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!