I’ve always thought that I loved what I studied. International Relations (IR) seemed to be a degree that I was determined to finish with pride. I’ve been so wrong, and it took me two weeks of International Law (INTLLAW) *and a semi-covert day out in Ateneo* to find out what I really wanted. It’s true though, that I love to study. I love to read things that have existed for years, and yet never heard of until I’ve read them. I love that professors teach me things that explain why the world is the way it is. My mind is hungry, so hungry that I forgot that I’m made up of more than just a slab of gray matter. I’ve been so caught up in filling my mind that I’ve completely starved my soul. I realised it the hard way.
Studying INTLLAW changed how I did things. I study way in advance, TRY to finish all the materials needed for the day, then review what I’ve studied; I also have other Majors to deal with. I kept doing this routine, until one day, I just cracked. I broke down from the stress, a pressure that I thought I was totally used to. But the stress from my family meddled with my focus to study, and I couldn’t use academics to deviate my attention away from my family. I was completely bare to the emotional attack that I apparently set up for myself all these years without knowing. I had no armour; I was made of glass instead of the usual three-inch-thick-crocodile-skin. I questioned what I was doing, “Is this what I truly want? Getting an IR degree so that I could go back to where I grew up? Is IR what I would have picked at all?” And the answer is, no.
IR was, and still is, an easier way to get into my homeland. And in order to do that, I have deprived myself of passion. It’s been over four years since I’ve done anything that resonated with my soul. I’ve stopped acting, singing and dancing in theatre for the sake of academics. I’ve stopped playing football for the sake of academics. I’ve stopped making short films and short stories for the sake of academics. I’ve stopped taking photos for the sake of academics. I’ve stopped making music for the sake of academics. As cheesy as this sounds, I’ve stopped looking for a girl to fall in love with for the sake of academics. The books I’ve wanted to finish are now quickly gathering dust. Everyday, I just consume lessons and lessons of politics, theories, and law. And although my mind seems to be at its fullest, I still feel so dreadfully empty.
I’ve made a mistake. I thought that I enjoyed IR, but I just enjoy learning. After I had my ‘episode,’ learning isn’t enough anymore. I want to learn with my passions, I want to do my passions, and I’ve made a mistake in thinking that I could live without them until I’ve settled. I should’ve taken Communication Arts as my degree, it’s the closest thing that I love to do, even if job competition is fierce. I wouldn’t care how difficult it would be to find employment, but I could say that I learnt what I am passionate about. It’s way too late now; I can’t shift to com-arts since I’m not made of money. I’m so close to graduating. I think I’ve set myself in a course that forces me to sacrifice the things that make me what I am, just to survive the harsh working world. I have honestly wasted my soul away in studying IR. I love learning it, I really do. IR just isn’t my passion.