Selain Kuliah, Ngapain?

Salah satu pesan penting untuk semua anak kuliahan: jangan pernah kuliah just for the sake of kuliah. Dunia perkuliahan itu menyimpan banyak banget kesempatan yang mostly cuma bisa datang di saat kita masih berstatus mahasiswa. Waktu S1 aku bisa dibilang moderate lah tingkat keaktifannya. I involved in several activities, joined some communities, dan sering nongkrong di kampus meskipun ngga bisa dibilang “anak organisasi banget”.

S1 seems like a long time ago, aku pun lupa pernah ngapain aja. Jadi aku akan share kegiatan selain kuliah saat aku S2. The truth is, ketika S2 biasanya kegiatan di luar belajar dan ngerjain tugas itu ngga banyak. Kalau ada kegiatan tambahan pun most likely akan masih berhubungan dengan akademik. Lucky me, aku Alhamdulillah bisa berkuliah di luar negeri, dimana ada kesempatan untuk kegiatan wara-wiri lain selain jadi mahasiswa teladan (padahal ngga teladan). Mayoritas di luar negeri mahasiswa asal Indonesia-nya adalah anak postgrad (S2) jadi yang megang PPI dan acara-acaranya kebanyakan adalah kami-kami ini mahasiswa pascasarjana. Di kampus pun ada beberapa club yang bisa diikuti, kalau di school-ku clubnya dibagi berdasarkan minat kerja masing-masing mahasiswa. Jadi contohnya ada Consulting Club, Entrepreneurship Club, dan lain-lain.

So, what did I do?

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Awal-awal dateng ke Manchester, aku ditawari oleh seorang teman untuk bantu-bantu ngajar madrasah. Muridnya adalah anak-anaknya orang Indonesia yang tinggal di sini. Satu pertimbanganku kenapa mengiyakan tawaran ini cuma karena aku seneng main sama anak kecil. Jadi ini ngga ada hubungannya sama kealiman dan tingkat spiritualitas hehe. Kegiatannya setiap seminggu sekali di hari Jumat sore dan libur tiap university break. Durasinya sekitar satu jam yang diisi dengan baca iqro, story telling, hafalan, dan solat berjamaah. Selesai madrasah selalu ada makan-makan (atau kadang makan dulu baru madrasah). Main sama anak-anak tuh bikin seneng banget and it was a great way to start the weekend.

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Kesannya aku alim banget ya anaknya? But no, not really. Niat utama sih pastinya emang supaya lebih dekat dengan Yang Maha Kuasa dan ngga terbawa pergaulan ala western. Tapi disamping itu, aku ikut pengajian karena bisa kumpul dengan teman-teman Indonesia dan tentunya makan makanan Indonesia. Aku ikut dua macam pengajian, yang pertama pengajian kelompok kecil yang isinya perempuan semua. Kedua adalah pengajian se-Manchester yang banyaknya dihadiri oleh ibu-ibu dan bapak-bapak. Menurutku kegiatan ini bermanfaat banget karena bisa menambah ilmu. Topik yang dibahas pun seringnya pas dengan kehidupan sebagai mahasiswa rantau di Inggris.

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Kebetulan University of Manchester itu isinya diverse banget, mahasiswanya datang dari berbagai macam negara. Jadi, sering kali ada kegiatan-kegiatan seru yang terkait dengan budaya. Pertama kalinya aku berpartisipasi di acara kampus adalah di acara Global Night. Di situ aku ikutan fashion show (ceritanya cita-cita dari kecil akhirnya tercapai). Rasanya bangga deh bisa mengenalkan pakaian khas Indonesia di depan mahasiswa dari negara lain. Kedua kalinya aku ikut acara ASEAN Festival, sama-sama fashion show juga.

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Aku bukan pengurus harian di PPI GM (Greater Manchester), bukan juga di PPI UK. Tapi, aku ikut berkontribusi memeriahkan acara-acaranya PPI. Misalnya, Indonesian Cultural Festival (ICF) dan 17-an. Waktu ICF, aku membantu sebagai koordinator acara fashion show dan paduan suara. Sekaligus waktu itu aku tampil juga: nari saman, paduan suara, dan jadi MC (diborong semua, maklum banci tampil). Yang seru dari ikutan jadi seksi sibuk adalah momen-momen menyenangkan yang ngga terlupakan dan punya semakin banyak teman. Dinamikanya pun ngga sama dengan mengurus acara di Indonesia.

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Aku beruntung banget ketemu sama temen-temen yang hobi masak. Jadi aku sempat nyewa stand bareng 3 orang temenku di sebuah bazaar makanan. Di sana kita jualan, deh. Lumayan loh untungnya. Berhubung aku ngga kerja part time selama di Manchester, uang hasil berjualan ini lumayan bisa nambahin uang jajanku hehe. Waktu lebaran juga aku jualan kue kering ke temen-temen di sana. Alhamdulillah untung juga 😀

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Ini udah pasti sih, semua orang yang lagi merantau pasti ngga akan melewatkan kesempatan untuk jalan-jalan. Menjelajah tempat baru, nyobain makanan yang aneh-aneh, dan foto-foto di tempat-tempat yang instagramable. Tapi aku setuju banget sih bahwa jalan-jalan itu harus. It’s always better to buy experience than to buy stuffs. Dan tentuny ada banyak banget pelajaran yang bisa didapat dari sebuah perjalanan.

