“What do you want to be when you grow up?”.
For most of you, this may be a simple question with an answer you can probably provide in a heartbeat. Personally, I've always tried to avoid answering this question by simply responding with a shrug and a smile.
Hi, my name is Tiana Thiagi, and this is not a story about how I achieved Straight A’s. This is however, the story of how I took more than 10 years to discover what I want to study at University.
I suppose having grown up in such an encouraging environment, was what led to all the confusion I have had, when it came to choosing a career path. My parents always stressed the importance of pursuing something that I love, so I never exactly achieved that “A-Ha!” moment when it came to ambition. All I have ever known is that I am a full-fledged lover of Geography. Although, I remember heading into the career councillors’ office in Year 10, and somehow ended up telling her that I want to be an Engineer or a Graphic Designer. When I brought up Graphic Design, she actually told me that Engineering would take me further in life but I presume that the reason why I said Engineer in the first place, was because I thought that I would need to be in a ‘practical’ field, in order to be successful in the future.
I graduated from Tenby in June 2016, but only started College in July 2017.
The reason why I took a break, was not because I was not ready - but rather, due to a series of unfortunate events that resulted in me having to start a year later than most of my friends. Many ask what I did in that one year break - some suggested that I was lucky to have had that opportunity, others suggested that it was unfortunate that I spent that much time wallowing and doing ‘nothing’.
I never completed everything that I hoped to achieve, but I did manage to do a few things. For one, I travelled quite a bit, completed a Diploma in Business Administration (online) and I interned for my eldest sister’s Architectural company here in Malaysia. I know that I could have achieved much more, but I am not regretful for anything that I experienced during that time period. The fact is, this gap helped me appreciate school all the more - I especially missed seeing my friends everyday.
To be truly honest, I was not happy with my IGCSE results. Hence, when I enrolled in the Canadian International Matriculation Program (CIMP) in Sunway College, I actually sat down and wrote a list of goals for myself - which has been a real motivator these last few months. Take this for example, I only got a 63% on my Physics paper for IGCSE, but am now sitting at a 90% average for Physics in my program. College has genuinely helped me grow as an individual - I have completed over 100 community service hours, organized events and am now the Vice President of the CIMP’s Student Body this semester.
Fortunately, after completing this program in June, I will be heading to Australia to commence my Undergraduate Degree in Environmental Sustainability, and after that, I hope to complete my Postgraduate Degree in Hydrology.
Though I took a really long time to discover what was right for me, I strongly feel that an issue many of us youths face is how many of the jobs that will be available to us after we complete University, do not even exist right now. So to those of you that are currently in the same position that I was in two years ago, let me say this. Take your time to see what suits you best - passion will only take you far if you put enough hard work into it.
Need to ask me something? Kindly reach out as I am more than willing to assist.