I had that moment again. A melancholy+spiritual+inspirational moment.
Most of the people I know, friends and all that, who went on to follow the ‘normal’ stream are already working professionals . Normal as in school->uni->degree/masters->professional normal. As for me I could’ve been a degree engineer if I didn’t decide to drop my mechanical engineering degree program (after I got my diploma) and joined the trainee aircraft maintenance program. Why?
I hated the program, the way it was implemented. But I think that could be just me. The other students didn’t seem to bother. The first day the lecturer of the Strength of Material stepped into the class, he straightaway wrote a few formulae on the whiteboard and kept on expanding them, expecting everyone to understand what the hell they are for. Well I could be slow but then again I couldn’t see the rationale behind such lecturing. ‘Alright copy them down and memorize it!’ he said. My head exploded. Needless to say I flunked the subject. My interest waned rapidly.
Luckily I knew a female lecturer who happened to be the head of the Aerospace Engineering department at that time and also my academic adviser who understood what I was going through. At first, she insisted that I should try to go on with the program but I told her what I truly felt and she just told me to give my all in whatever I do. A few of my closest friends tried to persuade me to stay on but sorry, I’ve made up my mind. This was one of the biggest decisions I’ve made in my life. A tummy-wrenching, brain-squeezing, lip-biting decision. My mother was upset. I was upset. I was lost. I needed something. I could only find me and thankfully the Almighty.
Here I am, 3 years spent in diploma, 4 years spent in the TAME program and still chasing the first trade license and that engineer title. The school that I enrolled in had to struggle with legislation problem during its early stage. Not really a serious one (or was it?). From what I was told, some unnecessary statements were typed in some documents which were then used by some parties as a trump card to deny my school the right to conduct this program. Bummer.
Time went on, issues resolved. People are happy, well my batch aren’t. We are the only avionics batch. The director of my school in a private conversation admitted that, it is extremely extremely hard to find a qualified avionics instructor and that they might never open up recruitment for any future avionics trainees. Study on our own we shall.
I came to know a lot of great people in my program, who more or less suffered the same case as I. Fakhri, gonna be 29 this year, already got a degree in aeronautical engineering but decided to join this program. Naim, 29, married, was already in masters degree program but he dropped it and joined us. Earlier, we had an engineer from CTRM, Hafizan, who aspired to be a licensed engineer too, but he couldn’t bear with the uncertainty and left for Singapore Airlines and became a pilot…his rezeki. Ajamain, 27 this year, degree in aeronautical engineering, was diagnosed with tuberculosis during our first year, he had to take loads of medication and became super thin, but he’s ok now. Syakirin, was a hardworking, inquisitive person, he left after we finished all the required modules and went on to work in the Oil and Gas industry. Mustaqym, Zulkarnain, Zaki, Rahim, Yushaimi, Audi, Hidayah, Mazni, Sherry and yours truly Anwar Yasser Zulkifli. All of us went through unexpected difficulties which include financial, educational, and in what ever form that you could think of. These difficulties didn’t break our spirits, it bonded us closer and we became more resilient than ever. We saw qualities in each of us that helped us to keep our heads up and look at the beautiful horizon. We held each other firmly so that we shall remain standing even when the tide hit to bring us to a new low. I am glad that I am a part of it. My dreams might take a little longer to be reached, but I’ll be there. The time is near, just need to give time, time. Chins up my friends, chins up.