Welcome to Pittsburgh!
I had two most amazing weeks in my freshman year so far not at MIT, but in Pittsburgh. I suddenly got a notification that I got a sponsorship from Siemens to attend One Young World Summit 2012 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, on October 18-21, 2012. I almost decided not to go, because I had a busy week at that time. However, after I carefully thought about it, this summit is a once in a lifetime experience!
So, I departed from Logan on Thursday morning, full of excitement. It was indeed an inspiring experience. I got to listen to Muhammad Yunus, Kofi Annan, Alvaro Uribe, Jamie Oliver, Bill Clinton, Jan Peter Balkenende, Jack Dorsey, Fatima Bhutto, Ron Garan, and many others. Here’s the highlight video.
You can also find the videos of the talks during the summit on the same channel, so I recommend you to check those out as well. My personal favorite session was Muhammad Yunus’ one, during the opening ceremony.
His speech was really powerful; I still remember what he said, “Poverty is not created by the people, but by the system.” He inspired me to major in Economics, although he said, “I started Grameen Bank because I knew nothing about bank. What I do is thinking the opposite of what normal people think. If most of the banks lend their money to men, I did it to women. If most of the banks have really high interest rate, I did not do that. It is incredibly amazing to see and feel the impact of how powerful women can be in the society.” This means, if I take Econ in college, I will just think in the mainstream way, like normal people, haha. If you want to listen to him directly, here is the link.
Another favorite session of mine, from Marc Kielburger (Co‐Founder, Free The Children & CEO of Me to We). You should watch the whole session, of course if you have time.
Another amazing thing is, I got to meet with many Indonesian changemakers who went to this summit sponsored by Indonesian Ministry of Education. They are all amazing, because they have done something significant in Indonesia. I felt minder a little bit, when I saw them, thinking: What have I done to Indonesia?
That was why, I felt a total anti-climax when I came back to campus. I talked to some of my friends here about this summit, and they were totally uninterested. I go back to my normal routine, that is filled with deadlines, essays, and problem sets. I start thinking more seriously, “What am I going to do in the future? Am I going to keep doing this? I am so selfish to pursue my own ambition (and even study at MIT), while the other people at my age or younger in Indonesia still struggle to find something to eat every day. What makes I deserve to have what I have, while the others don’t?”
Those questions keep haunting me these days. When I walk on infinite corridor, when I wait for the elevator in building 24 (which is well known to be really slow), when I sit besides the window in McCormick Dining Hall, when I sit in the west penthouse study room and go through my problem sets.
I want to start doing something viral, but I don’t know how. I feel useless. I get all the chances, but I haven’t done anything significant. I feel guilty to those people, because they might do better than me if they got the opportunity. I don’t understand myself in the past who thought that I could change something after I have graduated from college. I feel ashamed.
Maybe I should have taken a gap year, or cleared my mind before I decided my next step. I am totally lost, and I need to figure out something soon. Or I’ll keep being a kapal yang terombang-ambing tak tentu arah.
I used to believe that I would be an engineer and invent a superb machine to solve all problems in the world, but is it really the case now?
Karena mimpi, hanya tinggal mimpi…