My story: Choosing a university major

Hello fellow readers! (actually I am not sure whether there is a reader of this blog except me)

In this post, I would like to share some of my story regarding to college. When I was a high school grade X student, I did not know so many possibilities of university majors. I was just a regional mathematical olympiad participant and I only knew one thing, at least, I was not bad in mathematics. Colliding this idea to the fact of my ignorant of majors gives me a simple conclusion as follows.

Inside of me: I am not bad at math. Math needs logic and problem solving. I love math. I love my computer and devices, too [Jomblo syndrome :”)]

Outside of me: University majors? I do not know. I have logic and problem solving skill. What are the majors? Mathematics, Information Engineering (most of us call it Information Technology), and Finance.

Conclusion: information Technology covers the inside and outside of me.

But, thank God, I know what I missed on this simple syllogism. I know majors nothing more than when I was an elementary student. I never focused to browse the internet about the world’s open possibilities. I ignored my future by keep answering Information Engineering to whoever asked me about my future major. I neglected my inner-self who desperately wanted to know my passion, dreams, aptitude, and ambitions. I only lived a routine life with no self-challenge and other cool stuffs. By saying that, I want to emphasize that I only know some you-don’t-say majors like: Mathematics (and other pure science major), Information Engineering, and Finance. That is a stupid move on a life, right? Considering the path you will take for college would determine the rest of your life both directly and indirectly.

Okay, I will stop the whining and get to the point as you have invested your valued time to read this page.

I contemplated days for searching what I really want to achieve in my life. Actually, there was a retreat in Lembah Karmel, Cipanas (You may not have heard that. It is like Catholic retreat. It helps to strengthen my faith so much!). I used that period of time to seek my life’s mission. Then, I realized that I want to make a change. A change of what? Well, I hated many things before. So, I want to change the things I hated, as possible as I can (You know, I couldn’t stop Mr. Soeharto became our second president. Or could you? -_-). I hated my government progress in science and energy and I want to make a change for that.

Remembering mathematics is not merely numbers and calculations but more into problem solving and deductive thinking as well. So, mathematics could be applied to any fields of knowledge. Thanks to my mom, she got me to math course since the 3rd grade X). Concluding IT was a mistake because how can I made a decision without knowing all the posibillites I have and I also know that actually I should not let whatsoever my knowledge and my aptitude now to determine the future me.

I then browsed the energy industry giants, energy technology inventors, recent energy advancement and who made it. After that, I will dig deeper to know who are behind those great industries, invention, and advancement. I then managed to know what major or what thing they learned to achieve that. Then I get some must-search-list: electrical engineering and physics engineering. The first must be popular yet the later is not so. I am still not satisfied though. I want to know what those majors learn. Then, I searched what university is best on those field (in my country and also in the world). After that, a very good idea to do is to figure out what are differences between one university’s curricula to others in the same major you choose,.

For example, I found physics engineering is more challenging than other majors because it gives me enough fundamentals and understanding of multi variables in physics and it allows me to be in the frontier line of physics innovation (I would like to make a post regarding to physics engineering later). I figured out that only some universities in Indonesia have that major: Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Gadjah Mada University, Surabaya Institute of Technology (ITS), Surya University, Telkom University, and National University.

I then asked Ibnu Al Rasyid, a very kind and knowledgeable senior, currently learning physics engineering in Gadjah Mada University (I know him from Lampung’s national science olympiad group in Facebook) about the differences of each university’s flagship in physics engineering. Gajdah Mada is very good at energy (nucelar energy) and remote sensing. ITB is very good at nanotechnology and energy. ITS is very good at optics and lasers. The rest of the conclusion follows my relative interest, such as: Bandung’s weather is good, Surabaya is too far from Lampung, I want to be a renewable energy researcher and inventor, I prefer Bandung than Yogyakarta, and so on.

But wait, you are a mathematics olympiad student. You know nothing more than how to solve Diophantine equations, algebraic manipulations, trigonometry identities, combinatorial ideas, and analytical or Euclidian geometry. How come you can succeed in physics?

You are damn correct that I know those stuffs yet wrong that I know nothing in physics :p, joking, yeah I do not have enough basics on this. But as I said, I do not want my future determined by my past. I want to make changes and who else would help me? I love to challenge myself and I will prove to the doubtful ones that I could succeed in making my long-term goal be a reality!

I would like to have enough knowledge and practical skills to create my own energy industry in Indonesia. I want to develop energy sustainability in my country. I pitied my government who does not (or have not yet) take care the potential of energy independence of the nation. We have so many resources in water, tidal, geothermal, solar, wind, and other given resources from God. In addition to that natural potential, I believe a safe nuclear technology is a compulsory in developing Indonesia.

I want to make changes in Indonesia. I know not many of us love the current Indonesia. Our country’s government is managing to escape from the depth-rooted corruption culture (thanks to your legacy, Mr. Soeharto. But thanks for the development too, peace!). Science and education is lagging behind neighboring countries like Singapore and Malaysia though we were developed better then them before. Underline that ‘before’! We are still facing foreign influence and a fail democracy in our House of Representatives. You don’t blame them purely, blame the uneducated and want to be bribed citizens. The economy of Indonesia is not getting better. Inflation climbing up year to year though it’s said that our economy development is becoming better. But you must know a thing: your acceleration doesn’t matter if you are so left behind others.

I do not want to blame myself or my generation about this. I want to make changes in my country’s energy sectors.

Think big but do not stop at that point. Being a dreamer is a great thing but being an action taker is what our country needs.

Wish me luck!

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