2008 marks the year I completed my matric. The year was full of confusion and excitement as anticipated for most matriculants. Personally I felt like a failure. I had not done as well as I anticipated, and I really wasn’t sure what marks to expect. I did send out my applications, as early as from July. In January 2009, we were eager matriculants running to varsity institutions to submit our marks to secure our spots. But I was one of those who were rejected in all places, all because it was full. I thought I wanted to be a Biochemist, or a doctor. The rejection just gave me time off to think, a gap year that was not planned and was the hardest of my life.
Boredom was heavy on me, while listening to friends experiencing first year on social media. I enrolled for a short computer course which I didn’t enjoy but did learn a few things. I travelled a little, but still the emptiness inside, the desire to just go ahead with my studies ate me alive. I am a Christian and this means my Faith is in God. I pray, in good times or bad times, faith keeps me going but at this point that too was hard. Praying, believing. I started to believe every negative word ever spoken to me, I felt I had failed. Not just did I fail myself, but my family too.
A year later, I’m enrolling at one of the best universities in the country, UCT, studying towards a BSc in Chemistry. I only spent three years at UCT, and though things were perfect, all I had to do was work hard to get my degree, I lost it. The passion, the desire, I hated what I studied. Somehow I felt dead inside. I know its only a few who can relate to this, much as I tried explaining to my parents, they did not get it. All they wanted was for me to hold on and finish. But it wasn’t gonna happen, not that way. I was not even giving 50% into my studies. It wasn’t me. I did my research and really inquired, sought help, and decided to start over. One of the hardest decisions I had to make. And I had a team around me that supported me through the change.
6years later, in just a couple of months, I will complete my first degree, in Industrial Sociology. I took long, but this too is not a unique story. Many share the same fate. While some finish their degrees well in the prescribed years, others take a while due to a lot of factors that contribute to their progress. For me I needed to find myself, to know who I want to be, and find a way to link my passion with my degree. I’m so glad I persevered through this journey. My degree is not just a paper that marks my academic record, to me it marks the journey, since 2010 when admitted at UCT, to this day as I complete it via the University of Pretoria.
LAM was born through this journey. Education is a huge elephant that cannot be left to the teachers and the government alone. We are here to offer support in the best way we know how. Everyone has a different tale, but regardless we all need someone to offer us help when we need it.
Original Story from Kefiloe Bopape’s Blog Page.