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Well, it depends on your interest. Maksudku di sini adalah either nonton bola, nonton konser, atau nonton pertunjukkan sesuai dengan interest masing-masing orang. Kalau aku, dari dulu suka banget art performance. Sejak kecil aku udah ikut ibu dan bapakku nonton teater. Jadi, salah satu hal yang aku ngga mau lewatkan waktu di Inggris kemarin adalah nonton teater. Aku nonton Marry Poppins and it was gooooood. Lalu aku juga sempat nonton balet di London. Ceritanya tentang Swan Lake. It was my first experience dan bikin ketagihan. Aku pengen banget bisa nonton balet lagi suatu hari nanti 🙂

Itu semua adalah kegiatan-kegiatanku selama di Manchester, selain belajar, ngerjain tugas, dan kuliah. Intinya semua kegiatan itu udah membuatku made the most out of my limited time in Manchester. Tinggal di Manchester membuat aku sadar bahwa kehidupan itu ada tenggat waktunya. One day, waktu kita akan habis. Jadi, we gotta do what we gotta do. It’s now or later or maybe never. Aku jadi menghargai setiap kesempatan yang datang dan fokus pada hal-hal yang membuat aku bahagia.

 

♥ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

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Etiquette for the 20s

Since several years ago, I have been continuously reminding myself to always be polite to anyone. It requires only three magic words, which I believe everyone already know: sorry, please, and thank you. I heard that saying sorry too often is unnecessary. But still, we gotta say it when we gotta say it. Like the song lyric, ‘sorry seems to be the hardest word’, not everyone can easily let the word slip out of their mouths. Just recently, I learned that our everyday etiquette has evolved. There are more things we have to bear in mind when we interact with other people (this include when we post something to our social media feed, isn’t that how we interact nowadays?). I got three additional things, at least. Tell me if you got more!

First thing first is easy. Post or share wisely. I’m still working on this part, honestly. I know exactly the feeling of wanting to share many good (and bad) things on social media. When we’re happy, we want everyone to see. We want to share the happiness, don’t we? And when we’re sad, we kind of want to grab the attention of people who care (or pretend to be so). Since it’s my social media, it is up to me. My full authority. I can post anything, as much as I like. But then, I have people who are watching me. Have I think about them and how they feel? Actually, one of my good friend is the one who told me about this and I always remember what she said. This is more or less what she told me “People are going through different stuffs in life.. let’s say, you just got married. You post 5 pictures on your wedding day, and then 2 pictures of how happy you are with your significant other each day consecutively. You might think you’re doing okay, you’re happy and you want to share it. But maybe, one or two or some of your friends on your social media are having a lifetime crisis of finding their true love. Have you thought of how would your abundant posts of love story make them feel? They aren’t necessarily sad. Maybe they get jealous. Or anything.” There is actually a debate about what she said, people argued “Well, you should be happy for the newlywed. You being jealous is your problem, not theirs. Don’t blame them.” and so on. The point here is to be considerate, as simple as that, because not everyone really want to see the story of our life everyday. This isn’t only about the quantity of our post, but also how we share it (the caption, the words we use, how we deliver the message, etc.). And this isn’t only about sharing on social media. This kind of etiquette also applies when we’re having a conversation with someone. Have you ever had a friend who just got engaged or who just got a boy or a girlfriend and they talk about it all the time? If not, just imagine how would that make you feel. So, be considerate.

Second one is actually based on my short survey. I asked a question to some of my friends and made a conclusion. We all are a member of some groups in our messaging apps, aren’t we? Sometimes we ask something to the group, hoping that someone would know the answer. For example, I ask someone’s number to a group: “Does anyone know X’s number?” Sometimes I got an answer, sometimes all I got is a silence. I definitely understand that silence means no one knows. But why don’t people bother to answer ‘I don’t know’ anymore? So I did this survey: “Would you prefer to get an ‘I don’t know’ or a silence?” and all the responses I got are get an ‘I don’t know’. Therefore, from now on, it’s better for us to make a bit of an effort to type I don’t know rather than stay quiet. Help other people feel appreciated.

This is the last thing, which actually kind of similar to the first one. I actually read this from my friend’s post on Path. This is again about interacting with someone, especially those you haven’t met for a quite long time. Rather than asking ‘where do you work now?’ or ‘have you got kids?’, it is better to ask ‘what’s your daily activity now?’ or ‘what’s your plan for the near future?’. The latter questions will develop more conversation and are less judgmental. The first two questions kind of give some pressure to the person you ask. Less likely that they will be open to us after hearing those questions. And, be careful of the response we give to their answer. Be excited about it.

So, those are three additional points of etiquette I learned and I really try to apply. They weren’t there before. They just came when I grew older (more mature, I mean), when life gets messier and full of unnecessary expectations from the society.

Have a good weekend, guys.

 

♥ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia