i. Being at school from 6 am to 5 pm, carrying family expectations as well as our status as a sandwich generation, and a burning desire to achieve more: being one of the many ambitious Indonesian students is a story that has not yet been explained to the whole world. Each one of us possesses the thirst to fly, to spread our wings, and to sharpen our blades. Drawn in ecstatic, for whom are we trying to prove ourselves? Is it social expectations or just to feed our hunger to explore the world?
ii. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. In Indonesia, the equivalent proverb would be “Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit di junjung tinggi” or “Where the earth is trodden, there the sky is held high”. It simply advises us to follow the local norms, and be respectful towards the local communities and their beliefs. To live here means to live in a world full of culture and traditions, where we need to follow the rules not merely due to obedience but also due to respect and acceptance. From Sabang to Merauke, we are more than 5000 kilometers away, with different languages, different cultures and traditions, but we still consider ourselves as one.
iii. Is Indonesia located in Bali? This question, honestly, makes us bloated. But we replied with a smile, sometimes with a small laugh, “No, Bali is actually located in Indonesia instead.” Perhaps, mayhaps, we are not that well known. But we exist, we strive, and we roam to prove ourselves, to level up ourselves.
iv. To represent and uplift our country is not an option, it is a need. Tell me, how do you define a stereotypical Indonesian student? A thousand reasons to give up, but I choose to stand still. Unwavering. Carrying the voice of my people to be recognized. Terbang dan mengangkasa, to fly to the sky.
Editors: Uzayer M., Alisha B., Blenda Y.