Updated: May 11, 2019
I was excited to start University in Hanoi – the capital city of Vietnam.
For years I (and most of the school friends) dreamt about becoming a University student, living in a big city that would bring a whole new world to life and an end to the repetitive years at schools with lots of exams and pressure to get good results.
It was indeed a different life, where I met completely new friends, and the first time I lived in a big city and ever shared rooms at the university hostel with many others (7 to 9 people at a time) who came from different parts of the country, spoke different dialects, and had completely different personalities, daily routines, hope and dreams. It wasn't easy at all to adapt to the new environment, especially for someone with depression.
I struggled with the noise of the city and student life. At that time I felt isolated and confused whilst trying hard to find my place in the new environment as I was so used to with being the leader and top student. Being nothing special (no one knew me, no one cared, no one hated me...) felt like i didn't even exist or disappeared from the world. I later on understand that it was my Ego that needed to be noticed, either as an outstanding student, being a leader, or as a victim of gossip/ jealousy/ hatred/ harassment… whatever served the Ego's greed of approval and attention, whether positive or negative. Probably my Ego was even more satisfied when being rejected and hated by others as it served as a proof for its own fantasy that it was superior than others so that others was jealous and resentful with it. Meanwhile it believed that it was treated unfairly and used that as an excuse to blame others and the world around it for its own misery and loneliness.
The first year at Uni, there were times I couldn't leave the bed, did not eat, drink, or wash myself, did not see any friends, did not go to the lessons for a period of one week each time. I was in deep depression of a big Ego that felt like it was left out and forgotten by the world and lost all the attention.
The second year till the last year of Uni, I lived a more enthusiastic student life in which I was completely absorbed in forming and running a Youth Music club, from setting up its structure to running the first shows and recruiting members. That probably was a highlight of success in my student years. But now looking back, I see that it mainly served as a proof that I myself acquired and tried hard to find in order to convince myself that I was capable of some value, and had gained experience in running an organisation, and had lived an interesting student life.
But for unknown reasons, I was still depressed and conflict inside, I kept questioning myself what then and what for?!… After a busy day, a successful show, a wonderful performance on the stage with lots of smiling faces and applauses, I again faced the loneliness and an unfulfilled feeling inside. It felt like a vacuum blackhole inside that kept trying to acquire something to fulfill it but had always been far from fulfillment and far from even knowing what it was looking for. The lights of stage, the noise of music, the applauses of the crowd then faded into the darkness just as the startling fireworks faded into the dark night sky. I looked harder in the work that I dedicated for the Music club, and also in the hard work and good results at Uni, not to forget to mention romantic relationships with someone at some points… But none of those things was able to fill the vacuum blackhole. I didn't know what I was looking for, but I knew none of the things I had in life brought me fulfilment.
I developed to believe that: after all the promising fun and success, I ended up in the same place of loneliness and lack of fulfillment. No such thing as lasting happiness exists!
But then what's the point of Life? Is Life just one thing after an other, with no meaning and purpose?
I kept asking questions mostly every night but forgot them every morning when I carried on with whatever came in life… Then all the questions seemed to be forgotten about when I was looking around to see what other people normally do in their lives, and was convinced that probably what I needed was just a good Job after Uni then I'd feel better. I wonder how many students were like me, believing that their ultimate goal in Life was getting a Good Job.