Four years ago I decided to resume my studies that I never finished 14 years ago. Going to college part time is no easy feat, especially when you have to juggle between work, family and studies. The times I had to choose going to class instead of spending quality time with my family. But I made it, thanks to the support from my family and classmates.
The exams sure was challenging but not as hard as the assignments, and there were many of them. Getting started on the assignment was one thing, getting your friends to contribute and finish the assignment together was another thing. Fortunately for me as the semester goes by, I've got myself some really cool, smart and understanding course-mates. And it shows because we kept getting good marks for many subjects every time.
Within this four years, I've got a new baby girl and changed jobs twice. While four years seams like a long time, I felt like it just breeze by me. Today is the reward for all my effort and hard work, graduation day. Last week I paid for my graduation fees which was just RM115 (for diploma) and picked up my robes. This morning I woke up really early at 5:00 am along with my wife and Mom whose coming along to the ceremony. First we had to drop the kids at their nursery and brave the morning rush hour hoping that we wouldn't get stuck in traffic anywhere. Thankfully save for a bit of crawl along Sunway, the journey was a breeze despite the rain.
I got to the hall (Dewan Agung Tuanku Canselor) 15 minutes from time (7:30 am). From there I waited in line along with all the other graduates. I can't see any of my friends at first maybe because some of them were stuck in traffic. But I saw some of them eventually when we finally got in the hall.
The entire ceremony lasted nearly 4 hours. My turn was up about 40 minutes into the ceremony and it was over in less than 3 minutes. I walk confidently towards the stage, received my diploma (well maybe just the cover), said thanks to the pro-chancellor and walk away while switching my tassel from left to right. I think I'm the only person who did that, since nobody else seemed to be aware of the tradition. Oh well.
When I'm done, I had to wait for the other graduates to finish their turn. One faculty had over one thousand graduates so that's why we didn't finish until half past twelve.
During our first class in semester 1, there was 38 of us in the classroom. We couldn't even get enough chairs for everybody then. Four years later today, only 8 of us made it to graduation day. Another one couldn't make it due to work commitments and about six more had to wait until next year to graduate. The rest, sadly didn't made it.
We each had our own stories and we came from many different background but the important thing is we made it to this very special day.
Back home in Pasir Mas, there's a row of framed pictures of my siblings receiving their degree on stage proudly displayed in the living room. The only person's missing from that display was me. So after this the roll of honour is finally complete because I can finally put my picture there.
When I dropped out of college in 2004, my Mom was amongst the one that's so disappointed with failure. And she did a good job reminding me of that. Today she could finally put that to rest.
So this is how graduation day felt like. It was beyond awesome. The ceremony, the dress, the atmosphere, the pride and the look of joy on my loved ones, it was priceless. If I had known this earlier, I would have studied harder and not drop out then. Naturally, this makes me somewhat eager to continue my studies again some time in the future. Maybe not anytime soon but eventually one day when my financials are sound and Adam Farihin had gone to boarding school. Previously I've been using my EPF savings to fund my studies so after 4 years, my account II was almost depleted paying for my tuition fees. It'll take sometime for me to replenish it again.
One thing is that is almost certain, I won't be furthering my studies in Information Management again. I think it's time I delve into IT or Computer Science again. It is only apt that I pick something that's really close to me and got to do with my day job. Diploma is cool and all but I feel like my life won't be complete until I got that degree in my grasp.
I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank my family especially my wife and Mom whose been my rock and supported me all these while. I couldn't have done it without their support. Thank you.
Cue Vitamin C song.