Written by: Sharaf Momen
The student life is exceptionally difficult. We are expected to balance sleep, studies, social life and our interests, like grabbing eight fistfuls of sand when you have two hands. Nonetheless, despite the failures we’ve had and the will to stand strong and continue, despite many losing it, we still fight to survive at the end of the day. To tolerate is to grow, and to grow is to survive, and when you have university or college decisions coming up, you have no room but to survive.
I’ve been lucky enough to do prior research into what I want to do with my life. That takes into account where I want to live, which university I’d like to go to, or universities I’m considering. What hurts most is when you don’t have the support you want or need for the universities of your choice, because you are genuinely interested in their courses, or maybe other ulterior purposes. But, when you choose universities, you have to think early and choose wisely, nonetheless, because your future is in your hands.
I’ve taken university visits for granted. I aimed high, and still do, but I learnt how to make the most of what I can achieve and not to aim for the skies, because we all have our own worlds. We should stop looking at others’. Know what you are good at, know what you want, then combine them both to reveal a step into your career shifting decision.
This was particularly hard, because grade eleven required us to adapt to IB, while grade twelve now requires us to survive the last few months. In doing so, within the hurricanes lie university choices. I see many who are struggling to keep tabs on all aspects of their lives, with the special addition of needed personal research. We are not granted an extra hand to juggle this extra task, when we’re too busy with homework, lessons, assignments and exams, but we have to be smart. Nothing is impossible. I learnt it the hard way.
In and out of class, break times, lunch periods and an hour after school days – I took whatever opportunity I can to clear and direct my schedule. At some points, with the load of school, personal life and now the stress and anxiety of handing your future, many do break down. I broke down. But for those who get back up, we have a clear vision of how we want to feel in the future: happy and successful. Everyone feels differently about how they want to tackle IB and university, but what I want to say is that in whatever situation you struggle in, you need to be keen in planning and understanding what you want. When you struggle, you have to stay determined to grow, and then that’s how you survive.