I don’t miss AUC

Nope. Not a sarcastic post.

*blows dust off blog*

It’s been a *while* and I’ve been wanting to write about so many things. I’m finally getting a chance to- so yay me. But before you begin reading this rant, here’s a refresher on what’s happening with me (because people care, duh)

So I graduated, took a nice lovely break and jumped into work as a technical support engineer.  (in a nutshell)

Let’s dig in the post now, shall we?

It’s very strange writing this, because I’m a person who relates to places very deeply, I absorb in places with the feelings I feel inside them, and I sort of hold on to this place with its feelings for a pretty long time. If I’ve felt something very remarkable in a place, I can write about it. I’ll keep visiting the place over and over just to remember a certain set of feelings I felt there. This didn’t happen with AUC. I spent 5 years at AUC coming almost daily, and a lot of summers too, and I felt nothing while graduation. I visited the campus only twice since the graduation ceremony. And I’m not gravitating towards going, even though I do pass by around the area a lot. Being a person who develops affiliations, I took time to study why, despite all the time and memories I had at AUC, I didn’t miss it.

But before I spill the beans, I want to make something clear. This post is entirely about the place – not the people. There are professors that I genuinely miss and people that have made an influence on me that I would love to see every day again. And the reason I was able to make that distinction is because I got to know some professors and people personally, so meeting them for breakfast on a weekend would sound very normal.

Now that this is out of the way, here’s a few potential reasons:

  • I don’t see the impact of AUC on me. The person I am today is a result of me, pushing through obstacles one after the other (with God’s help). The courses, the system, the curriculum being taught and the way it is taught didn’t add to my set of skills and strengths.  Yes, I’m able to pin point faults in the system, but that is a sensible result of education. What I mean is, I could’ve been this same person if I went to any other university.
  • I (almost) never felt rewarded.  I worked my life out throughout the 5 years, at least academically. I struggled with understanding courses, and I put extra efforts to stay on the same page as others. Yet I didn’t feel it was paying off. It was all about results. Score well on an exam, do well on a project, ace the assignment. I know people who made their way through cheating and plagiarism and I was barely catching up with their results. Who’s better in the eyes of the university? Them.
  • I didn’t do much outside of studying. And no I wasn’t a loser. I just didn’t know how to juggle a tonne of things at the same time. So I resorted to keeping my grades in check. I did do some extracurriculars but not so much that I’d achieve any self development goals. And I’m not being sour about it, I’m just saying that the way things were laid out and my workload didn’t allow me to do a lot.
  • What comes to the top of my head when I think of AUC’s memories, are the moments where I was breaking down. There are things I just can never forget: the number of times I was frustrated, agitated, or locked up in a bathroom stall crying. It wasn’t a healthy challenge, it was really just bad. I had semesters where I was struggling through everything the minute I stepped on campus.
  • I’m generally a committed person. So when people said that university days were the best because there was a lot of freedom, I just shrugged. I work now, it’s exactly the same thing with commitment. In fact I can sign a resignation paper tomorrow morning but I probably wouldn’t have been able to withdraw from AUC.
  • The friends I made at AUC, I’m mostly still in touch with them and we hangout sometimes, so the people still exist in my life, no change.
  • I didn’t transition into a person who worries more because they are now working/more responsible, because I essentially spent 5 years worrying about everything; so I’m used to it now.
  • I spent the first few semesters just trying to fit in and recovering from the fact that my parents are not with me. It wasn’t the warmest place to land in.
  • The university fees increased several times in the 5 years, putting a real burden on the family financially. The administration never responded to any of the student needs, financially or otherwise; and any aid provided by the university was ridiculous compared to the amounts being actually paid. I never felt that the level of education I got was worth all of this money.
  • I’m very very affiliated to my high school. If you know me, I’m always referring to my school, my school friends and my school teachers. And even though I felt that my exams were the hardest thing at the time, I was surrounded by an environment that was my comfort zone, where I wasn’t scared to make mistakes. The way I remember my school is almost the opposite of how I remember AUC. I remember school struggles, but I remember school fun more.

There might be others, or these might not be accurate, I can’t be definite, but what I do know is that this detachment is very strange to me. I know that me complaining that AUC wasn’t the best place for me, will raise so many eyebrows given that other universities might have it much worse. But here’s the thing: AUC didn’t work for me.  I haven’t seen or experienced other universities to make any comparisons and the purpose of this post is not to. I’m also not comparing uni life with work life, because I do realize the dimensions of the new responsibilities at work.