Building Your Own Island

I woke up this morning at around 4:30 am, prepared for class and left my dormitory at around 6, so I can study for my first class, which is about 8:30 am. I studied in the empty school lobby, wondering if ever I can pass the quiz this time, and a few hours later I find myself in probably the best time of my life for the past week.

I stepped into the classroom at around 7:30 to find three of my classmates studying as well. We began to chat, review, complain and pretty much what every student did, pre-exam. Minutes passed, more came and more joined us. It’s an altogether unpleasant experience as a student, to cram for an exam and to panic as the time in your hands wane as class nearly chimes in. But at that moment, as we teased each other with questions, memorized acronyms, raced each other to answer another’s questions, and prophesied the items that will come up on the test, I felt like I belonged.

For the first time since I stepped into college, this is the first time I felt like I was part of something. People called me by name, asked for my notes, asked me questions about the test and a lot more. “Maybe it was desperation on their behalf?” I ask at the back of my mind, but no way in my past weeks have I laughed that hard and smiled that wide.

All this time I isolated myself from classmates. I watched from a distance as they chatted with friends, ate together, and studied together while I sit at the corner as a nameless mystery classmate. Little did I know that they knew my name, and I didn’t bother to know theirs. I built my own barriers. And it’s time to take the barriers down.

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