The 2010s Revisit

Ten years ago, in 2010, I was thirteen years old. I believe I was still in the second year of my Mattayom (middle school) life. I was, then, a young naïve country boy who had no idea of what the future had in stock for him.

The 2010s the 1st Part: The Edge of Long-Lasting Childhood (2010-2011)

After the first year in a new Mattayom school, just like any other kids, I enjoyed my new environment and company. I was living in the moment, was into childish things and never ever thought I would be sitting here as a whole new person. I would come home early from school to read fictions or manga and take on imaginary roles in many corners of my house. I used to love role-playing so much and always did it alone (it was normal for me as I had no friend living nearby). I inserted myself into the narrative of the book as a whole new character.  Naruto, Bleach and Reborn were three of my favourite pieces. I loved to make origami in a form of shuriken and threw it at an imaginary enemies as if I was a ninja in Naruto’s universe. The same went to Bleach. I cut down a bamboo branch to make a zanpakuto and wielded it against a deadly antagonist, usually borrowed from the book.

When I come to think of it, I spent my childhood (the first half of this decade) alone with only the accompany of my imagination. No wonder why my favourite books were all in the genre of fantasy. They provide me with a universe to dive it and transform myself into something else.

Another thing that made my 2010-2012 an enjoyable period was PS2. I remember when we went to Bangkok, to Pantip to be specific, and brought it home. My dad’s PS1 had broken when I was 6 or 7 and I had never played a game console since then. So, I was pretty excited to have something like that to play again. My sweet memories of PS1 still clearly left their imprint there in my mind. TEKKEN, Yugioh Duelist of the roses, Yugioh Capsule monster, Burnout 3: Take Down and Need For Speed Carbon were my all-time favourite games. Countless minutes were spent to finished the games.

During the year 2010-2011 or later, my mother opened a restaurant on the first floor of my house. I remembered have to help her with serving dishes, cleaning tables, assisting her while cooking. I was not enjoyable for me all the time especially when there were so many customers, but sometimes it can be very fun and I started to miss it.

2010-2012 were also years of pop music. I was introduced to MTV, V Thailand and True Music Channel around 2009. I was hooked and always left it open on the channel just to listen to new songs. If you look into my Spotify playlist right now, you will see that many of the songs are from the period.

With those songs, especially Lady Gaga’s album, Born This Way, and Rihanna’s Loud, I used to dance to them on the rooftop at night under the starry sky. I was so into watching stars then. I spent hours and hours lying on my back with my eyes facing the beautiful vastness of the universe. I loved spending time on the rooftop so much I brought my pillow and sheet to sleep there. I woke the other morning with a cold but it was a good memory.

Maybe it’s not just the stars that I love. It just came to my mind that I used to head to the rooftop first after I went home from school just to watch the sunset or read a novel before came back down to have dinner. Maybe I was just in love with the feeling up there. I didn’t know what to call it. Freedom? Not quite. I just loved how the wind touched my skin, how the sun glowed red, how the moon appeared and how my thought was away from the present.

The 2010s the 2nd Part: A Salute to The Past, A Venture Outside My Familiarity (2012)

The beginning of 2012 was the last few months in Mattayom 3. Although, the path of a student had yet to end because the high school still required his attendance, the matter of place to continue his study was not as simple as a straight line.

As a student in a special program (‘gifted program’ was the actual name, however, I never dared use it as I didn’t feel ‘gifted’ whatsoever), my classmate and I were expected to continue our study in such special schools in Bangkok. There were 2 prominent places, Mahidol Wittaya Nusorn School and Triamudom Suksa School because of their top place in Thai school ranking.

To prepare myself for the admission test, I had to sacrifice a little fun in my life. I spent more time in and out of tutoring school. However, I must admit that I didn’t give it one hundred per cent. I was not able to give up all the fun and enjoyment.

Though I spent more time in tutoring school, I spent less on the actual school learning. My friends and I were not so keen to study anymore. It was the last year together after all. There were so many times that we left school early just to be in a game arcade at the Mall until sunset. (DJ Max was my friends’ all-time favourite game.)   

