2020 was a mess. I believe most of the world would agree with that statement. However, in between that mess, I’ve seen people reaching out to help me, in I am forever grateful for them.
I was sick and anxious in the Spring semester. I took CMU’s well-known Cloud Computing class, which normally takes around 35-40 hours per week, 60 hours at worst. In the midst of the semester’s pressure, Corona hits my hometown pretty bad. My father caught a fever for a few days after attending funerals, which I worriedly thought as COVID-19. Thank God it wasn’t COVID, and he recovered. However, the problems didn’t stop there. IDR price against USD plummeted, and I worried about how I will pay the tuition fee for my next semester. I can’t sleep well due to thinking about my family, tuition fee, or the semester workload. I can say it’s not what I have thought my Spring semester would be.
I am thankful that in between my anxious days, my friends from near and far offered help. Ears to listen, good company, and laughter are some of my most precious from them that I treasure until now. My professors and the assistant dean of my campus reached out and comforted me about the tuition fee options. Last but not least, one of the students from the class I TA-ed reached to me. He personally explained his winning implementation in the Cloud Computing class (!) because I can’t attend the winners’ presentation due to an exam in another class. The extra knowledge and goodwill from him were invaluable for me, who had an embarrassingly low score.
The days aren’t getting easier, but thanks to their help, I got some spirit to go on, attend to my health, and finish grad school. And here I am now, back to my home country, back to working (remotely) to DANA Indonesia. I hope the lessons I got during my grad school years could be translated to meaningful impact here, be it the academic or the life lessons.
Dear readers, if you happen to reach out and help anyone in 2020, thank you. Even if those who you helped did not thank you at all, let me thank you in their place.
No matter what you did, no matter how big or small it is, I pray that it will better others’ lives. It might be something costly as tending to the sick as frontline fighters. It might be something that looks easier to do: calling to make others’ their health, sending food or buying groceries for others, sharing job opportunities, or even mentoring and fostering hope for incoming students! The world needs all the good people it needs right now, and you might be one of them.
P. S. I know I’m not the best of people. If you reached out to me before, I might have ignored you or lied to you that I’m okay. If you’re reading this and think that we’re done as friends, I’ll take the blame for that. If you want to give it another shot with this introverted mess, let me know.