“I just want to hold on to it for as long as I can. Just to feel like it’s mine.”
My friend was eating when she heard me say that and she was visibly touched. We’re both in the same boat. My other friend listened in. She was curious, maybe a little sympathetic but I know she doesn’t know how we both really feel. The romantic idea of owning something you can’t actually have. A promise that will soon be broken. If I could reach into my computer screen, I would pat the email like I would to a cat on sale in a pet store.
A few months back on this blog, I had mentioned about my plans to further my studies in UK. If you have read that post before, you’d also know that I already received an unconditional offer to go to Durham and I was waiting for a financial loan. Everything was set. It felt so real that I was even subconsciously planning my life overseas. Cancelling my insurance policy. Making plans to sell my car.
The day of my supposed orientation is on the 25th September 2014. A date that is coming up soon. Earlier on, I had planned to go off somewhere, anywhere, just so I could say, hah! I am still going places! You can’t tell me where to go! But now, the raw emotions have long subdued. Just another date. A happy occasion for others, I’m sure.
My financial loan application to a government body (MARA, if you’re familiar with it) was rejected. Twice, as a matter of fact. It was the only institution I applied for because I knew I at least had a fighting chance. My friend mentioned above tried a different route for her ticket to Glasgow; she applied for private institutions for scholarships but didn’t succeed either. Are we really surprised though? English majors are hardly prized and in this country, everyone still thinks our career ladder ends at teaching. You don’t need to go far to learn how to teach, they say.
Still, I asked the university to defer my offer next year. I said please. I asked if they needed me to do anything at all to make this happen. There was none. And now there’s an email in my inbox telling me the university is happy to welcome me next year. It’s a bit like having a photo of yourself with Mickey Mouse. I feel like framing it and putting it up on my wall.
I want to say, “See? This happened.”
I know people assumed that I’m being too defeatist, that I’m giving up. Giving up is like seeing the end and not having the determination to rush through. This is a bit like a maze where you don’t even know if there’s an end. English majors, or basically any Art/Humanities students, are not appreciated here. When I say there’s limited scholarships available, I mean 1 or 2. Perhaps a random third one comes along and they’re looking for the future Prime Minister, is it you? And you’re not competing against other Art students either. You’re competing with kids who are doctors, pharmacists, engineers, architects, whatever big name job title you can insert here. And there you are, trying to communicate to these people why Romanticism is a field worth paying hundreds and thousands of money.
There are no words that I can really say about giving up a dream. I’ve worked hard for more than 2 years to come to this conclusion and I’ve spent an even longer amount of time just dreaming about it.
Sometimes, shit happens.