“Alanda, where do you go to college?” is the question that I avoid the most.
One month ago, I had to face a difficult situation. At the same time, I become the only person who has ever received a full scholarship from Bina Nusantara International University. I also received admission fee reduction from Universitas Multimedia Nusantara and I got accepted in University of Indonesia to study Criminology. How lucky, right?
I had the yellow jacket in my hands already. My parents were incredibly happy that I got accepted into that uni, so were my family and friends. They were proud, they congratulated me. Everyone thought that I must be smart that I have succeeded in getting into that uni. But hey, I got accepted because the major I chose were not as popular as Management or Communications. I once thought, “If I were meant to study in UI, I’ll get it on SNMPTN.” And apparently, Alhamdulillah, it did happen.
I have spent my days in UI for a couple of weeks when I felt like there was something really, really wrong and I don’t know what that is. I met the most brilliant and opinionated people from all across the archipelago, I had a very big campus! I was going to study in the campus that is desired by everyone, with pride. Why can there be anything wrong? Moreover, I chose the major because I was interested in the courses. My plan: in 2010, I am going to go for another round of SNMPTN. I’ll get into FHUI.
Now this is ridiculous, but I always cried whenever I met anyone from FHUI. They ate my heart, my dreams. I tended to daydream whenever I passed FHUI. I felt so stupid. That was why I made my pledge. I had to get into FHUI, whatever it takes.
Suddenly, another thing ate more of me. I found out that even if I got into FHUI in 2010, I would not be able to change my major and transfer my grades. I will need to pay another 20 million, another OBM, another OSPEK, I will have to start from scratch. But, what for? My family is not that wealthy. I have little sisters who still need to obtain their basic education. I might seem “okay” financially for you, but to be honest, I still cannot pay my tuition fees by myself. If next year I still have to pay another 20 million to reach my dreams, well it’s an investation. But, I know my capacity. If we can’t, I don’t think we have to force ourselves, especially when it’s related to other people.
I finally realised that there will be no turning back. If I pay UI tuition fees, I will have to study there. Four years. Graduated from Criminology. Work in the criminology field.
Thus, where shall I put my dreams? Should I wash them away?
I missed my dreams. I missed my old activities. Everything was too campus-centered and I could not help it. There were department gathering, faculty gathering, batch gathering, alumni gathering, OBM, and courses. It was worse than high school. Yet there, you’re nothing but a number. UI people won’t know you. You will graduate and enter another jungle.
I somehow became afraid that I won’t be able to grow there. There is this fright I cannot explain. I was afraid that I would lose my activities. I was scared that I was going to lose the things I have built for years. I was scared that UI will take one piece of my UNO Stacko and destroy it. Only for OBM and OSPEK, I had lost a lot of opportunities, the opportunities that would mean a lot for my life. Do you think they would know what you do and achieve? No.
So, that day, on the first day of OSPEK, I went to UI with my dad. I already wore the white-and-white uniform and the leaf nametag, saying that “I have to do this”. I turned back at the Psychology Roundabout. You know what I did next? I WENT HOME. Someone told me to go home. It was not a devil. It was my heart. Somehow.
I tried to cool my head when I got home. I assessed both uni for multiple times. I talked to successful people I know, from Sitta Karina, Yorgi Gusman, Fajar Anugerah, and my friend Ghian, to seek a path. Where should I go, actually? They know me well and they are successful in their own ways.
I prayed too. I asked God, what should I choose? My heart has chosen the international university, actually. Though I actually wanted God to say “UI” so I could make my parents proud, see me graduate in Balairung from UI… God said Binus too. Or maybe, God only said what rings in my heart. So, I did tell my mother that I wanted to go to Binus International, in tears. My mother said yes, though she was pretty disappointed – she graduated from UI after all. But I also promised her that I am going to be a successful person, and I will send my sisters to school.
So, what’s with Binus International? Here are the list to encounter your negative comments:
- I got scholarship there. Financially, UI is more expensive than Binus International. I want my sisters to get a better education than I did, and I will not let my parents pay too much for my education and abandon them. My sisters are going to be successful people. They are much smarter than me, I suppose.
- BI has international curriculum. So, if I got into Harvard or Oxford (yeah, right), it will be easier to transfer my grades with the same curriculum.
- Every lectures are delivered in English and some of the lecturers are expatriates.
- I’m going to learn International Business there, become a social and creative entrepreneur, create jobs, and build a school. That’s luxurious enough in my opinion!
- By studying in BI, I would be able to choose: study for 1 year in Cologne Business School to get double degrees, or study in UNSW (one of Australia’s ‘The Big 8’), Solbridge (South Korea) or University of Wollongong (Dubai). To be frank, I am more interested to study there instead of UI. So I can bring heaps of things home, so I can have different skills than the ones who studied in UI, UNPAD or ITB. Remember, UI has millions of graduates. Who knows that I might be able provide different perspectives and solutions from them? Indonesia needs diversity and dynamics.
- They got Masters Track Program, so I will hopefully to finish both Bachelor and Masters Degree in 9 semesters. Amen.
- BI appreciates what I do and they are very supportive, both morally and materially. They give students to space to grow academically and non-academically.
- I can still continue my activities outside the campus because the lectures schedule are more flexible and there are no unimportant gatherings. Well, at least, not too much.
- Seniors don’t have seniority, not at all. Just like in the US, they don’t want us to call ‘Kak’. One campus, one BI. No one labels us by “sok pintar” when we express our aspirations. Because in that campus, they do.
- One batch only has 300ish students. Lecturers are close to you. Lecturers know you. Even the executive dean knows you. All lecturers know that I established The Cure For Tomorrow, for God’s sake!
- 90% BI graduates last year have been accepted in companies before they had their graduation ceremony. Two of them got $2,500 as their first salary. Some of them got into Stern and Stewart accounting firm in Singapore, and there was even a graduate who now works in Google. The key? Personal recommendations. No, they don’t let you use Binus Career. They recommend you to companies.
- We are taught to think and work like Western people, but we are also taught to act like Eastern people. Beautiful.
I dare to say that I don’t regret this decision. Not at all. Yes, I tried my best to get into UI. Right. But, I know, whenever I got into college, I can be a successful person if I want to. I am sure that in this place, I would be able to grow. I will be something special instead of being drowned in the ocean of people, or unnecessary “nongkrong-nongkrong” just like what high-schools had.
Maybe you will spit on this decision. But this is,
My choice. My world. You only read the story.