Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Reflections, reflections...

It was late Sunday afternoon, I took my camera along with me for a stroll around my previous Uni. It was a sunny and rather fine afternoon, but somehow, it just felt cold inside when I was there.


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That was a new sign just erected not too long ago, part of the face-lift plans the uni has been implementing since I left. I looked around, nothing much changed, everything still seemed rather similar as before my departure.


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Looking at the clock tower, it reminded me of my times over the years in my uni life. It has been bitter, but sweet as well. Many tough times, countless in fact, but I got through each and every one of them. Looking back now, I think my life in uni was rather an extra-ordinary one, for the reason that not many people had gone through what I went through.

When things seem smooth sailing for everyone else, there were times I felt that life has become meaningless to carry on. There was one era of horrible (and seemingly never-ending) depression episodes I went through, but thank goodness I snapped out of my cold self and slowly crawled my way back to the harsh reality.

The worst I have ever had in my entire life so far happened in my uni life, several times. Yet, I dare say, despite all those dramas and traumas, the best times of my life so far also lies within my uni life.


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Friendship and general relationships in uni times were more or less like a roller coaster ride. Many ups, just as many as the downs. I have gained plenty precious friends, and a few really, really awesome people over the years. Not to mention the countless people that come and go, and the best part of it was because those people are from all over the world. Any country, name it, i could almost name one for every one of them. Friendship wise, it has been colourful.

There were wondderful times, unforgettable times, happy times. There were also sad times, angry times, and times when you feel like everyone has an ugly evil side.

Nevertheless, not everything was as beautiful as I have expected. Some turned sour, and some turned bitter. I lost some friends along the way, some I would have done anything in the world for them back then. It was painful losing friends, it was never supposed to happen that way. I would not say that I could have done differently if I were given a choice, that was just plain selfish. All I could ever wish for was a proper closure, which I think actually seem rather impossible at the rate things went.


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Academic wise, I can honestly tell I was doing nothing near what ordinary student would claim as "average", I would just rate myself performing "slightly below average" on the whole of my uni years. I can be grateful that I have not flunked any units before, which would have led to more complications than what I already had. I do admit, I struggled a lot, there were sleepless nights, there were caffeine overdosage, and above all, there were times I could just slam the book tight and play DOTA whole night. Ok, thats besides the point, but I just felt that, I have given all I can, and as depressing as the results can be, I have no regrets. I am not s smart student, never was, and I was not expecting any miracles to happen. As ordinary as I was, I did look to the sky.


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So you ask, why look back now? Why relflect on all those ugly things you have been trying to leave behind? Why the trouble to reopen the doors for the demons you have locked away oh so tight?

I have been feeling heavy hearted again lately, the same feeling I got just before I was leaving Kuching to Perth recently.

I am feeling heavy hearted, because as I was there pondering and deep-thinking the whole afternoon, while taking some random shots of the University views, I was deciding on something. Something that seem to take a lot of my energy just by thinking of it.


Actually, it was not deciding whether I wanted to go to my graduation or not. I have decided NOT to go, but lately, I am having a change of heart. What other place is more suitable to contemplate on such heavy mind issues, which involved plenty of other side-track issues, than the Uni itself?


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I know you guys must have like a thousand questions running on your minds now.



I know turning down graduation is like turning down a dinner and sex date with Anna Kournikova.

Here are my reasons why I decided not to go in the first placem before reconsidering:

1) My parents are not coming. It is painful not to share this moment with them. It is even more painful seeing other graduands with their parents. PAINFUL is the word. Please that note of that.

2) My friends (classmates) have mostly graduated.

3) I finished my Uni a freaking ONE AND A HALF year ago, due to some unforeseen circumstances, my graduation was postponed till now. Ultimately, the "graduation feeling" has passed and gone with the wind.


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Well, of course, there is another side of my heart that screams for me to go to the convocation. I guess I just needed a closure, a conslusion to all those years of hardship.

But seriously guys, I do not see the spendour and majesty of graduation. Maybe it is just me, but I do not think there is anything that is worth dying, just to go to the ceremony. After all, as long as you have completed your studies, and obtained what you came to the uni for, you have already accomplished your mission.

To me, graduation or no graduation, I have already graduated.

Maybe this is kinda hard to express, especially to those of you who are fanatics that believe graduation is the next best/biggest thing in life just behind wedding. Or maybe because some people treat graduation as a platform to showcase their status and height of pride. Or for some, who see the graduation as something to mark the ending of a part of their life, and starting a new one.