It was such a nice and memorable time. It made me smile just to think of it.

Fast forward to when I got in Triam Udom Suksa School. After I took the test, I was feeling hopeful, however, not confident enough to be sure that I was going to make it in. In that evening before the result came out, I was so stressful. I’m on the phone with my friend, until it was the announcement time. The school website was crashed and I hadn’t got any SMS back. I was super panic. Then, about 1 hour later, I finally knew I got in. I felt such a relief. I knew that my time spent study was not in vain. However, I felt scared. Everything that I knew of: my friends, my family, my city, would be left behind. I had to start it all anew.

If I could tell my past self a thing, I would tell him “don’t panic, everything is going fine. You will waste your time and burden your brain capacity worrying about things that haven’t happened yet.”

My time in Triamudom Suksa School was one of the best times in my life. I had a chance to get to know so many good friends and so many interesting people. Here, I met my closest friends. We called our group by the name Gossip Berry Baby Jubu. But this wasn’t always the case.

In the first semester, I almost had no close friends. There was no hanging out after school with friends even I studied in the most famous shopping area in Bangkok. But it wasn’t that bad. The light and groove of Bangkok kept me occupied. I loved exploring every inch of Siam, I fell in love with the upbeat rhythm of the metropolis.

I remember one night in particular. It was Sunday, 22nd December 2012. There was an event called Siam Street Fest, which was held for the first time. On the day before, I had a tutoring class with my friends and we also visited the fest after class. I was hooked. I loved the shows very much. There were magic shows, acrobatics, pantomime, diabolo, unicycle. I had never such shows in my life. The Christmas decorations around Siam also gave it a magical atmosphere. In Khorat, there was zero to no chance that this kind of event would happen. And I knew I have to be again on the 2nd and last day of the event. So, I decided to do what I had never done before. I went to Siam alone on Sunday and spent time there until almost midnight until the event concluded. Normally, I would go back home not later than 19.00, but this was the first time I stepped outside my comfort zone – not worry about anything, whether there would still be a bus to get home, whether my grandmom would be worried, whether I would be too tired to go to school tomorrow. And I just loved it.

The 2010s the 3rd part: A Life Well-Lived (2013-2019)

This period was like the perk of the decade. I was finally used to live here in Bangkok. I had a group of lovely friends. School life was the best. I had pretty decent memories there. There was no problem or a hiccup whatsoever as far as I knew.

The only dark spot on this period was the military training. It was quite brutal, and it brought out bad memories, so I’m going to skip it.

The stressful part came again when I had to take admission tests to get into a university. Many of my classmates were so miserable. They read and read and read again. I almost felt ashamed of myself that I didn’t give all my effort into it. But that didn’t mean I didn’t do anything. I read (but not as much). I went to tutoring school almost every evening. It turned out that I scored enough in the tests to be able to get into my choice of faculty and university.  

I didn’t have as much problem adjusting myself to university life as I had with TU. I already had friends from school. So, it was not lonely at all.

But the first was harsh, I must admit. College was harder than I thought. I had to double my energy and time in studying.

Study German was difficult too. I almost hated the language. It was so stressed out making good grades. The language itself was hard, but when you study it as your major, it sometimes makes your life miserable. I was very glad I made it through 4 years.  

My time in Aksorn was, again, enjoyable. I learned so many things here. I learned to love literature, to handle a large amount of workload, to think critically, to look deeper than the showing façade, to speak more, to voice my own opinion, to dare disagree with the established theory, to be creative in expressing my thought, to think from another point of view, to love seeking knowledge without end…etc.

I believe that a half of who I am today I got it from Aksorn. It was more than a faculty. It was everything. And I always yearn for a returning back.

It was so sad I have to graduate. I still want to learn more. What I know right now is so little compared to what the ajarns can bestow upon me more. But life must go on, I guess.

I end this decade in the state of unemployment. It was 8 months after graduation and I still couldn’t find a job. I don’t know what the future has in stock for me like the boy in 2010 wondering what his life would be.

But all I can say and hope it’s true is
 “it’s not as bad as you think. Don’t worry”

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