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Memilih Jalan yang Sulit

“You’re very strange people.” Ujar seorang pria tua berambut dan berjanggut putih di hadapan sekitar 1500 mahasiswa internasional University of Groningen, Belanda, tadi siang, 27 Agustus 2013.

Namanya Profesor Gregory Ashworth. Saya terkesima dengan pidatonya pada upacara penyambutan tingkat universitas untuk tahun akademik 2013-2014. Belakangan saya tahu, bukan tahun ini saja ia menyebut para mahasiswa baru dengan sebutan ‘orang-orang aneh’. Pada tahun sebelumnya, ia memberikan sambutan berikut:

“You’re very strange people. You chose to do the university the difficult way, by going to a strange place, with people eating strange food. You’ll notice you’ll be going through a few stages while you’re in the Netherlands: Stage 1 – Euphoria: you see all the things that are better here than where you are from. Stage 2 – Disappointment: You see all the things that are worse here than where you’re from, the wind is always in your face and the rain goes horizontal! Stage 3 – Balance: Some things are better; enjoy them, some things are worse; ignore them. You’re going home soon. You’re here to learn where you come from. You’re being forced back to question your assumption. It’s a voyage of discovery into yourself.”

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