When I was little, I always dreamed of being a rock star ever since Hannah Montana came out from Disney. Every time the opening plays, I would always be on top of the bed and singing and dancing along while using the remote as a microphone. Sometimes my mother would even scold me for jumping on the bed. Though as I got older, I realized I cannot be a rock star since I was not that musically involved as Hannah was nor did I even have the voice to be one. Then when I was in sixth grade, my English teacher noticed that I was quite good in writing, so she encouraged me to join the school paper in which I did. There, I discovered my talent in journalism something that I did not know I possess. It also happens to be that I was chosen to be a part of a contest, the annual Division of Schools Press Conference, a contest that I had no idea was going to be huge and I was assigned to the Sports writing event. My coach for that event would be no other than our principal himself, a wise man that many people including students and teachers alike respect. To be trained under his wing was an honor because despite the small amount of time I had training under him, I learned a lot from him. When I arrived on the venue, I was surprised at the number of contestants. I felt like I was swimming in an ocean of sharks, but I was not going to let these ‘sharks' intimidate me. After witnessing the live sports event that we were going to cover, I had taken the necessary information needed for my article and proceeded to the room where we will have an hour to formulate an article. I applied everything my coach taught me and submitted my article written in the official paper. The results were to be announced later that day and I did not know what to expect, I did not whether I would win or not, but I thought to myself that someone like me would not stand a chance against those seasoned contestants. But the unbelievable happened, my name was called to come up on stage, a surge of joy and pride ran through my veins. The feeling was foreign to me, but I could not help but smile as I received my medal and certificate, who thought that someone like me who lacks experience would win 2nd place? I was so mind blown that it took a moment for me to register that I would be going to Camiguin for the Regionals. From then on, I became confident with my writing skills and continued to expound my vocabulary by reading articles, books, stories and any reading material I could find. Though as time went by, I realized that as much as I love writing, I did not enjoy it. So, as I continue to find my dream, to find what I really want to become in the future, I let my mind wander by watching films. That is when it hit me, filming and theater arts are the things that I am most passionate about which would explain why I would have the urge to re-enact the most intense scenes of my favorite actors in my own bedroom as a kid. Why I would spend hours back then impersonating people and experimenting on my facial expressions and imitate various accents. The reason why I would be in awe every time an actor has wonderfully delivered and embodied their character, as I pay close attention to detail and dialogue as well as search for any sort of symbolism in movies. It was something that I enjoy. It was something that I look forward in doing soon and as young as I am now, I want to practice it as early as possible. I already have experience in both video and photo editing, my photo capturing has also gotten better and I intend on joining as many workshops as I could that would enhance my potential and my passion in film making grow stronger. There is only one problem that might hinder me from pursuing my dream and that is my family. Mainly because film schools are pricey and as much as I want to pursue it, I do not want to financially burden my family. Also, the last time I opened up to them something similar like theater arts, they were not quite convinced. Even my grandfather was not into the idea of me starring in films because he does not find it practical compared to courses let's say nursing. I admit that broke my heart a little but just because they are not in favor of the idea does not mean I am going to stop myself from pursuing it. Which is why I find ways to enter in different academic institutions that offers courses of my interest by looking up and planning to apply for scholarships. I may still have one more year to worry about it since I am still in Grade 11, but I just want to tell that whoever is reading this, whoever you are, that do not stop dreaming. Pursue it if that is what you truly want. I once read a quote from my school's computer laboratory in which it said, “Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession.” It was a statement that struck me so much that it has instilled itself in my own mind and has become my motivation in life. Because I know one day, we will all achieve it no matter what.
“Habibie is doing something abnormal,” that was what the Indonesian media said, when a young man appeared as the crack man who comes from Indonesia. The headline news about Habibie in the early of 1990's remains me of myself. I remember, TV stations reported that a genius from Indonesia, who studied in Germany, just landed in his homeland. From the day he arrived on, he was asked to be the creator of a plane. Every time I put in an application of overseas scholarship, I always remember how Habibie fought against impossibility to reach his dream, e.g. designing a plane for Indonesia. His spirit never disappeared although Indonesians mocking him excessively. That story reflects my story in order to be successful young woman. Even until now, people around me ask, “Are you really pursuing Dr. Phil. degree in the UK?” It is annoying sometimes because they question it again and again. About five years ago, I registered as the participant of scholarship at Leicester to attend master degree. My comrades interrogated me, “Leicester? How can a student like you be a master student there?” Then, they laughed at me in front of the others. Honestly, I couldn't finish the application procedures because of IELTS score. I was cursing God back then. A year later, I took IELTS test in Jakarta which is more than 120 km away from my homeland. It was my first trip to Jakarta and searching for the direction to reach IDP Education. During the travel I was faced with different experiences, e.g. the bus drivers left me behind. Then, I should run up like a crazy girl. “Run!” the bus conductor yelled at me. I increased the speed that made me sweat a lot as if I was exercising because Jakarta was doubtlessly very hot in time. After asking anyone who knows Jakarta very well, I could find the IDP building and was on time. The failure of scholarship in Leicester is not the only one failure in my entire life as scholarship hunter. Totally, there are about 20 scholarships more in at least six different countries. As I failed so many time, people call me “The Dreamer”. It seemed that I gained more energy to get other scholarships. Finally, I was chosen as guest student at University of Freiburg to conduct a thesis research in Freiburg, Baden-Wuerttemberg. This means, that I studied master program both in Indonesia and Germany. After struggling a lot within 1.5 years, I got Master of Art degree on December 2016. Once more, I was underestimated again after graduation day. People were laughing at me (again) for having an idea to write a dictionary about Sundanese in Majalengka because I am the native speaker of it. “The history tells us, that no Indonesians can write a high-quality dictionary,” someone told me. When I begged for help, nobody nodded. Then, I was driving alone around the district of Majalengka to collect the data because most of them stayed away from me. This 3-year-investigation results in a Sundanese dictionary spoken commonly in Majalengka and will be published this year. Ironically, when I submitted the manuscript to an India-based international journal on December 2018, the Indonesian comrades said, “It won't be considered to be published.” However, God thinks of another way. That manuscript was officially published on January 2019. It leads me to get an award as Best Academician in Linguistics from RULA Awards India, Idamas Learning Centre Malaysia, World Research Council USA, and United Medical Council UK. As the only one Indonesian who got chosen (although a bad experience happened because they put Dr. in front of my name which is totally wrong because I am still struggling to get Dr. Phil. degree), it is absolutely an honor to stand there at the stage and deliver the speech in front of more than 100 invited guests. It is undoubtedly good beginning as the new linguist and lecturer of Linguistics. Moreover, it proves that my hijab is not the big obstacle to get the highest achievement abroad because as the foreigner, I always feel that I am acceptable everywhere. No matter which country I visit, I am warmly welcomed most of the times. Almost at every single attempt people are mocking the effort I make to get overseas job. More than 30 universities in Germany responded my job application negatively. I waited for years to print invitation letter out to work in Germany. I am believing in something, “Where ever you are, God is always with you. By your side to protect you.” Recently, I am working in Germany and pursuing Dr. Phil. degree in England. So, I'd like to say to the dreamers, “Keep fighting! Don't ever be afraid for being a minority because the world is really friendly as long as you behave well! Your life belongs to you, not to others. And the world is so small that you can travel around every time.” Maybe Krakatoa is so big, whereas I am bigger. It is because I can move to everywhere at every time with everyone, compared to Krakatoa which still remains solidly in its place for the whole time.