Pindah dari Bandung

It’s the start of a new semester for ITB (and a deadline for two articles I have to write for Luminaire) in three days – the first semester that I will not be joining. The idea sits uncomfortably in my heart: the fact that I’m not part of it anymore. But alas, two years have passed. That is as much as I can get.

Meanwhile, my new semester in Groningen will begin on the first Monday of September. I am both scared and excited, as I am with new things.

Being an international student and continuing our degree in a new campus feels a lot like re-entering university, except that we already have. It’s a second chance for those whose campus-life here wasn’t so satisfying, but a sad farewell for those whose were. I belong more to the latter, which I never thought I would be, considering my initial dislike towards attending university here. But I tragically am. I was the only one from my class who did cry (pretty badly) when it was time to hug each other goodbye. It was really at that moment that everything finally, completely, sank into my mind that I will never have a class with them again – full team. And though I may not be very close with each of my classmate, the harmony of us being together in a class is one that I was not ready to let go of. I only finally cooled down after a solid hour.

The day after, I went with a friend on impulse to attend this farewell party that a classmate of mine held in celebration of us parting ways with the regular students. Ironically, only 6 out of 33 international students came, and the remaining handful of dozens were the regular students. Which, in the end, became fair as soon as I learned that there were several of them who will be studying overseas for the next semester too, participating in an exchange programme that’ll last until January next year. It was an interesting experience overall as someone who never goes to such things. I liked it for the conversations it made me have.

In the afternoon of the 7th of August, I moved out of my kosan: packing everything I need after donating and recycling what I don’t. It was the greatest exercise I’ve ever done in a year. My brother and his girlfriend came to pick me up and we arrived at my house a little after 7 or 8PM.

Now, it is a week later, and my flight to The Netherlands is less than two weeks away.

I don’t know what to feel.

There are many things I have yet come to terms with. Like not being able to go to class with Haikal anymore, a dear friend of mine who often picks me up with his scooter when I don’t have enough cash for a Go-ride; no more strolling around Jalan Ganesha and Jalan Tamansari in between and after classes, be it alone or with Nahdia, thinking and conversing about silly things that bring ease to the heart; not seeing Ghany every now and then for a competition or something that he comes up with out of the blue (like our last rendezvous at Kineruku!); no longer tagging along Haekal, Bisma, and Frans from Studio Remmi for when they go to cafes to work at night; and not attending the “compulsory” himpunan events, like faculty orientation and parade wisuda, which as much as I claim to hate, I enjoy coming to and provenly never miss. These things may seem insignificant to you, childish even that I grieve so much about, but they make me truly happy and safe. I hadn’t felt that way in so long.

Living alone in Bandung had always been so fun, so pleasing. Never had I ever been “homesick” throughout the two years that I was there, because I was able to build a home by myself. I cherished every moment that passed, making sure to always soak them into my skin, imprinting everything within.

And I guess, this is it. Thank you for two years!

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“Your bag was secured before the ends of the earth were decided on. You’re chasing things that are already yours. Walk in your purpose. Align yourself with the things you know you’re called to do. Stop stressing over things that have already been written.
Just walk in it.”

The Last of College Dilemma


So I finally sent a withdrawal letter to UMass Lowell on June 30th, which I double checked with my friend who I trust for these matters and since then, I’ve never dared to look back. Strangely, I’m also not looking forward to anything at all in the institution that I will be attending by next month. If anything, the most I’ve done -apart from doing what most incoming students are- is praying to God that everything works out for me in the end. In the meantime, I haven’t really been doing anything worthwhile due to my “becoming numb” towards my interests so forgive me for not writing to you at all for the past several weeks.

lost without you


I think it’s funny now because half a year ago I was still constantly refreshing my email awaiting for a letter or announcement from all four universities that I applied to, and now I barely even do so because I know I wouldn’t receive anything like that anymore.

It’s funny now because I used to get excited of imagining how different things would be by July and the months after “knowing” that I wouldn’t be here in this country anymore, and now I don’t imagine anything at all.

It’s funny now because all the effort that I have given in seems like a dream instead of a memory.


Below is the withdrawal letter for you to read in case you were curious of how I overcame my college heartbreak:

Dear University of Massachusetts Lowell,

My name is Zahra Thania and my student ID is: ——— and I am a registered incoming freshman at your university.

I’ve gathered enough courage to write this email to let you know that I am unable to attend your university as my family and I are not yet financially prepared to pay for the tuition fee and therefore would like to withdraw my admission from the Manning School of Business.

I apologize for not informing you anytime soon. I’ve only recently decided to stay in my home country, Indonesia, and attend the Institute of Technology Bandung after thoughtful consideration.

Thank you for taking your time to review and accept my application. Please let me know if I need to fill in any form for my withdrawal.

Sincerely,

Zahra Thania Atmoko.


This will be my last post for my College Dilemma series as I have finally made a decision to attend a certain university (note: it’s ITB). Once I begin my college days, I will be sure to let you know and write a new series of stories and I hope that you will keep being here.

Goodbye now! I hope to write to you soon x