Our Kinda Universe

Our Kinda Universe

I have always thought that my life is just a continuation of second options…

When I passed the grade five scholarship exam, I never got into the school of my choice – well,
my parents’ choice to be exact, for my kid self had no idea what was going on, I never got into
the school my friend and I hope to enroll together after O/Ls. For me, it has always been the
second option, never the first. So, when I did not get selected for the university that I had always
dreamt of enrolling in, it was just another “oh” kind of situation. Nothing to do about that, just
think of what you got not what you lost. It didn’t affect me much and I did my best to adapt – I
found many friends, the lecturers were nice and kind and everything was just fine. I thought,
maybe I just belong in here. But, I have to admit, I did think of how different it’d have been for
me If I had been selected to UoC in the first place. It was just a “what if’ kind of notion, which I
soon cast away for one should not dwell on things that are not bound to happen. Or so I
thought… because who could have thought I would soon have to decide whether to stay or leave
my present university for UoC? Now there was pretty much nothing to think about, I would
decide to leave!

I had no second thoughts, my parents were the same. I was excited – a new beginning in a new
place. However, I would not lie. I was scared. I did not know if I could adapt to this new place,
even though I had friends there who had been with me since my school days. More than that I
was scared about my academic performance. Now, I would not call myself academically blessed, I never have been. I always think that I don’t try hard enough but then again I am not doing
anything about that! So, you see there, that’s just one thing I hate about myself. ( Don’t worry,
I’m not getting into that now!)

Before long I found myself travelling daily from home as a UoC student. I was doing just fine. I
met nice people and found my gang. I honestly couldn’t have asked for more. But with
everything seemingly going well, the inner me had a different approach. I just got here because
of a special intake after all. (Okay, whoever you may be reading would think this is pure
stupidity or madness even. Girl, tell me about it, my inferiority complex knows no bounds!)
Constantly comparing myself with others, degrading and blaming myself at every minor
inconvenience, became natural the more I spent my days here as an undergraduate.

The questioning look on my inner self whenever I would introduce myself as an undergraduate at the
University of Colombo made me think that I was not enough and that I did not deserve to be
here. It was when at those moments I would fall into an overthinking mess. When that
happened, a slight implication of irritation from another was enough to make me completely give
in.

Despite all that, however, I never regretted my choice to come here. At times I would wonder if I
made the right choice but that might as well be a fleeting thought because the answer would be
so obvious in front of my dear friends. Sometimes it would be us talking the veriest nonsense,
laughing out loud, and having fun in our own way. Each day I would come to the university in
hopes of meeting them, the people I love, my found family. There would be times when the sole
purpose of me attending lectures was just to meet and spend some time with them.

Maybe nothing else really matters, beause at the end of the day all I remember would be the
asymmetrical heart that we drew on strawberry ice cream, the blue little slime I drew on my
friend’s tab that was supposed to resemble Rimuru from the anime, “That Time I Got
Reincarnated as a Slime” (I tried!) or that time when we all wrote random phrases in different
languages on the same tablet. Not to mention, those lunch breaks we had, sitting on the bare
ground, sharing food and sometimes feeding each other.

Each of these tiny bits of moments that we shared, together made a huge impact on my university
life. They gave me enough courage to carry on with this hectic lifestyle and made me look
forward to meeting my friends the next day. So, this was the little comfort space we created on
our own – our kinda Universe. A mixture of laughter, banter, warmth and love. A place where we
all feel loved.

And we are just getting started!

Rtr. Chamodi Peduruarachchi

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