During the month of August in 2016, knowing my life as a Third-year student is about to start, I could not bear asking the seniors about their experiences in the previous year. It is widely known among university students that the third-year is the toughest.
“You will be fine. You will get through the third year just fine,” said by one of the senior students I know. By hearing that, I felt a little bit relieved and uplifted. However, the feeling did not last for long as he continued saying with a playful smile, “…but with the course JM310. You’d better be prepared for that.”
Definitely, I asked possibly almost every senior students I know about the JM310 course, Editorial and Article Writing. I was told; I will have to face countless numbers of assignments per week, numerous group works with people whom I have never even talked to, and pages of class rules to follow.
Shockingly, I wasn’t terrified by those words. Instead I was terrified by knowing I have to do many assignments that are concerning writing skills. When I was a freshman, I was truly looking forward to this class as I have once dreamed of becoming a columnist.
Although the dream might have faded through time, a part of me still await for this course, JM310.
‘Lost’ is how I would describe myself as at the time. I was lost. I was misplaced. I was in the middle of the road where I, at the starting point, was led and driven with passion to the destination that was once marked with a definite goal.
However, as we all know, the world never stops spinning. The climate is always changing. The fog, the cloud, the dusty wind could always come and block my sight, but as brave as I wanted to be, I decided to keep walking forward. I might have to shorten my pace. I might have to walk more slowly and carefully. I would do it. It is better than going back to the start nor stand still waiting for help, right?
“There is always a way.” My father has always said to me when I’m feeling lost.
JM310 was an opened gate for me to seek and find out what exactly is it waiting for me at the end of the road.
From being utterly terrified by knowing there is a vast amount of work waiting ahead, at the end of the course, I happened to find myself actually enjoyed doing the weekly assignments. I might have complained from time to time as there were also much work assigned from other classes.
Ajarn Bruce, an instructor of this course, has always told us that we should always devote ourselves and most of our time to the work from his class. At the first time he said it, I didn’t really care and agree with as much. I see it was absolutely senseless to devote to this only class. There are also other classes I have to dedicate my time to.
However, four months of attending his class, I have learned a lot more than I expected, and I have found that it was me who was being totally senseless and silly.
Ajarn Bruce did not want us to merely dedicate all of our time to his course. He wanted to push our limits. He said it to remind us something most people would have often looked over.
“Time is limited and precious”
Numbers of assignments have not only improved my writing skills but also have taught me to manage my time. I must admit it was one priceless lesson.
Having been living on this Earth for almost 22 years, I have come to realize that when you have no choice but to work as a group with strangers, ‘trust’ is crucial and much needed. When it comes to trusting, I give it to people easily, and consequently I often regret it later. In this class, I did regret trusting one person but from that I have learned not everyone is willing to devote themselves to work. Most importantly, I have learned that everyone deserves a second chance.
To say the least, learning to deal with people whom are completely new to my working life was an invaluable lesson. It didn’t only get me to know more people in the class but also get me to understand my own self better.
‘Self-evaluation’ article was one of the assignments I like most so far. It was not a major piece of homework but it had helped me reflect and view myself from my own perspective. I spent almost 8 hours writing 500 words about myself. People might say it is an easy piece as it is merely about ourselves. For me, it was the hardest. It was never easy to wrap myself into a length of A4 paper.
However, it was why I liked it. It was challenging.
JM310, Editorial and Article Writing course, has helped me see the path to my future-self more clearly. JM310 was worth it.