Every generation sacrifices so the other thrives. But perhaps the trials and tribulations that my parents endured in the way of educating me and my siblings would perhaps be very singular. Devoid of education and opportunities themselves, they understood the value of a good education more than anyone else. The result is that all three siblings of mine are now studying in medical colleges with one in RMC, one in KEMC and one in FJMC. But for those achievements, my uncle deserves no less credit whose vision, determination and resilience were a constant source of inspiration and guidance for all of us.
Yet the lines of success are not as smooth as the lines of my story would have you believe. It has its own directions to dictate over-riding those of our imaginations, taking us places where we least expect. Failure is often the result when the unfamiliarity of the path makes us blunder and stumble along the way. Yet anyone who dares to dream has to taste the morsel of failure, because that experience ultimately redeems itself. It is because failure toughens our bodies with endurance, strenghens our minds with understanding and softens our hearts with compassion.
A biggest blow came very early in my life when I lost my mother, that center of gravity in whose influence everything from love, life and ambition made sense for me. But that thread was lost when my mother departed this mortal world to return no more. However, in my aunt, I found a new center of love, affection and care, someone who put a meaning back into all of our lives.
I started my academic journey from a public school forty kilometers away from my village. I studied there until my 5th grade retaining top positions; it closed down then and we moved to Skardu. In Career Guidance Public School Skardu, I remained among the top position holders throughout the year, in both school and board exams. Afterwards, I completed my intermediate in Military College Murree and later got a degree in BSc Mechanical Engineering from Mirpur University of Science and Technology AJK.
I had had my fair share of failures by then, but ultimately I ended up at a very good university in China- Harbin Engineering University. I was delighted to fulfill my life-long dream of studying abroad. Though I changed my major to Nuclear Science and Technology for energy application. The university was quite diverse, having students from more than 60 countries. The temperature sometimes drops down to -38 degree centigrade with the Siberian wind posing an additional challenge, but with such modern facilities the weather does not create a nuisance unlike in Gilgit Baltistan.
After all this journey, I have stopped making plans and envisioning paths for myself. I now believe that Allah always has bigger and better plans for all of us. All we need is to firmly believe in Him and He will never disappoint us. So dream big, pursue your passion, and give yourself permission to work towards a future you know you are capable of creating.
What success means to each of us is totally different. Success to some may mean fancy cars and homes. Success to others may mean being a good parent, spouse, or friend. For others, it may mean to simply be happy. Or it can be all of the above. Remember, success is ultimately about spending your life happily in your own way and most importantly stay positive even when you are in the worst situations.
Last but not least, to all youth thinking of higher education abroad, don’t under-estimate China for higher studies. You nerve know how much China has advanced and as a foreigner you are respected more than any other country and you have much more fun here.