Alhamdulillah, I've just enrolled in IIUM as a postgraduate student, pursuing Masters of Science in Finance. It was quite a tough transition at first, being lazy at home, watching Merlin, facing Facebook the whole day; to a life with responsibilities, datelines and commitments.
I thought at first that I will be the only one from IIUM Kuantan campus who would be enrolling in Gombak campus. Master J would be continuing his's at Kuantan, nuurraihan was still thinking about it and they were the only ones that I know who would be enrolling back at IIUM. Lonely, scary (sometimes I feel that I'm such a weak person, huhu) and having to be completely independent was what I had prepared myself for; somewhat. But thank ALLAH, nuurraihan had finally decided to further her Masters here too. At least I know a familiar face :)
Deciding to take up postgraduate studies means that you need to make choices on what course you would like to learn. Most people of course, pursue what they had first studied during their Bachelor's Degree, performing more focused research in matters related to their previous studies. Most also take up Masters programme in order to embark through another step in their career ladder. Some on the other hand, sees this as an opportunity to really pursue the course that they really want to learn, but at the same time are afraid that they had registered in a course that will be very different. Then the fretting begins, mostly revolving about the past.
"Why didn't I took up this course when I was an undergraduate?"
"Why wasn't I brave enough to change course on the first place?"
"Why only now did I discover what I really want to do?"
Well, do you know what I think? I think you're strong! Yes, you did read it correctly, I said you're strong.
There are people in this world who choose to live their life the easy way, who always live in their comfortable zone, never wanting to move. Please don't misunderstand me. I'm cool with those who had achieved all this through their hard effort and prayer. In fact, I'm truly happy for you :) and also jealous! Hehe. But I am certainly not cool with those who have a dream and they wouldn't chase it simply because they are being a perfectionist; they simply don't want to face the down side at all, only wanting to be on the top. To me, these people are cowards.
There are also people who choose to chase their dreams. No matter how poor, how oppressed, how misunderstood and other hows they are experiencing, they refuse to give up their dreams. They are like Sirius Black who was still able to maintain his sanity and dream to one day achieve freedom despite the happiness sucking Dementors who guarded Azkaban. They are like JK Rowling who is now one of the richest woman in the United Kingdom just because she fiercely believes in the Harry Potter idea. Before that, she was an unemployed bump, and one step down, would be homeless. And most importantly, they had followed the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad saw who had never back down on his dakwah despite powerful resistance from the oppositions. They (people who chase their dreams) knows that ALLAH's support is always near, helping them to enjoy through and overcome all the hardships that they are facing in achieving their dream.
Therefore you fretters are actually strong men, the ones who are brave; once you stop fretting.
Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had said: Richness does not lie in the abundance of (worldly) goods but richness is the richness of the soul (heart, self).
"Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? they encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: ' When (will come) the help of Allah? Ah! Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near!' "
The late decisions that you had made is something that I cannot answer why. I believe life is an odyssey, different scenes for different people; and the hikmah, or the reason behind it, only ALLAH knows. Or maybe if ALLAH permits it, you will find it someday. That, the former and the latter, I truly have faith in. Because I had experienced it myself. I now know why it's not my takdir to enroll in Bangor University (and I'm not going to tell you! huhu). Or maybe I know only bits and pieces of it, for ALLAH is the ALL KNOWER.
But when the road has come to an end, and you find that it was not what you had hoped for, don't despair. Despite all your good intention of seeking the blessings of ALLAH, hard effort, positivity and prayer; you still fail, don't be forlorn. For ALLAH had promised the mukmins and mukminuns a fine resting place, definitely more rewarding than any worldly dreams and rewards.
"But it is for those who fear their Lord. That lofty mansions, one above another, have been built: beneath them flow rivers (of delight): (such is) the Promise of Allah. Never doth Allah fail in (His) promise." (Az-Zumar: 20)