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Going the Extra Mile, Literally

It’s no doubt that this ongoing pandemic has brought forward various changes in the way we used to live our lives – most especially when it comes to students’ education. Until now, students are still getting used to attending their classes online through a rectangular screen at home and it’s definitely no ‘walk in the park.’ In my case on the other hand, not only do I have to adjust to online learning, but I’m also required to tweak my entire body clock to keep up with my classes. Why is that? Because I’m in a whole different country.

At present, I am a Communication student who is pursuing her Philippine online classes here in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Sometime during the middle of the semester, I had no choice but to urgently travel because my family was here. I was needed due to unavoidable circumstances and personal family matters that needed to be settled only within a week.

When I arrived, I assumed that I could simply carry on with my classes even if I were to be based from a different location. I used to believe that there’s not much to it, that it wouldn’t make much of a difference – easy peasy! However, there was a tiny yet important detail that slipped my mind when I thought of all of this and that was the time difference. There is a 4- hour gap between the Philippines and the UAE wherein the PH time is ahead by 4 hours and the latter behind.

As soon as I acknowledged this fact, I felt my heart sink a little thinking if I could really make it through the semester. I’ve always been someone who likes challenges especially when it comes to school tasks and deadlines. I want to meet them on time and fulfill my duties as a student because I always imagined that being able to comply with these requirements would mold me into a true professional in the future. Nonetheless, in every journey, it’s no secret that there will always be days where you’ll feel like you’re all worn out.

Following online learning from a different time zone really meant that I had to burn the candle at both ends to be at my classes, finish my tasks and attend to my family. To be honest, my body clock and my head was all over the place. Having to wake up at 4 in the morning to attend my 8am class is all blood, sweat, and tears. Most of the time I’d stay up all night and not sleep a wink until I have finished all my classes. This is all because I was so afraid that I might oversleep and miss all of my classes completely.

Honestly, having to juggle all of these events while dealing with my personal matters and my health was extremely exhausting and stressful. For a while, I felt like a real zombie. Surprisingly, I’m okay with it because I like to believe that it will all be worth it in the end as I aim to graduate with honors to make my family proud. And even if this experience would be the toughest thing I’d run into during the pandemic, I will have no regrets sinking my teeth into it. I say this because I believe each experience, good or bad, always comes with a lesson that will further build my character.

Health is wealth, and indeed it is. However, to believe that I will not be encountering moments in my life wherein I’d have to make a few sacrifices is something I’d have to disagree with. In this ever-changing world, sacrifice and compromise will always exist in our journey towards our goals.

As they say, change is inevitable. So, it is always important to pull out all the stops and go the extra mile especially with things that are in line with our goals. This will bring us a step closer to achieving them. In the end, it will always be worth it.

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