Yesterday was the day that finally put an end to a struggle that lasted five whole years. Yesterday I obviously signed the paper which officially makes me a teacher of English. Some people find college a breeze. Some people go through university as if it is nothing. Five years ago, I did not know that it would be so hard for me to finally get my degree.
You see, it weren’t the subjects that were difficult. I loved learning. The more I had to read, the better. Especially literature was my thing. I thrived. I was happy. Yet for a long time I was too much of a perfectionist. I always wanted to be the best. I did not want to take resits. A 6 was not enough. I wanted it to be at least an 8. At one of my internships, I was told: “If you do 100 things and 99 go right, you keep focusing on the 1 thing that is going wrong. Why?” And I would say: “Because I already mastered the 99 other things. I want that one thing to go well as well.” “Don’t,” he would answer, “be proud of yourself. Being perfect does not exist.”
So I let go of my idea that I should be perfect. I was happy again. Then I started to lag a bit behind and everything came at the same time and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I started getting panic attacks. It got so bad that I decided to take a 5 month break and focus on getting back on the right track again. I had some more drawbacks, I struggled with writing a thesis (even though at the ceremony they said it was super easy for me), but when they finally said “Congratulations, you’ve passed!” I was so very happy. It was over. Done. I won. I conquered my anxieties. Another chapter closed.
At the ceremony they described me as “the Lady Gaga of the teacher training programme”. They said I had a feeling for drama and expression and that I loved life. And as I stood there I realised that yes, I indeed love life. Sometimes it is hard. Often I wonder where the hell life is going to take me. I don’t really have a clue. I am just very excited for this new chapter.
What I’ve learned these past five years? Always keep fighting. Always keep learning. Always keep believing in yourself and you can do anything. This sounds very cheesy but it is true. If you don’t change your life for the better, no one will.