Eternally grateful

It has really been a long while since I last posted something here. Much has happened. The past 3 weeks have been a roller coaster ride of emotions.

First, there was the Pre-A2 exam. It was a week before our entrance examination for Charles University in Prague. So naturally, we were confused as to whether we should just abandon the internal exam and focus on the entrance exam. Flunk internal exam, you would still be alive; flunk entrance exam, that was it. No more chance to enter Charles University.

At first I wanted to give up on Pre A2, but decided not to when my fellow classmates all seemed to be reluctant to do it. So off we studied for the internal exam, which lasted for one week. Then after that, we had just a week to prepare for the dreaded entrance exam.

To be honest, at one point I almost gave up. The sheer pressure, the enormous amount of stress, the non-stop revision and reading and searching for information just to cover the syllabus for the entrace exam was exhausting. Not to mention having to remind yourself constantly that you are not doing enough when other people sleep at 4 a.m. in the morning and wake up at 7 a.m. to continue the revision.

At one point, I said to myself: I am not cut out for this.

At one point, I said to myself: You are so far behind them.

At one point, I almost gave up out of immense despair and desperation.

Yet at one point, I said: I am not giving up without fighting like hell for this.

The struggle was mind-numbing. When the day came, it was obvious everybody was so anxious. There was a professor from the university to conduct the whole session. The test was unlike our normal ones: each question might have more than one answer so we would have to pick the correct ones. There were so many different possibilities to each question and the probability to choose a correct combination of answers seemed to draw near to zero.

That afternoon, came the results. 17 out of 26 were chosen for interview the next day. We grieved for the 9 that did not make it.

Then came the interview, conducted by the same professor. When it was my turn, I was nervous and my mind was blank. I thought I gave my best during the interview. At the end, came the moment when the verdict would be made.

He looked at my entrance exam results, looked at me and smiled. Said in a thick Czech accent: Congratulations, I am offering you a placement at First Faculty of Medicine at Charles University, Prague. See you in September.

The resulting implosion of joy and gratitude to a higher power above made me speechless.

Then again, it was just a verbal statement. We would have to wait for the actual letter of offer. Then came the rumours that not everyone made it through the interview. Emotions were down again that night.

The next day, our JPA officer came and broke the final confirmation: 17 made it through. We were overjoyed, again, at last for the final time. No more up and down feelings.

Imagine the sheer exhaustion of having to endure this. For 3 weeks I focused on nothing except exams and the constant reminder to push myself beyond what my body can take (which I always failed to do). But at the end, it was all worth it. Praise be to God!

Looking back, it all felt like a dream. An amazing journey of priceless experience and the unbelievable feeling of actually surviving to this point.

And for that, I am eternally grateful.