Two years ago I made a decision to be a student again. A part-time student. A postgraduate student. I knew what the stakes were. Working and studying at the same time was never meant to be a walk in the park. Sacrifices had to be made, something had to give.
For me, it was holidays cut short, weekends spent doing my assignments rather than doing the things I enjoy to relax for the week. It was a constant grind, semester after semester. Sure I had to enjoy the summer holidays, but where there weren’t school assignments to worry about, there was always work to catch up.
The first year was tolerable. I was enthusiastic. It felt great to be a student again. And what better way to be an NUS student. Night classes twice a week for the first semester, a week-long course followed by the next, and then online modules conducted by the ANU the rest of the way. I took on every challenge, trying my best to get good grades. To prove myself that I could juggle work and study at the same time. And for a while it did. As the work piled on and the assignment became more numerous, the pressure was on. Add to that workload is the thesis I had to write as part of the final year project. That took the cake.
The second year was tough. Despite having no actual classes, those modules that I chose was challenging, assignments were abstract in nature. Lots and lots of writing. Lots and lots of deadlines. There were times, I had to admit, that I just could not care less anymore. Where a passing grade was good enough. But in the end, I did better than just getting a passing grade. I would definitely get a better grade if only I had more time devoted to my studies, but you only so many hours in a single day like I said, sacrifices had to be made. There were numerous times where I just had to tell myself that this is good enough, I cannot abandon my other commitments.
These two years were filled with highs and lows. But now it’s almost at an end. I cannot believe it.
I am going to miss my classmates, despite not seeing face-to-face on a daily basis. These people are some of the nicest and the funniest bunch of people I have ever met. I am truly grateful to have known them.
So what is next for me? Honestly, I do not know. I guess when everything is truly over for the course I am taking, I will sit down and reflect deeply what the next phase of my life should be.