The last mile

Back in 2012, I began pursuing a degree in economics. Seven years later, I’m finally in my final semester. A lot of things have happened in between. I’ve had to put studying off every now and then because of work, or personal commitments.

Long story short is that after I came back from Australia with an advanced diploma in accounting, nobody would offer me a job, because my qualification wasn’t a degree and that it was also not recognised by MQA. The MQA, or the Malaysian Qualifications Agency are the people who determine whether your qualifications are…uhm…suitable, or good enough (I guess?) to be applied in Malaysia. Basically, they provide recognition for your education.

Anyways, that has always been a bummer for me, because I’ve slaved away pretty hard, to get good results to be told that my qualifications weren’t recognised (despite being a pretty good TAFE qualification in Straya). So my disappointment defined me for the past few years. I never felt I was good enough for anything (and most of the time I still feel that way now).

My experience with the uni I’m currently studying at has been less than stellar. To be honest, I might be to blame. I never really did apply myself to the work-studying life. I never cared about who my coursemates were. I just wanted to get this shit done. I did pretty awesomely during my first few semesters, clocking in Dean’s list awards in consecutive semesters.

I then went into a slump. Why? It dawned on me that at the end of the day, this paper qualification I’m after means diddly squat. Nobody was going to look into hiring a 30 year old economics grad for the price that I’d be asking. “Oh but your experience counts for something”

Yeah, booshit.

People would be better off hiring young graduates, who are as eager to learn, but are paid a lot less.

This slump would go on for some time, and I stopped applying myself even more.

I’ve made it this far now, and I’m in the home stretch. I can see the end coming and now, being a bit older – 7 years older since I started, to be precise (lol) – I realise that I owe it to myself to do the best I can. Who cares if people are going to appreciate my struggle. I should appreciate my struggle. I have to prove to myself that I am as smart as I used to think I was.

The paper qualification doesn’t mean so much to me, now that I think about it. It’s just about finishing what I started, and not looking back with regret about all the time I’ve wasted.

I’ll gun it on my last lap, til my heart beats out of my chest.

Then when I cross the finish line, I’ll fall in a heap, looking back, with a smile, and I want to say

I did my best.

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