Growing up sucks at times. Being alone sucks sometimes. And most of the time, I really wish I can just put a pause to it all. You find yourself this place, this institution for learning. This specific one being ‘where leaders learn’. Getting here took seven years of primary school, five years of high school, five years of repetition and conforming. Now, as I sit in my dorm doing this journalism assignment, I think back and reminisce on just how things have changed, and just how even that change still leaves space for more. Because this is the reason I chose this place, or rather I like to think, how this place chose me. It was a rainy day in the stuffy old Life Orientation classroom of the high school I attended, and the time had come for us to start applying to our Universities of choice. It was in this very stuffy classroom that I found a crumpled up purple application form which as I now know, would lead me towards some of the hardest yet most fundamental circumstances I would have to deal with as a young adult. But people are curious as to why I chose Rhodes, when I always thought I was destined for another one closer to home. But I always have the same answer; when filling out other applications they asked questions such as ‘highest sports achievement’ and ‘highest sports rank’. I always wondered how on earth they can know anything about their students by these questions. Then it occurred to me; they don’t care. Which is what resonated with me when I first opened my Rhodes application form, we were asked to write essays on ourselves, list our favourite books… And it occurred to me that ANY University that registrar and Dean will take the time to go through tens of thousands of these essays and application – must care about their students. And ergo, will do so about me.
And here I sit now, in my dorm room at that very University which found me. A little nerdy, a little too philosophical for my age at times – but just the right amount of wild child. The road that has brought me here has had its own bumps, turns and ‘caution: rocks falling’, but at the end of the day, all that matters is the fact that the road still carries on. I suffer from one thing only, the downfall that causes everything: expectation. The dictionary says its ‘prospects of the future’ – and I should by now know that I have no business meddling in the future, that yet to come.That you leave up to fate. In the book we are studying in Classics, The Aeneid, today of all days, there was this quote that the great Aeneas said to get him through troubled times when he was far from home, going through turmoil’s… Ok, I am not fighting a Trojan War, but still, it resonated with me greatly: ‘’Take heart and dispel your fears and depression. A day will come when even suffering will be remembered as joy’.
There are times when events and circumstances catch up with me. Especially because I am that person whom when asked ‘how are you’ always, almost as a passive, involuntary spasm reply ‘I am fine, I am always fine’. And mostly I truly am. I have been fortunate I guess, to grow up knowing the value of grace, gratitude and prayer. Yes it’s the story of my mother being abused by my father, leaving him to give me a better life, growing up without this father, an only child and mom working her maternal butt off to provide for us, getting married only to be divorced again. But now, knowingly, I won’t ever change this fate that has been put upon me, for through it I would never have been the person I am today.
This is not to say that I don’t still get days of disheartenment. It’s only natural and rather inevitable coming from being a young adult, trying to find yourself amidst this cruel world amongst all other children of the bad revolution. We are simply synecdoche’s within this environment we find ourselves in. But the best thing one can do, is counteract the challenges thrown your side. Which is what I’ve done, it’s what I’ve always done, which is my one and only strategy when times get tough; Never mind my lonely soul, I am here towards a greater goal. I’m just coming to terms with various things. Everything from the stress of academics, lack of relationships and friendships…
I just have days when I stop and recuperate about things, and get myself ready for the future again.
But this is who I am. Each of us have our own little story to tell; our own heartbreak moment. The most important is just for us to never forget- or regret these sorrows we are put through – for one day they might just be remembered as joys.
I know that I cannot do anything about the past. I am now just teaching myself to live in the present, and to have nothing but hope for the future.