I see none of the above.

My university life ended, whether I went to the graduation or not. I do not believe graduation is such a big thing. And most of all, I do not see myself any better than others just because I have graduated from a university. Being a graduand yourself does not make your balls any bigger. Plastic surgery does.


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Well, I have not finalised my decision yet. The fact that I am not overly excited about graduation simply means, I have already moved on with my life, and I am strictly looking forward. There is no use holding on to something if it means that something will slow you down.

And do not worry about giving me persuasive conversations, I have already had almost everyone around me screaming at me to just go to the ceremony. But the thing I was most upset about, only a disssppointing few would really sit down and listen and try to understand what I was thinking about the entire situation.

I will know what to do when the time comes.

And I shall blog about it, whatever the outcome may be.

Upcoming soon: UWA EXPO 2007


  1. I know it maybe painful, but at least you can show them the dream that they owes want: to see you, as their son, gt graduate from Australia University and walk out from the hall proudly. let them know their effort and high hope on you is worth it. though they are not here, but they know. Make they proud, make them proud of you. and let them know, for once in your life time, you finally walk through the hardship and gain the reward.

    and by the way, you gt we friends in Perth here to celebrate with you.. so don worry.

    so robin, two word: just go!!!!

  2. Hey khee hwa,
    Making people proud, and feeling proud about it is not something that is wise to consider. It is easy to fan the pride around, but it takes a greater man to swallow it. I have learned this the hard way, so going to graduation, if I decided to, will NOT be a matter of pride.

    And graduation is NOT a reward. Just because you graduate in uni, does not mean you have accomplished anything in life yet. Life has barely even begun.

  3. maybe...this is what you must do for yourself. i've also been feeling down lately and it's due to a lot of stuff which includes the upcoming convocation. I don't know what you went through but i know what it feels like to go through uni hell when what you're experiencing doesn't seem to happen to anyone else before.

    go to the graduation ceremony and receive your cert as a testament to all those years you've been in the uni. it really is once in a lifetime. although your parents cannot make it, i'm sure they'll want to at least see a picture of their son in graduation robes.

    i know what it feels like to be left out, to see your friends receiving the honours before you. i know how sucky the feeling is very well because that's how i feel now. it's not as bad as your case but if i can be this depressed, i can imagine how it must have been for you.

    whatever you decide on, i sincerely hope that your life starting now will be a lot better, and that all that you've been through in uni would prepare you for the future. :)


  4. hey silveraven,
    thanks for understanding, and the kind words. yeah, it is once in a life thing, that explains the heavy hearted part.
    I hope things are alright with you. We all have our ups and downs, oh well, thats just life.
    Thanks again.

  5. My uni studies wasn't exactly smooth sailing and I ended up graduating before my coursemates. The truth was, my close friends were all older than me and had already graduated and left the country. Feeling neither here nor there really sucked and I didn't want to go to my graduation at all.

    But in the end I did . I hardly recognised the happy ppl in the hall and hurried to go home instead of wallowing in the euphoria after the graduation.

    My parents were there and it meant so much more to them than to me. Having said that, I'm still glad I went. It's once in a lifetime and it brought some finality and closure to my life. I think it was important to end my uni life with a happy final note.

  6. hey di,
    finally someone that can relate to and understand what I am going through !!
    thanks for understanding. Oh well, closure. Graduation.
    if only life is simpler, and we do not have to think so much, I guess we would be happier.

  7. Robin,
    If only life is simpler, and we do not have to think so much, I guess we would be happier. I too hope so.

    I am no better than anyone of you here. Graduation at first seems to be joyous but it turns out that those preparations are putting me in a very gloomy state.

    I may not understand how you feel because my family and coursemates and churchmates will all be there. If I were in your shoes, I too will reconsider the options of going or not to go.

    But heck, I hope you won't miss graduation. Take care Robin!

  8. hey daniel,
    Aaahh, urs is coming real soon ! I am sure u will enjoy urs, so make it a GREAT one !!
    I will be alright, thanks for understanding. we shall see how things go over here, and I will blog about it.

  9. I dont know whether it's common at ur place, but here you can just walk into any photoshop and take graduation pics with nice poses and nice backgrounds. Then u can frame it (hang it) proudly at home :)
    Then you can just go pick up your certs, etc at the registrar.

  10. hey plain ian,
    I guess that can happen anywhere, but it still doesnt help me in my decision whether to go or not !! ahahaha..
    anyway, the graduation gown in uwa is quite unique lar... dun think can just find anywhere.