Fall. Get back up.

23 November 2017

Grace (right) and I. Photo by Frederick.
Grace was my university roommate, and the first person outside my family that had to stay with me. The first few months must be a petrifying experience for the both of us. The sandy floor, my dirty laundry and unwashed coffee mug, her continuous stream of boring Taiwanese dramas and smelly stuffed toy... not cute. Anyway she braved through the years she had to stay with me, which on hindsight, I believe, provided her good training to survive her six years of graduate school.

Graduate school (or grad school) is a place where people attend to receive advanced academic degree, for the noble pursuit of knowledge, curiosity and passion. In short, our job is to ask a good question, find the solution and answer the question.

As glamorous as it might sound, grad school is also a place where adults fail, crawl and cry like a baby. Statistics show that many grad students suffer from chronic anxiety and depression. One article's title is particularly 'refreshing', it's called How academia made me the most depressed I’ve ever been. How alarming!

For years Grace encountered every possible failure a grad student could ever imagine. Rejections happened from time to time, inequality was a norm, misunderstanding and miscommunication were common, failure was inevitable. Besides these natural culture of the academia, there were also other challenges in her life. She might kill me but I'll write here anyway - some dreadful relationship issues, serious impostor syndrome, language barrier, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, no scholarship, no money... All in all, it was a super challenging period in her life.

The most painful times of our lives are also the turning points that we grow and learn the most. That dreadful relationship became her good wake-up call for self-love and respect. That financial problem forced her to step out of her comfortable, yet toxic, environment and moved into the corporate world. That language barrier was solved naturally as she was pushed to communicate with strangers every single day.

Today she is pretty and good.

Someday you will look back and understand why it all happened the way it did. It might seem like a stupid mistake at the time, but it will be a lesson of a lifetime.
Grace curated a beautiful box of good stuffs for my birthday in October.

I am writing like a smart-ass here, making some cheesy-sounding comments on hindsight, but I know somebody might need to read this today. I am writing this post today because my other friend S, is having her low point and I know she reads this blog. She is extremely worried and anxious. I hope she will see that something in her life needs to be changed, and she can do it.

Life is hard, it will keep throwing curve balls at you. Don't stand still and sigh. Hit it. 

-- Eve x

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