When I was a student I’m sure I was pretty much a grade topper. I belonged to 5-10% of the best students in my major. But I didn’t work hard. Some of my friends said they hated me everytime a test result came out because I got a good grade even though they thought I didn’t study hard as they did.
I agree. I was a procrastinator at my best. I didn’t do assignments to the very last minute before the deadlines. I didn’t study much. I only did my best on one or two subects that I really liked the most (the only subjects that attracted me were linguistics and the foreign languages), even though I also did it very rarely. Most of the time I just did something that was fun for me like watching movies and dramas, and sometimes reading comic books and novels. My attitude towards learning at that time was very low. But I did good with the grades anyway.
I may say I was a naturally good test doer despite the lack of study efforts and will to learn. So even though I got good grades, I was only stuck there and not went any higher and any better. So my friends who I knew spent the most of their nights studying get score slightly better than me. I said slightly, because it really was. But again, nurture can beat nature. And the universe knows who makes the most efforts.
It was the time when my major gave scholarship to study abroad for summer course. That was in my sophomore year. My professors who only knew about my grades (of course they thought I studied hard because of it) often said since my first year that I would be able to get that scholarship if I kept on doing like this (I mean, like what?). But I was conceited anyway, and thought that she might be right and I felt assured about getting that scholarship.
Beside based on the grades, the scholarship required a certificate of the attendance of a summer course held here in Jakarta, which we could get if we attended at least 90% of all classes. Bad luck then struck me _because that was the way the universe did to warn me to do not take everything for granted, I just realised. I was in my hometown back then because my sister had some kind of a newborn baby ceremony. I missed one class, and I thought that was okay I still had 90%. And in the morning, the next day, on my way to the course place, the traffic was extremely terrible. So I missed that day and lost my 90% attendance which meant I lost the chance to get the certificate which meant the chance to get the scholarship decreased…
I still had expectation though. I thought I would still be saved by my grades. But no, of course. I was placed on number 9 on the list and all 8 students above me got that scholarship. And they were the ones who I knew put so much effort on learning and did their best. One of my friend who got one once said that I was originally on the list, even on ones of the highest candidates. But the profs had to bring me down due to the shortage of the documents required. I was so broken. I was so upset. I have been, and sometimes I am, because that scholarship was one of the reasons why I chose my major. I spent the rest of my school years resenting myself. I blamed the universe for not conspiring to make it happen to me (simply because I wanted to blame on someone but I didn’t want to admit that was all my fault). But, yeah, I’m writing this in order to get rid the burden that sometimes still haunts me, the face of a failure because of the arrogance and indolence I had.
I finally graduated and now I’m working in my campus as a language teacher. I still get a chance to meet my previous professors who still think I’m their one of the best students. Couple of months ago, we sat together in a cafe when one of their friend (another professor from another major) joined us. And my prof said, intruducing me to her: Here, Rury. She’s one of our bests and now we are convincing her to become a junior lecturer in our major.”
Sounds like I should have been proud, shouldn’t I? But I was not. Because deep down I knew that I was not that worth to be proud. That was just all lie about my grade, about my learning. That was nothing so special about me
So there I have been: guilty to myself, angry to myself, anxious about myself. I wanted to move on, to not dwell on the past failures and to make all lies become the truth: that I really am one of my professors’ best students. I wanted to be someone I will always be proud of. I wanted to fix myself.
Results never betray efforts, and above all, process is all that matters.