things i learned as a freshman

Writing feels a lot different now.

Indulging myself to learn journalism has made me question plenty. Some days when I thought I had the urge to write here, it has always felt like something went missing. I tend to criticize every little sentence I wrote, and ended up losing my grip on the idea I was holding onto, leaving it unwritten. Yes, I was that unpleased with my work.

I couldn’t even put myself to write a proper sentence anymore without anybody else prompting me to *huge thanks to the lecturers who have been subconsciously giving me report assignments to work on, keeping me sane with the ideas I’d type on screen regardless of how imperfect it may read*. Hm, I suppose it tends to get a little harder to fulfill self-made standards as you get older, after being thrown upon the things you didn’t know back then.

Anyway, there you have it. A quick update regarding my hiatus.

Cutting on to the chase, here are 5 invaluable lessons I’ve gained as a freshman.

“Toleransi itu kudu, rek.”

(“Tolerance is a must.”)

This may sound rather shallow and mainstream, yet for a student who has been living in an environment of what you may all perceive as ‘comfort and supportive’ during the last 12 years… I’d take this on a wee bit further than the others who found themselves experiencing the opposite. Having to deal with an impressive amount of people who possess such rich diversity on a daily basis has opened my eyes to so much. Truth be told, it might have felt a little overwhelming at first to listen, but the more I gained self-assurance regarding the principles that has been armoring me throughout, the more I started to respect those who shared different views. Surely meeting these new people enabled me to broaden my horizon. I learned that there shall always, always, always be more than what meets the eye.

“Rehat sek, cek iso ngegas banter.”

(I call it “Pause & Reflect”.)

Another thing I learned, is to simply pause. I’m the type of person who could list a ginormous plan of doing 10 things a day, then ended up only finishing 5. Though 5 may appear like a grandeur accomplishment for some, it just didn’t justify any of my personal means of ‘productivity’. This was when I realized that reflection was also needed to declutter these toxic ways of thinking. Pausing doesn’t necessarily have to mean relieving the lethargic feeling I get at the end of the day, rather it’s to celebrate on the small victories I’ve overcome so far, and own them. Try again tomorrow with a shorter list, see if I could get them done. A self-reminder to not be sorry, but be better.

“Pelajari opo sing perlu, jok kabeh diemplok.”

(“Filter your studies. Avoid shoving too much.”)

Pointing out one of the internal struggles that I’d face on a daily basis: there is so much knowledge in the world that you’d love to get your hands on, yet will there be enough time and energy for you to dive into each one? Ha. You wish, Jan. Memorizing millions of insignificant facts and having no other choice in saying yes to a flawed education system to strive for a decent future is one thing, yet I believe the superiority of quality as opposed to quantity beats everything. Filter. Focus. Dive deep. Who cares if you are unlike the young prodigies out there who juggle multiple talents? Focus on yours, aim for a deeper understanding, then create fiercely.

You can learn anything, but you can’t know everything.


“Sakjane guduk ‘dewean’, tapi ‘mandiri’.”

(“Embracing the beauty of ‘independence’.”)

Growing up, my days have been filled with back-to-back solo trips from home to campus, campus to work, home to work, and vice versa. Being entrusted with a vehicle to tend my daily transportation needs is a privilege I should foremost maintain. Apart from that, finance has also been a main focus lately for me to survive another day *am I exaggerating this a bit? You guys be the judge*. Morphing slowly into an adult is never going to appear easy, yet nothing worth having comes easy, eh? Sure I’ve done mistakes here and there, and will most likely be doing more of them in days to come. But I know these shortcomings are there for a reason. Process breeds maturity, and I’ve been more than grateful to have the chance to learn from them.


“Nek ga pede, ga dalan.”

(“Confidence is a must.”)

Now for the best part of this small piece, my personal favorite: confidence. A somewhat old friend of mine that I must reconcile with from the past. I was (and probably still is) a heck of an introvert who likes living inside the comforts of her own bubble. Allowing only very few people to pop in and say hi without any means of exploring what lies beyond. Yet on a recent note, my battle with confidence has been progressing a little each day. If I don’t get myself to open up, I’d get most likely stuck underneath my fluid of self-doubt.

Slowly, yet surely… I’m getting there.

And there you have it, a third entry in advance before Christmas Eve!
Hope you enjoyed devouring it, at least.
It’s been heck of a while since I last wrote something like this.
Will you be there tomorrow to read my next one?


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