We’ll Carry On

Meet Nazhifah Junia, a newly official bachelor of medicine. After months of conceiving The Undergraduate Thesis, I finally gave birth to it on October 15th, 2018. My “thesis pregnancy” journey, of course, wasn’t a common one, but then again so is everybody else’s. Each one of us has our own story of conceiving, nurturing and delivering our biggest academic writing yet.

Undergraduate thesis or what my faculty called Karya Tulis Ilmiah or scientific paper is a compulsory document needed if you want to graduate. It amounts to 3 credits (I know, only three, but that’s okay?) and has an expiration date of one year, but can still subject to renewal if you have already presented the first three chapters in proposal seminar, often called sempro.

I first registered my bachelor thesis title under the Department of Pediatrics in October 2016 but was canceled due to an unavailable slot (I did not know then, my ex-supervisor did not know then, it was a late information, really). I then registered a new title under the Department of Clinical Pathology, after helping my then future thesis supervisor and examiner’s research. The title, The Difference of Lipid Profile in Coronary Heart Disease Patients with Diabetes Mellitus and Without Diabetes Mellitus in Dr Soedirman Hospital Kebumen was registered on July 2017. I did my sempro in December 2017, I know, what a long gap, six months, really? I was just caught up in doing other things that were seen as very important then.

After my proposal seminar and its revisions, on February 2018 I submitted my proposal to the Ethics committee, I had to wait for my research’s ethical clearance which turned out took almost 4 months to be published. These four agonizing months of waiting were filled with academic exams, more academic exams, and more life exams, like tuning out my anxiety, coping with unmet needs and other things. In early June, finally, I could propose my research purpose to the hospital I wanted to perform the research about. This marked my first road trip to another city.

I was finally able to do sample-taking in July 2018. I learned to trust and to not trust some people. I also learned to befriended hard work and weariness. I spent the days in Kebumen in my best friend’s place, that being said I had to follow her routine (even though sometimes she left the house very early and I woke up an hour or two after). The realization of what would come after me in life became crystal clear: clinical clerkship is a collection of never-ending learning, consoling people and make peace with yourself. A real manifestation of what my life will be in the future as a medical doctor.

Mid-July 2018 was in itself a test for me. I fell sick and had to be hospitalized, which also meant a pause in my thesis making. A time away from my thesis pregnancy. In this time, the heartache, or should I say, the broken heart finally made its way to me. The somewhat world-shattering experience. I managed to get through, though, but like any other wounds, the healing needs time and some often ended up as scars. That’s unbelievably inconvenient, I have to admit, but that is a part of living.

August and early September went by so fast, my thesis was done but was once again faced with another challenge. I was torn in two: make an effort and waiting for a response. The long-awaited response finally came on a Friday. My parents’ prayers manifested. I was scheduled to have my bachelor thesis defense on Monday. It doesn’t stop there, of course. The real struggle came after.

I had to somehow manage to get done what to me seemed to be vague wishes and faced with uncertainties. Only my closest ones and the people who actually saw me in campus who know my real form during this time of life. I was messy. Hopeful but messy. Hopeful but afraid. During this time I also realized that there was nothing I could’ve done but pray. My prayers’, my parents’ prayers’, my best friends’ prayers, my family’s prayers’ all manifested, I was okay and will always be okay, InshaAllah.

Again, I must say, everybody else must’ve had problems too with their thesis pregnancy and I’m just so glad that my bachelor one’s now officially done. The whole experience has taught me a lot about life, people and myself. This is not the time to remember what has passed, it’s time to prepare myself for the future challenges life has prepared for me.

We’ll carry on. I’ll carry on. This is the start of beautiful new beginnings!

Acceptance of The Now and New Short-Term Goals

“I am my mother’s novel daughter: I have my duty to perform.”

These last few months had not been easy for me. I have conquered some of my fears and built up new ones. I have made some new friends and lost the old ones, but most importantly I have let go of my demons. I have learned to grow.

The idea of being a medical doctor to me was the only idea that matters most, one that should be taking place soon, the only idea that has to be put into perfection. Getting to know how a disease happens and the possible ways to treat it is what I really want to dig deep into, regardless of what I have involved myself in university life. Not getting things done according to my timetable sucks, I haven’t achieved anything medicine related lately (like getting my thesis presented), but, God has plans and I have to comply.

It was hard, however, to accept the situation God has decreed for me to have at this moment in life. Nevertheless, I’m so lucky to be surrounded by my parents and friends who are so supporting, understanding, and nice. The thing is that… you just gotta accept what is coming your way, after all the attempts, prayers and sweats, it is what it is. Be patient and stay hopeful.

I have come to the realization and have accepted that maybe I’m not so smart, unlike my other friends, but I want to be a doctor and I will try my hardest to become a good one.

Saya tidak pintar, tapi saya mau!

I have set some new short-term goals (some are long term), achievable ones, ones that can be measured before I continue my study The Clerkship alias Co-Assistant (estimated: November 2018), among many are:

  1. Be nicer to mom and dad, after all, they’re the only living humans who would do literally anything for my happiness and well-being.
  2. Fix my vertical relationship with God.
  3. Re-read and take notes on my preclinical books and presentations.
  4. Write at least 4 blog posts a month, write more poetries.
  5. Work or be an intern, if the time before clerkship is enough to do so.
  6. Frequently visit Bantul to see how Mama Piara is doing now that Tita is moving to Madiun to do her clerkship.
  7. Learn to cook edible and delicious foods, that being said; eat more vegetables and drink more fresh fruit juices!
  8. Teach younger kids or my juniors medicine/biology-related lessons (or any other lessons, really) for free.
  9. Take more beautiful photos and smile more.
  10. Have my own business. Or partnered to have one.
  11. Speak more English, learn more Latin (by reading Sobotta and memorizing human anatomy like its easy; 1 month = 1 book) and try learning French at least 2 words a day (before taking serious class after internship insyaAllah).
  12. Save more money, buy less, cook more, make more of something on my own.
  13. Take a better care of my body, my skin, and my hair.
  14. Call home more frequently, give encouragements and motivations to my younger cousins and speak more to Oma about all the good things in the world. Talk more politics with Papa, Papa Oni, Papa Han, Papa Ferry. Have more heart to heart talk with Mama and Tante Heni.
  15. Spend times for my best friends whenever they need someone to talk to or to cheer up their days. Basically just reach out to them before they do to me; understand that the amount of stress clerkship put to them is heavier than my not-yet-co-assisting life.
  16. Go somewhere nice, alone. A solo trip!

Anyway, I got sick a few days back. Got myself laying on a hospital bed because of Typhoid Fever. I need to really be careful about picking foods to eat, this was the second time I have to be hospitalized for the same cause. Photos were taken a day before being discharged, hence the happy face. Friends who came were all so nice, they brought foods and jokes. The nurses and doctors who took care of me were all amazing, I couldn’t thank them enough.

Moral of the story: be fit, watch carefully what you eat, being sick costs you more money than being healthy.

Special thank you to Inov and Naela for always being there whenever I’m sick, Team Hooray, to Tika and Eka for the never-ending support via the phone! Also Prita and Verlita who made the time to accompany me the last night in the hospital and had to sleep in a very limited space. Thank you to everyone who came and visited and all those who prayed for my recovery. Cheers!