Welcome readers, my dear fellow cambridge peeps, friends, curious strangers, whatever reason you are attracted to this, welcome welcome. I apologise for this being drastically long, but I’m sure it’s worth reading.
It’s been a few busy days - exams, followed by grad trips, family trips, packing up, graduation, basically many big things going on in life. And finally some time to let all the feelins sink and type this post out - a post to summarise my 3 years in Cambridge. It’s not an easy post for me. Apart from happiness and excitement about graduation, there are many more, it feels rather complicated I call it. Coming to graduation hadn’t felt right nor real. Not until marching into Senate House (where we graduated) in our gown and hood, accepting blessings from families and tourists, for the first time, I feel truly proud of myself. It’s today, right now.
These three years weren’t easy and had never been any easier. Quite different from what people would’ve thought, I never feel proud for being in Cambridge. All I can say is I’ve been extremely lucky, lucky enough to get into MCS, to study abroad, and to get into such renowned uni. Up till that point, my life had been filled with appreciations and respects, and - of course - high expectations. People only got to see the bright side of my life, yet, they never understood the built-up tension and hardship locked behind the “Glow of the Cambridge Crown”. I never showed them, like I never showed my vulnerability, my failure or my weaknesses. I was trained not to show them. The arrogant me being used to be the top of all, this place struck me like I’m the stupidest shit, right in my first term of my freshers’ year. Depression, anorexia, frustration, loneliness, insomnia all swallowed me in one go, made me hide under heaps of readings and cases so that I felt less useless. 400pages of readings, 200cases, 3essays in a week; a 2-people dreadful supervision with the smartest brains for each paper - Cambridge isn’t about the glow only, there’s a reason for that. I cried, I skipped lectures, but yeh I still hid these very well from people around me. Whenever people tried to care about me, I pushed them behind the doors.
Law wasn’t my choice. If you knew me, I’m best at Maths, numbers and statistics, and nothing in my cells is borne for words. Law is rather a family decision. So whenever people told me how proud they were for me, I questioned: is that really the right thing to do? And the fact that Law isn’t my own choice made everything even worse, because at some stage, I was torn apart by family expectations and my own ego. I was trying too hard that I exhausted myself until I started to lose things around me - relationships, dreams and passions. I started to forget my own self, what I like and what I want. All I want were what people think I should want.
So what made me alive again? By letting go and finding your own happiness - the easiest and funniest answer. It’s not easy tho. It’s still been the hardest lesson so far. Letting go. During my final year, I still had the 400pages’ readings and 200 cases, but I no longer exhausted myself to finish all of them. Just finish as much as you can, because there’re always more you could have done. Accept failure. Put your own ego down, open up and talk. Only by exposing your vulnerability will you be unbreakable after all. Enjoy. I picked subjects I enjoyed. I started this blog. I know life’s not lenient and there are many times you are not given any choices. But I’m sure, within the worst option you have to pick, there’s always the happiest way for you to make it through. The blog has been a double workload, but I know I love the way it is. Only if you enjoy that one thing, no matter how hard that is, you can push beyond your limits with a satisfying smile.
My dear Girtonians, thanks for making Cambridge less unbearable. I won’t say it’s been an enjoyable 3years. Saying Cambridge is tough is an understatement, they said. But you guys, being my best companions through the Cambridge journey together, has made it worthwhile at least and are truly, truly the best part of it.
One last important thing. No relationship is single-sided. I thought I've been selfless by holding pressures and depression all to myself and shutting the door of my feelins in front of people who love me. But in fact, I've been utterly selfish, to torture myself and leave others with guilt and frustration. Seeing me suffer but having nothing they could do did not make them feel less bad than what I've felt myself. Thanks for whoever remind me I've been their best even if I'm at my worst. Thanks for whoever told me they knew I am capable of achieving it. Please accept my utmost respect to my supervisors, friends, boyfriend and my family, without you all, I would not have made it through.
Girton, the college far far away from town, you’ll be missed for sure. This place exposed my vulnerability yet left me unbreakable since then. Cambridge, thanks for the 3 years.
Chloe Chow, graduated from Girton College, University of Cambridge with a Bachelor degree of Law. Well done, Chloe, for the first time, you’ve made yourself proud, not for the title, but for the hard work you’ve done.
- Class of 2016
So much love,