When an undergraduate student asked me why would i want to continue my master, instead of giving any superficial answer to that, i ask them back: Why not?
Choosing to continue our study is just the same way for others who choose to work instead of studying. Its a decision we made after considering all factors, at the time, and for our own reason.
In my case, the question is not ‘why’ we are doing this but ‘who’ are we doing this for. As cliche as this sound, my intention are first, to Allah swt. For whatever im doing are only because of His will, and after i have made all the research (before my own research) on the path id be taking.
Second would be my parents who have been supporting me and stopping me from giving up without putting a good fight while completing my thesis.
Third, myself. As selfish as it sounds, anyone would not do something if it doesnt benefit them or help them make their way into some sort of future path. Even though my research topic arent something that have a definite career promised, i hope it does contribute to the future researcher who will be referring on my thesis later on. Its been a humbling experience to know other people who refers some of your paper written elsewhere. It made you feel that your research does matter, even if its only for one or two people who studies in the same area.
But if there aren’t its okay, some day, someone will take up the same path you walk on, and made the road better than you last walk on from the road you started from. That is after all what research was all about, you contribute to one long road, and made it better. Just like the evolution of telephone, it all started with our grandfather having to dial in circle, to a single touch screen, and it is still evolving until now as we can see how many new phone or gadget launching every now and then.
At first, i wanted to write this when i completed my thesis, but i realize that there are a lot of my friends out there who might need a little bit of motivation as much as i was struggling.
There are a lot of things we research student dont like to be asked, one , is how is your research? You pobably should ask how are they really feeling instead. Also a lot of other things which comes to one possible reason is that people dont know what we are going through because they dont understand. So perhaps its good to share what its like to be a research student ( esp for those who may be considering of taking this path or still continuing this path). There is no definite answer to when we will graduate, because there are a lot of things and detours we had to overcome. We get lost, and found, and lost again and again until we finally found our way to what exactly we are doing and make sense of the things that we struggled back then that lead to where we are now.
One thing any research student will admit is that research is a lonely journey, but you dont have to go through it alone. We do have real, physical, not imaginary friends..who exist not just through facebook. We just dont get to meet each other often, and transform ourselves into small atomic molecules circling on our own orbit. Lol. However, if we do get together, there will be explosive reaction to that either disastrously or beautifully depending on the friends we keep company with. So if you happen to be friends with them, know that no news are good news, because if we do come find you, there is a real problem you might need to spare sometime listening mostly if you have no idea how to help us. We will eventually figure our way out later on, we just need to let it out and be done with it. Unless we specifically request for certain help. Until then, just be who you are to them, a friend or a family, whoever you mean to them, just continue being part of their life.
Meanwhile, those who is going through the i can take care on my own, know that sometimes, we need to let others to take care of you and learn to allow people to walk with you even if they may not understand what we are going through. You dont have to carry it alone because everyone is there to help us if we reach out to them. Help can only be given when we ask, it may not always come right away, but it on its way once you let them in.
The first step to complete our research is to give up…our expectations and learn to accept things the way it is and work from there. That leads to the second step which is to let people catch you as you fall as you try to hold on tightly to your research alone. It takes great courage to let go and trust the ones holding down the safety net below us. They may seem invincible to you but they are there if we stop trying to control everything , thinking that only we can do it.
You see.If we dont have a support system, if we dont admit that we are powerless over the things we cant control, if we dont reach out for help, we will never truly learn anything other than our own research after all these years.we were only focused in reaching our goals that we forget who actually help us reach our destination. Once we do realize this, we would be surprised of how many people whom we owe our gratitude to, whether or not they are good or bad person we are all made up of different people we meet through out the stage of our life.
And sometimes, our problem are much smaller than we think of if we were to look at it from a bigger perspective that, every one of us are walking towards the same destination, which is to graduate. But we never realize that on our graduation day, its the family & friends around us are the ones we are celebrating with and dedicate our gratitude to. For without them, we might fall without anyone to catch us from falling down and maybe get our scroll without anyone to celebrate our biggest moment.
Graduation is not just a celebration for one person achievements but the friends and family who made it possible for them to put on their robe and walk on that stage. Only when we learn to have faith in the people around us that we learn how to believe in ourselves a little. So, have a little faith, because its the only way to believe again.