April 2009 was the first time I stepped on a foreign land: Singapore. Not for a leisure trip, but for a study tour and university visit. I can still remember how I begged my dad to send me on this trip via payphone (yup, that was the most convenient way to call home from my boarding school). Look, I very rarely ask for things–let alone pricey ones–to my parents, knowing that our financial situation wasn’t at its best at that time. However, I knew deep inside that this trip would be the door to achieving my dream of studying abroad.
Turned out, apart from financial reasons, my dad was actually very supportive about sending me to Singapore. After sorting out the payment, he accompanied me to the immigration office to make my very first passport. I was sixteen at that time, and even leaving the dorm for a while to go to the immigration office felt like a dream.
Long story short, my school friends and I spent about a week in the city-country. We visited top schools such as NTU, NUS and SMU. At that point of time, I wanted to be an architect, and studying in Singapore seemed like a good choice for my future. Little did I know, I wouldn’t even pass the document screening two years later. But let’s save that for another post.
Before embarking on the trip, I promised myself not to waste the money my dad entrusted me. Alhamdulillah, not only did the trip open my eyes about education abroad, it also gave me more chances to visit other school trips in the following months. On that same year, I was sent to China with some of my classmates whom I went to Singapore with. The next year, I was able to visit Japan for another school program.
Now I’m not posting this to show off, or to say that everyone has to travel the world. The message that I’d like to convey is that nothing is impossible as long as you believe in yourself and your Creator. Before 2009, I had no idea I would be able to study abroad like this, but that trip to Singapore really opened my eyes that there are things that I could actually accomplish if I kept trying.
Sorry for the rather unstructured post–you don’t have to read it all, really. But I hope, if you do read it, you’ll start to trust your dreams more. Also, don’t forget that you’re not alone. There are always people who will support you, be it your family, friends, or colleagues. Don’t forget to thank them too once you’ve achieved what you wanted, in shaa Allah.