Realisation (turns into a massive rant)

by n'charlotte

I’ve probably mentioned it in my last post, which was written in less than 24 hours ago, that I had a hospital appointment in the morning. My cousin was nice enough to come along to keep me accompanied. As usual there was a massive queue and due to some technical issues, all appointments were delayed by half an hour. Normally I’d rage because I’m not a particularly patient person but since I had someone to talk to to pass my time, I didn’t mind much.

So yeah, we talked a bit, quite a bit about me and how I was finding my “new life” (ie. life as a Uni student, which only started since October, so it hasn’t really been that long). Everyone kept reassuring me that first year would be the best time of my life and since I only need 40% to pass, I should enjoy my time here to full extend and it wouldn’t even matter if I don’t start work till the very last term. I still hear a lot of these but I cannot say I agree or feel the same way at all. In fact, I feel very much the exact opposite. I am so stressed out of my mind. It’s only been four weeks and I’ve been spending most of my time outside lectures in my room reading law books and writing essays, preparing for seminars. I’ve missed three lectures so far due to a hospital appointment and I feel ashamed. I cannot understand how people could just miss lectures as if it was the easiest thing to do in the world. Some are even so proud of it that they keep count on how many lectures they’ve missed. Unbelievable. Even my best friend who (sort of) sworn that she would not miss any lectures when she starts Uni told me that she’s missing three in average every week. I only get 8 contact hours per week. Missing three means skipping almost half of that. I can’t possibly bring myself to do that. You might think I’m just trying to come across as a goody-two-shoes but I’m not, trust me. I am not enjoying this subject at all. Ok, I do find Tort and Contract kind of interesting as they are applicable in life but the Constitutional Laws drive me mad. I know they are too relevant in our daily lives but as a non-EU citizen, it’s not as relevant to me as it is to the rest of my class. Also, they’re more factual which means all you have to do or can do is to memorise everything.  I don’t have a bad memory. I used to enjoy History when I did it in GCSE. Ancient History though, I was never really that into current History. They seem much less interesting to me for some reason. Ancient Egypt and Greece used to be my favourite. Anyways, like I said, I did not volunteer to do Law. So why the hell am I committing three years of my life to this subject might you ask. Well, both my parents are Asians. Very possessive and controlling ones to be precise. If you’ve read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and thought Amy was dictatorial, my parents will redefine that for you.

I believe that being able to choose your own subject is just like any other basic human rights. Freedom to choose? Isn’t everyone entitled to that? Why am I not then? Having to commit three years doing something you do not enjoy is torture. Fair enough, for GCSE and A Levels you get more than one choices so even if there’s one or two subjects that you are not particularly keen on but you had to do it cos your mom said so, you’ve still got the rest to distract you. Yet, in Uni, (not including double or combined honours) you only get one choice. One. Three years you’ll have to devote your life in that single subject. Nothing else. Nada. Sure you can take night classes for extra curricular activities and such, join clubs and societies but they aren’t the same. They aren’t your degree. You don’t have to do well in it. You don’t have the pressure to pass and succeed. You can if you want to but there’s not obligation implied. The pressure is self induced if there happens to be any so you can’t really complain about that. However, having to told which degree you must do or else you won’t even get to study anything at all is a whole different thing. Not only now do I have the existing pressure to pass my exams at the end of the year, I also have the pressure to, if not catch up, keep up with everyone else’s pace as understanding something you lack a passion for is not the easiest thing to do. On top of that, I am, unfortunately in this case, an overachiever, as in even though as long as I get 40% I’ll pass, I know deep down that I can do better than that and so I would not want to “just pass” but to do better and achieve higher. This is self induced pressure. Yes, you can say it’s my fault and that I can’t blame my parents or anyone else for this but when you think about it: if they hadn’t forced me into doing something I do not enjoy, but rather, allowed me to take up Languages instead, I would not have all this stress and anxiety. The latter may be have been my own doing, it could have been avoided if I was given a choice or a say like most of my peers. After all, it’s me who has to spend three years doing this degree, not my parents. Sure, I have to depend on them financially so it does make sense for me to obey whatever they wish me to do, but what about fairness? It’d be stupid for me to say that money’s not everything because here it is, seeing as if they decide to cut me off financially, I wouldn’t be able to continue my education and that would be the end of my future (I do not intend to offend anyone and am completely aware that it isn’t compulsory for someone to have a degree in order to make a living nowadays but I believe that having one would somehow put me into a better position when I am finally ready to do so.)

Sorry for the rant but I just need to get this out because it’s been bothering me since as long as I can remember and it still does. I might eventually come to like or even enjoy this subject but I’d still be equally pissed off with the fact that I did not have the freedom to choose.

Oops, realised I’ve sort of gone off the topic a little bit… (have I?) Realisation: I realised that besides my parents, I am in fact my own worst enemy, being the main cause of this burden of stress as I grew up with the expectation, from both my family and myself, to live a certain way: to perform well (in the Asian sense, not just passing your exams but to get at least 80%/ an A grade in whatever you do) academically, to behave in a certain manner (no unnecessary piercings, no tattoos, no crazy hairstyles/ colouring, minimal to no makeup) and to obtain certain achievements (to graduate University is a must, 1st hon if possible, I would not know how my parents would react if i get anything less than a 2.1) anyways, I have come to conclude that my parents are definitely not the only ones to blame for my pressure and that I am a major cause of this entire thing myself. I’m learning and willing to seek for help to cope with all the stress that I’m experiencing right now. I need to sort this out sooner rather than later.