Spice of Life vs ‘Spicy’ Life

My Favorite KompasTV Program: Spice of Life (Episode 19)

I am truly happy that some of you dropped me an e-mail, asking me some questions (about going to school in States, especially). I might not answer it very well, because it really depended whether I was in mood, hehehe. Let me write a recap on most frequently asked questions.

Any tips for applying to UWC? How about the interview?
Honestly, the best thing that you can do is just being yourself. You want your true self to get admitted to UWC, not your fake one. I said this thing because the interviewers will know if you rehearse everything that you say. Chill, take a deep breath, you will be fine. Tell them that your hobby, your deep obsession, and your hidden talent (oh, believe me, you don’t want to know mine, hehe). Try to encourage them that you are a good fit for UWC.

How did you start -everything? How did you go to the US, and how did you get all information needed?
‘Kepo’ should be your best friend. You don’t know what opportunities can come from reading your Twitter timeline, random Google search, other people’s blogs, tweets, or Facebook timeline. Be aware of these sources, and expand your network. I randomly attended the information session for UWC back when I was in 11th grade at SMAN 3 Bandung, and I just tried to apply. Surprisingly, I got an interview call with Indonesian National Committee. Although I thought the interview wasn’t going really well (I was too quiet, that’s just my personal trait), they decided to give me this opportunity. The decision to go abroad was not easy to make, considering the fact that I was only 17. As you know, I did go to UWC, and I’m sure that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

You must be really smart.
No, not really. I would identify myself as a hard worker instead of a smart person. A little bit of luck also helps me (read: God helps me). You can be better than me. You, you, and you definitely deserve something more than what I’ve got so far. It all depends on how much effort you are willing to put into what you believe in.

Information regarding UWC or MIT?
For UWC, try to read all the information available here: Indonesian National Committee websiteUWC website, and UWC-USA website. Get some sense of this school, and if you are still not sure about anything, feel free to e-mail me (my e-mail address: look at the ‘Contact Me’ page). The same goes for MIT. If you want to know how to apply here, check: MIT Admissions Page. Remember, Google is always your best friend!

Now, let’s move on to what has been going on in my life so far.

Freshman spring semester has started. I am taking 4 classes this semester (I know, other people take more than that, haha): 18.03 (Differential Equations), 14.01 (Microeconomics), 8.02 (Physics II -Electricity and Magnetism), and 7.013 (Introductory Biology). So far, all my classes are going really well, and everything goes back into their normal places.

Normal places?

Yes. I was experiencing a ‘gap’ between fall semester and spring semester. 2 months of holiday (including IAP, in this case) was enough for me to start missing classes. At MIT, one semester is approximately 14-week long (excluding 1-week exam period). So, we can count that out of 52 weeks in a year, one year MIT experience happens in 30 weeks (so, 58% of one year). Where does the 42% go?

I really cannot wait for summer. I miss home a lot these days (especially because Boston gets snowstorm every weekend in the past 3 weeks). I want to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr with my big family back in Yogya this year (the last time I celebrated Eid ul-Fitr in Yogya was like… 4 years ago?). I cannot wait to eat Indonesian foods, especially the ones that I can buy cheaply from the food stalls. I cannot wait to meet up with my friends, tell them my college experience (last summer, my friends kept explaining to me how college was like, since I go to college a year late). I cannot wait for the best thing in the world, my normal morning ritual: waking up to adzan (call for praying) in the morning, finding my brother already prepares warm water for his bath, seeing my father turning on the CNC machine, kicking my sister out of her bed to accompany me to go to the market, and eating the best breakfast in the world: my mom’s home-cooked food.

I am on Youtube a lot, recently. My friends and my sister realize that; they are getting used to seeing the random videos I send for them. Every week, I’m always waiting for the new episode of Spice of Life (the video above), the different format of cooking program on TV. I’m also following Raditya Dika with his new slapstick comedy, Malam Minggu Miko. I’m pretty impressed with his ability driving off people from hitting-styrofoam-stick method of comedy.

On the other hand, I’m still working in the Admissions Office; trying to get some pocket money for my high living cost in Boston. It is really interesting, yet a little bit depressing, as the decision date is approaching really soon. I cannot wait to see the ‘best’ students who will fill Killian Court for the Convocation, and rushi through the infinite corridor between classes.

The ‘best’ is the ‘best’; interpret it in your own way, hehe.

I also found a great place on campus: the musalla at MIT. I started going there regularly since winter break, because I was too lazy to go back to my dorm for praying. Sometimes, if I am lucky enough, I will be able to do jama’a prayer with the others. Staying there for fifteen minutes to read Quran has already been my habit. The best place to go when I have too much going on in my head, shortly.

Another thing that I realize: you need some spices in your life, otherwise it would be tasteless. The only problem is, sometimes you add too much spices and end up having ‘spicy’ life.

For now, I’m trying to maintain that balance. I hope this semester goes (super) well, and I won’t be afraid to show what I have achieved in my 25% of MIT experience when I go home.

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, please guide me through this semester, Ya Allah.


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