Five years ago, if you asked me what I wanted to be in five years, my answer would have been almost completely different.
I had been dating my fiancé for a few months, I was moving from a semi-strict Catholic high school to an open-minded performing arts high school on a full academic scholarship, and I met with the unavoidable question: where is my life heading?
As a child I wanted to be a performer. When I became invested in the news growing up I wanted to be a humanitarian lawyer for female sexual rights in South-East Asia. Then I found my passion of working in advertising.
During the end of high school, I thought I was going to go to arguably the best university in NSW, and land a full scholarship so finances wouldn't be an issue for me.
But life doesn't really turn out they way we set out for. As much as we can work hard towards certain goals, sometimes life is beyond our control due to external factors.
I ended up graduating as the DUX of my grade,Valedictorian, and also within the top 3 places in all of my subjects, but not with the ATAR I was expecting. For those outside of Sydney, your ATAR is the overall percentage you obtained during your final year of high school which determines which courses, and universities you are eligible for.
I didn’t get the ATAR I was expecting, and I didn't get the scholarship I needed to attend the university I had wanted to, but I received a partial scholarship in my second preference university.
So I went there instead.
And it was the best decision I made. At my university I got to receive a more hands on education, travel for free on a science expedition to South Africa's Skukuza National Park, and attend the Harvard Program for Asian and International Relations among other achievements.
It wasn't where I had planned to go, but it was where I was meant to go. Without the change in my plans, I wouldn't have all the achievements, experience, and connections I needed to get to where I am now. Having life not go my way was the best thing that could've happened to me.
I thought I would be at a disadvantage, because I had planned my life a certain way. But because it didn’t go my way, I had to work harder than I was expecting I needed to. By having to put more effort in, I was told by almost every interviewer that no other applications had a resume as extensive as mine.
The point of this post is, even if life isn't going the way you were hoping, it may be for the best.
If you are in a position of vulnerability, of complications, or of obstacles you have never faced, it is an opportunity to work harder to achieve results better than you anticipated. Just because others have it easier than you at the moment, doesn't necessarily put them at an advantage.
With hardship comes experience. With experience comes growth.
And now, now that I know my life has a goal, a real purpose which I can gladly wake up in the early morning for my commute, it feels great to be tired. Something really weird to say, but it feels good to be tired. To know that your day was well spent. And it feels good to curl up by the tv, put on my favourite show on Foxtel, and just relax.