First of all, I’d like to say thank you for being such an inspiration to me and my studies and for helping me see the importance of life and friends.
Let me tell you something about myself.. I had been the kind of person who was very much boxed in, who hated taking risks and getting out of the comfort zone. I valued nothing more than my studies. I usually shun other opportunities laid before me if they affected my studies. I’ve always defined myself by my class standing. Once, I failed to secure the first spot. I landed second. Being in second place was still a great achievement, but being only second made my world crumbled down. Just because I landed one place short, I cried and cried for many weeks. I was depressed. I blamed myself for letting that happened and worst, I blamed God. Why was I so affected? Well, all my life I had always been the first and for the first time, falling a place behind meant to me like the end of the world and the loss of my identity. I thought that people saw me as the girl who’s always Top 1, and not being top 1 meant I am no one. That I’m nobody! But I realized that it was only me who put that label on myself. It was only me who was too hard on myself. It was only me who was putting that pressure on myself. Yes, I have to admit. I’m like Chatur, the Silencer, minus the really stinky and sneaky fart.
But that failure I had years ago made the hugest impact on my life. After awhile, after some reflections, prayers and cogitations, I realized that the world is indeed round, and it’s not all the time you get to be on top. Sometimes, you just have to fall and learn a very great lesson that only a failure can teach: getting back on your feet and rising up again. Probably, if I had never failed, I would have never learned that there is more to life than the academics; that the world is not about always being the top. Now, I know I am better-bounded. Now, I know how to balance my studies and my social and personal life.
One of the greatest things I learned from you is to not let pressure get to you. School is not supposed to be a pressure cooker. It’s supposed to be an institution of learning. What’s the use of knowledge acquired from education if you lost them in the process of being so hard on yourself? I learned from you that as a student, my goal should not be about getting ahead of everyone else, but it should be about enjoying, ingesting and actualizing the things learned and exploring and not being afraid of failing! I learned that I should never chase success, for it will come chasing me if I pursue excellence.
Thank you for imparting these nuggets of wisdom to me, Rancho. I hope a person like you exist in the real world and I get to meet and befriend him. Or I could be that person… I could be that source of inspiration to my friends as you were to Raju and Farhan. I could be that person who pursuits excellence without forgetting that there’s more to life than getting the highest grades and landing always first. I could be that person who puts others before myself. I could be that person who counters difficulties with optimism and faith.
Someday, I hope to become like you, Rancho and tell everyone and myself in the midst of difficulties and pandemoniums that ‘All is Well.”