I was never a good student. I never had the ambition to be on top of my class.
You know how puberty is the period where we shape our own identities? I went through peer pressure, irrational crushes, playing the guitar, sneaking out of the house (or in. I'm sorry Mom and Dad) - and I never found any answers there.
I found them in reading.
I always, always loved to read. I found that books (or any other physical manifestation thereof) provided me the space to question without any judgement.
Arya: Stres banget sih kamu, dari SMA baca beginian (Bibel, Quran dan Sains Modern, upon eyeing my book collection).
I remember the feeling of realising for the first time that some people accept me for how I think, what my arguments were. Not the way I look, the clothes I wear, not even the music I listen to. For the first time, I wasn't categorised in a social class. I wasn't stereotyped.
And then I learned how to not do that as well.
I think that knowledge should give you a chance to be moderate. To realise that we could never know for sure. That all views are relative, that the world is too complex for us to fully comprehend.
And that is why I chose Academic Life. It's a space where ideas are alive. Where we give ourselves a chance to be wrong. To not take things for granted. Though at moments things are not as ideal, it is the closest to that utopia that any other sector I've set foot in.
Don't worry, I'll put the knowledge into practice. But I'll always have one foot in the academia. Just to keep my head in place.