Learning is never confined within the four walls of a classroom. However, it is through the four portals of the academe wherein the appreciation of learning begins. It is a domain wherein Ideas and theories clash, different views and perspectives are expressed and the onward steps to civilization are witnessed.
Indeed, the education system is one of the most potent instruments of every country. It establishes the foundation of a strong and every state.
Anyone who receives good training is armed with confidence, stature and grace. Education acts as an efficient shield against any adversities that are encountered in the real world. An educated individual enjoys the privileges of encountering different chances and opportunities that can improve his or her life and therefore contribute to the whole community. For every parent, seeing their child attain a degree is something that they can be proud of. All the years of struggles and hardships has finally come to an end since education is indeed, one of the best gifts that any parent can provide. Likewise, this scenario has also created a great impact and change in my life.
It has been quite some time when I received my high school diploma. Looking back, the ephemeral and nostalgic moments bring back a hodge-podge of bitter-sweet memories. But I guess, none can be sweeter when I was admitted in the College of Technology. The institution offers two year courses to bachelor degrees in computer-related courses such as programming, network administration etc. The institution is known for drafting students who have the potential to pursue a bachelor degree.
For two and a half years, I have survived all the storms that came along my way. It was indeed a great battle, but I managed to pull it off. All the blood, sweat and tears that I have rendered are worth the wait since I was able to finish my two year course. However, this did not prevent me from achieving one of my most precious dreams—and that is to attain a bachelor degree.
Fueled with motivation and desire, I started to work so that I can support myself. Afterwards, I gathered all my guts and applied for a degree in the college. Unfortunately, my hopes and dreams seemed to disappear into thin air. My GBA did not qualify. The college requires a grade of more than three and a half. I must admit that at some point I felt discouraged. It seemed that hope has finally betrayed me. But then again, the warrior in me refused to give up. I know that rough seas make a skillful sailor.
I continued working for three long years. I consider it as a blessing when I was immediately hired right after I graduated. Those opportunities do not usually come to other individuals. Others have to wait for months before they can finally get a decent job. Mostly of my previous work were on a temporary basis. Yet in a short span of time that I have stayed in a particular company, I have gained a lot. The experiences I have encountered exposed me to different situations wherein my decision making skills were continuously challenged.
Those were the times when I seized the opportunity to develop more of my talents and skills. I knew that in the future, I would surely benefit from it. During those moments, each day is a lesson learned mistakes to correct and small steps to the fulfillment of my long term goals and dreams. As I overcome the challenges that I encountered I am gaining more experiences that are related to my course. The jobs that I have entered served as a good training ground and inspiration for me to pursue my dreams.
As I continue with my life, the awaited opportunity came and knocked me off by surprise. The minister of high education announced that the government is now opening its doors to individuals who want to pursue their degrees in the United States. Scholarships were offered to those who are highly interested. At first, I have no idea that such situation would occur. This is most especially true when the 9/11 attacks took place. Before the tragic event, the ministry of the higher education used to launch scholarship programs to different countries. These include the United States and the United Kingdom. However, when the attacks occurred, scholarship programs in the United States were suspended until 2004.
By the time 2004 came, the king of Saudi Arabia negotiated with the American government. The two parties decided to open the scholarship program once again. At first I was having doubts on whether I should seize such opportunity—to a certain extent that the mere thought of applying for the scholarship program sent shiver to my spine. Finally I gathered all my guts and fill out the online application.
Hesitations, anxieties and nervousness accompanied me as I answered every question. Will I be accepted? Will I be rejected? These are the questions that entered my mind. Deep inside of me, I know that I have the smallest chances of being accepted. I know that there are other individuals who are better than me and competition is indeed very fierce and stiff. Yet, ten minutes after, a shocking revelation engulfed my soul. I received an email stating that I was chosen as one of the scholarship program’s candidates.
At first, I cannot believe my eyes. It seemed like I was trapped in a beautiful dream wherein waking up translates to a sorrowful requiem. Honestly, I found it hard to convince myself that I was among the chosen few. There are many aspirants and I am included in the crème of the crop. A miracle was happening and I could not believe my eyes.
All the memories that I had three years ago flash back. During those times I was heavily preoccupied in processing my application for a university in Saudi Arabia and several minutes later, the last thing I knew was that I was already a candidate for the United State’s scholarship program.
I wasted no time and immediately processed all my papers and necessary documents. I now have the chance and the opportunity that I have been waiting for such a long time. Now that it was already within my grasp, I never wanted it to vanish in an instant. Upon the completion of the requirements, I submitted it to the ministry of higher education. Afterwards, I got my schedule for the initial interview.
Armed with courage and bravery I faced the scrutinizing eyes and critical minds of the panelists. The panel was comprised of respectable members of the academe. Doctors and professors who are working in Saudi Arabia universities are chosen to be among the panelists and they know whether the applicants or students were serious via asking certain questions like: why are you going there? and why did they choose such majors? Through answering those questions, the panel determined whether the applicant is indeed serious about the scholarship program. I was hoping that I would pass the interview and my instincts never failed me. I saw my name in the list.
A month later, I was required to take yet another test. It is similar to SAT which seems to be its counterpart in Arabic. The exam concentrated on math, physics and chemistry. When I was told that I passed the exam, I could not feel anything but joy and excitement. I was aware that I was already on the final step.
I had another interview in the United States’ embassy in Saudi Arabia. This time, the interview is for my visa. An American guy asked me questions that are related to my degree of specialization, the reason behind choosing it, the state where I came from and how long will I stay in the country. I gathered all my confidence and answered all the questions with honesty. After that I was told that I will get my visa after a week. Within the week, I was filled with joy and enthusiasm as I received my passport and student’s visa. The long wait is over, my destiny’s already fulfilled.