, struggles, fights, depression and an overall feeling of “not belonging”. I come across face to face with a wrong decision, a wrong choice of professional degree.
The first two years were spent in the feeling that this is all difficult and if I keep trying, I will acquire what it takes to be good in this field. The third year was the year of downfall, realizing the fact that I am in a wrong place. Not just academically but also in terms of people. I thought that being a very shy and introvert person, people didn’t matter but it turned out that people mattered the most. I never found the right people in this place. I can say that me and my fellows, we never found ourselves on the same wavelength. The fourth year passed, accepting the hard reality and coping with depression and health problems due to it. It also included, leaving the people, separating myself from those who were toxic for me. Then the final year, there was only one hope, I hanged on to this whole year that this is going to end. I thought about quitting a lot. I hit rock bottom not just once but several times during the past three years but each time I got up for my parents and my past, the past in which I was good at what I did. I couldn’t just quit, that is not an easy job, also I didn’t want to disappoint my parents, who had invested time, money and love in me. I told myself to just complete this degree, the least I can give them is a degree that says I completed my studies, answer to many questions that would be asked, a safe haven from what would have happened if I quit.
So, finally the end is near, the date of my final jury has been announced. I can say I am able to see the silver lining now. Few days ago, I had to submit my thesis report; final year thesis report. The final years has two semesters, the first semester is research based and the last semester is design based. The same report was submitted in first semester too, but I was so detached to add an “acknowledgements page” in it. In this semester, however, I did add the page. It comprised of only two lines, in which I thanked Allah Almighty and my family; Baba, Amma and my brother. I couldn’t write more because somehow anything that is related to university causes my senses to cease. Everything is more of a labor than a simple task. The mental state is more of a panic and worry than of achievement.
But here I want to acknowledge. I want to thank. Here, this place that has become my refuge.
First I want to thank Allah, for everything that I am doing is because of Him. He has been giving me strength, every time I hit rock bottom, He has been listening to my prayers and the prayers of my loved ones. I have had this “change of heart” which is allowing me to go through these last days. It has allowed me to not quit , to carry on, to finish. This strange strength that He has given me is allowing me to keep on moving. I want to thank Him for the strength and for everything that He has blessed me with.
I want to thank my father; Baba. Baba you have been a great driving force during these years. I want to thank you for this time but more than that I want to thank you for all the other times. Our talks, walks and laughter shared together. For all those lessons, that you give me, hoping that I would absorb at least 50 % of them. I do absorb them Baba, more than 50%. All those lessons about life have become a part of me, some consciously and some unconsciously. I want you to know that I maybe a failure in this part of life but I will not fail you at life and the life here after. I will make you proud by living life how Allah wants us to. I will keep your name alive by living by all the little rules you always thought to be important. I will make sure and do my very best to not fail at life, and most importantly what comes after.
I want to thank my mother; Amma. She is the perfect woman with all her imperfections. Amma you may not be able to understand the technicalities of my degree but you have always wished and prayed for me with pure love. You have a huge heart and so much love inside you and that is reason enough to be thankful for. You pray for me and get me through roughest of days with your unconditional love. Your love has been a great support and no one will ever be able to take your place, neither will your cooking. Thanks for cooking me all my favorite meals whenever I was down and taking me out and for simply being there.
I want to thank my brother, who has always been a great friend and support. I know I can always count on you no matter how much things get difficult. I know you would be there just like you always have been.
My best friend Sadaf.I want to thank you for listening to my whining, handling my mood swings and making me feel better. For saying “you can do this, it’s only 3 years”. “2 years”. “Just one year”. “Hey it’s ending only 6 months”. For counting-it-down with me. Most importantly for providing me with a friend when I literally had no friend in university. For growing up together and becoming bad ass together!
My college group because that is the best group of friends I could ever ask for. You guys are the best support and best way to have fun.
Those are all my thank you-s. I never thought I would do this but I would also like to thank my University life, these past five years. I never thought I would ever be able to see the light. I literally lost belief in silver linings and positive-ness. It all became a cliché for me, just a lame way to get past hard times. But now I see it. I have always been a runner, an avoid-er. But surviving these years has taught me to stand and stay for the important things during difficult times. To fight, to hang on, to appreciate all the “good” amidst all the “bad”. Because there is always “good”. Sometimes it comes naturally. Sometimes you have to fight for it.