When I received the privilege to be a student, I was determined to make sure that I got something beyond a degree or certificate. I remembered the famous quote “don’t just pass through the school, let the school also pass through you” and I held unto it dearly. There were tons of joy-stealing & hopeless trials and challenges But I was determined never to give up. Instead of dwelling on “my challenges, trials and worries” which were quite tedious, draining and destabilizing, I shifted my energy towards helping others overcome their challenges. I never complained but rather always making sure that I HAVE A TESTIMONY (find a reason to be grateful). These brought so much joy and fulfillment to me. By the time I helped someone to be happy, I celebrated their victory so much that by the time I went back to my room, I could transferred the joy and positive energy to my work.
Sometimes I just searched out Sunday Services just not for the sermon but just the testimonies of what God was doing and did in the lives of the testifiers. These testimonies brought so much hope and joy to me, and helped me to trust God for the humanly impossible.
I took the responsibility of never sharing or discussing my internal struggles, battles and obstacles with people.
It wasn’t because maybe I always get all A’s in my classes. Absolutely no. In fact, there was a semester in which I focused on much on the challenges and serious problems in my family combined with my own, and I ended up with a C, D, D in the three courses I took (Winter 2014). This was worst semester in my entire school life (from Junior High, I have never gotten such a “gross failure” before. My term GPA was 1.33/4.5. It was so disappointing, depressing and shocking that my personal professor was determined, after seeing my result and hearing all that happened, to help me appeal for AUTOMATIC WITHDRAWAL of the academic semester from my transcript (and grade) for COMPASSIONATE REASONS. She was very knowledgeable about the conditions and procedures involved and so she contacted a student advocate for me and together we drafted the letter to the committee. I sent it to her and we were on the second round of the review process just before sending it to the University Administration for their assessment of the appeal to final decision, before I felt it should be left. This was due partially to the financial challenges (it will result in me losing over $4,000 in tuition fees and additional semester in school) and also because I felt that my degree will not be a representative of my academic life and struggles. When I finished the cost-benefit analysis for the authorized withdrawal, including the externalities, there was an overwhelming reasons to leave it on my transcript.
I learned, internalize and practice gratitude. Oh someone won an award? I will celebrate as if it was my name written on it.
So I worked so hard to maintain my joy. How? (a) By looking for the SILVERLINING in everything. Focusing on the positives. During this period and the later part of my life, it is literally impossible for you to paint an ugly picture of the state of affairs for me without me telling you how you can benefit from it. Optimism is an understatement to describe my love and passion for silverlining.
(b) this circumstance draw me much closer to God. I encouraged myself in the Lord (my favorite Bible verse was 1 Samuel 30v6 – And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. https://bible.com/bible/1/1sa.30.6.KJV). I became voracious for the Word of God and never missed any assembly of the people of God.
(c) I dispel every form of “pity-partying” by not telling people what had happened to me.
This is because I believe that every battle is a training/preparation( for the brighter days) to be enjoyed, not a dead-end to be mourned about.
Updated and edited version coming soon!