The Reality Check
Today I'm not going to talk about the leap of faith in Assassins Creed, which Cal (Michael Fassbender) attempted to save himself.
Google defines leap of faith as 'an act of believing in or attempting something whose existence or outcome cannot be proved'. In other words, to make a big decision which may have a big impact on one's life, with no guarantee whether it'll end up a success or a failure. It can be choosing between furthering your study and become an academician or enter the industrial world, getting married or changing the stream of your study. Some decisions may have a bigger impact in our lives, compared to the others.
This has been one of the longest period which I've stayed at home since the last 5 years. With the flexibility and ample of time in hand, post-graduation has really got me thinking. Somehow the transition between university life to the next phase isn't as fast and smooth-sailing as I've imagined. It's not like today you go out of uni and the next day you figure out what to do. Nobody is certain of their own future, and nobody can guarantee mine. No one can tell you what to do next as the choice is solely yours.
Buffer Time (Tempoh Bertenang)
This is the period that a person will take to figure out what to do next and get stabilized. Maybe it's the time needed to land a career placement, or make a good plan and execute it. I believe that each of us lives in a different timezone, so to say, what's good for me may not be good for you. If you're getting a bit panicked by now, I'd say, please chill and take some time. As a human who have no idea what future has in store for us (not X-men of course), we will take some time to figure out what's next.
The Reality Check
To be realistic, some of us are bound to a certain set of circumstances. It can be monetary/economical constraint, a family member to tend to, a logistical boundary, an additional commitment, student loan etc, many factors can influence our decisions.
Well, welcome to reality!
We may have to let go a part of our dreams for something bigger or trade it to get a win-win. Or even go for option C which at first is never in the list. We may feel lost somewhere in the middle, I felt it too and I may feel it later. But keep in mind that our journey is still long, we may somehow make mistakes here and there, and we'll grow from it.
My student life in UTP has been very jam-packed with classes, projects & discussions, meetings to attend and even my personal knowledge excursion / adventures. So moving on to the next step after uni hasn't been easy, sometimes I do feel lost, with less freedom and less access to things I loved. UTP has been a blessing for me, Alhamdulillah. To those adik-adik who are still studying, grab as much opportunity to learn, attend those 'ilm discourses, seminars etc even it has not connection to what you're learning. Once you're outside, nothing comes free. To a certain point, I'd have to resort to other options as a replacement of my weekly halaqah / usrah circle. So, do appreciate what you have now :)
Undeniably, engineering is tough (belajar apa je tak susah), my final year project has been a really big test, but we made it till this point with His grace. Along the 5-year journey, I've been asked with the 'what's your plan' question a number of times and the answers have been varying from 'I want to be a full-fledged chemical engineer' to ' I want to be an environmentalists' (in front of SRC interviewers) and 'I want to be a lecturer in Environmental Engineering'.
The truth is, I have been searching for my passion ever since. Politics may have been a part of my interests, but for now I'll put it aside for the sake of everybody..haha. After much thinking, I've decided to pursuit my next step of learning in Strategic Studies and then InsyaAllah continue with PhD in Social Change or Sociology. This decision is made acknowledging that it won't be less challenging than engineering, but I hope I can do more here, a greener field. Perhaps my path will somehow change a lil' bit here and there as nothing is set in stone yet. But for now, this'll do insyaAllah.
A few points to be shared here (and as a personal reminder for me too):
1) Don't compete with others.
Well, competitiveness is a very important character to survive. But in determining what to do next in your life, I'd say that a man's meat can be another man's poison. A friend continuing Masters does not push you to do yours in due time, a friend getting married, too. The question of meaning have been long debate in the existence of mankind. We are living in our own timezone, so don't feel pressured to make a point to others. You can also Google for Quarter Life Crisis, it may be helpful.
2) Be resourceful.
Your education background and CGPA will not stop you from learning. It is the willpower that'll be crucial here. I admit that living in Perlis gave me less accessibility compared to living in Perak or KL. But if I'm really determined, I'll get what I want insyaAllah.
Have you ever watched 3 Idiots?
There's a part in me who really wants to be like Rancho, to inspire people and do good.
3) Enhance your networking
Meeting new people and discussing fresh ideas can be helpful. Having friends from various background will also expose you to making more matured decisions. Back in UTP, I used to have weekly discussion with my mentor, Kak Arfah. Having a good partner to give feedbacks helped me to put my thoughts together and turn it into action.
4) Have a good intention
Some of us may not have the privilage to choose and be pushed to do things that he/she don't prefer to do (may be due to financial circumstances, responsibility for family) , then go on. I believe that Allah's will always be with us when we're determined to do good. One way or another, He'll reveal and give the best for us insyaAllah.
5) Have a growth mindset
This is undeniably challenging. But it is made easier with the help of Youtube and internet. A Muslim gets better and better everyday, in any sense. Perhaps we can make our own daily, weekly, monthly and yearly KPI. Some of us may want to lose weight, learn a new language, start writing, create a new routine or join a volunteer group. Then go on!
The purpose of having a growth mindset instead of a fixed one is to ensure that we don't live in complacency and get stagnant.
Somehow, our days are numbered and each of us have our personal expiration date. One motivational speaker said that death is his biggest motivation and it should be ours too.
Lastly, to make the leap of faith, you will need the blessings of the Almighty. So do istisyarah (seek for info and details, planning etc) and istikharah. And after you've made the decision, make the move and pray for the best.
Then when thou hast taken a decision put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).