Friends? : A Memoir

Kevin Mulya Tamaro180410160059

I’ve never heard of UNPAD Jatinangor before. The first I submit my registration form of SBMPTN, I thought that UNPAD is only in Dipatiukur, Bandung. Fortunately, I got in to English Literature Major. At first, I thought that the people will be the same as Jakarta or even Depok, but I had never been so wrong. I got invited by my friend who got into French Literature, to the 2016 new students group, and then one girl whose name I forgot invite me to “Sasing 2016” and I introduced myself there.

It was August 2016 that I for the first time, started to live in my dorm in Cikuda. Majority of people that lived in my dorm were seniors from 2011 to 2014 with an exception of me, my mom’s best friend son, and one kid from FISIP. I thought that the atmosphere would be awkward, but after my parents left, they invited me to room of one of theirs, and then I introduced myself. They began to introduce themselves. It was fun, I admit. They doesn’t want to be called with a honorification such as “Kang”. I ended up calling them with their first name. In the beginning, I was uncomfortable, after 1 week, I started to call them with names without hesitation. As bonding goes, we started with booze, gambling, and talking about girls.

Middle August came and I had to attend UNPAD’s University-scale orientation program, named as PRABU. One of My dorm friend told me not to attend that as he said; “alah gituan mah gapenting pin, mending mabok”. Not listening to him, I attended the first day. I met several of English Literature freshman, my old friend from Junior high school that I never expected, and made some friend there from PMK-U’s senior even though I’d rather call them as acquaintances rather as friend. Then came the second day that I could not remember more than UNPAD’s pin. After that, first semester begin.

First day of the first semester, and I was told that the orientation was not done yet. There are 3 orientation program in UNPAD. Those were “University Scale”, “Faculty Scale”, and “Major Style”. I attended the first day of “Faculty Scale”, Opera Budaya, not knowing anyone, except Aulia or Abah as we called him. I started off late, and put together with Indonesian Literature group rather than English one. I introduced myself, and became friends with some people from Indonesian Literature Major. Then came the second day of Opera Budaya. I was not late, and I was positioned with my major this time. When shalat jumat takes place, I, who is not a moslem, separated from the crowd and introduced to Cristian’s student association of literature studies, known as KBK-FIB. I had never thought of them as important before, and the story was for another day. After the gathering, we, fellow English literature freshman, was rushed to our major’s orientation, known as GATES. It was more to welcoming party rather than orientation, we were told that GATES has 3 annual meeting, and this gathering was the first meeting, and the day ended. There was the third meeting of Opera Budaya, but I couldn’t attend that because of sickness that I had. We, English freshmen 16 hang-out in the field of literature studies, beside of “Atep”. I used to bring guitar to campus to play with other freshmen, killing time while waiting for class or play dominoes with other students.

It was fun. I had a lot of friend from my major and another. I had never felt left out, just like when I was in Depok. Used to sleep over in English Sekre with my friend, hang out together, and GATES 2 felt like more bonding than ever. We started to hang in Bangku Biru where our senior hangs instead of the field. And, the second semester came.

All of the seniors in my dorm graduated on the same time. It was planned. I felt alone, with only my mom’s best friend son and that student from FISIP, who almost never came back to the dorm. My best friend left UNPAD for IPB. I started to feel lonely in the dorm. I frequently stayed at sekre rather than going back to dorm, to the point that I could even bathe in campus toilet than dorm. Then came GATES 3, I began to hear some ill-speak about me from my seniors and eventually from my own friends. I started to be uncomfortable around them, and started to limit my mouth to the point that it becomes boring to hang out with them. There was a rule in my society in Depok that you’ll never speak ill to your friend if that’s not for their own good, and from what I’ve heard, they had talked about me badly. Some seniors actually think about me as disturbance and even a public enemy of English literature. They started not inviting me when they hang-out, avoiding me as much as possible, and not even talking to me. It was my dark time. I felt lonely that it eats my emotion. Surprisingly, I asked to hang out with one of my seniors at KBK-FIB and English major, eventually becoming part of their 12 member gang with only I, him, and one of his best friend are from English Major. I met several people that behaved much same as me. We could talk all night without limiting our mouth at Cakyus. The warmth that they gave remind me of the old friend I had in Depok. Before the third semester even begun, I was determined that I will cut all ties with my old friend at English Major.

Semester 3, I finally cut all ties with them, even with my own close friend with an exception of one, who I usually contact for academics and stuff. I officially labeled as sasing murtad as people said that English major people usually only plays with their own kind. I had almost never seen in bangku biru anymore, and some of my old friend actually contacted me about my disappearance, but I had never read them. I enjoyed my new link that introduced me to people whom influential in my faculty, and they were actually different than people from English Literature, whom I saw always thought that they’re superior to others. I started not liking people on my class, and the feeling was mutual to the point that when I fall sick, they assumed that I was pretending to skip class. That icing on the cake made me retreat more from them. I hated them to the point that if they dare to talk ill in front of me, I’d beat them to a pulp. Unfortunately, it never happen as much as I wanted that to happen. Because of the assumption that they make, my closest friend that I used to have begun to lose respect on me and I couldn’t care less. My grades fell hard. Some because of my sickness, lack on information about assignments and classes, and the feeling that I hate when coming to class.

Fourth semester came. I had a lot of friend, without one of my old friend from my own major. I was left out about everything in my major, even classes. I remember one day that I even throw my phone because of some middle-term test that shared to a group of people, not informing me and some people. Then I realized what I had made. I made them, my old friend, hate me. My new friends, consist of seniors from 2013-2014, were busy with their own thesis. I was felt left out again, without friends to go to. Then I reminisced about old days with my old friends. I began to read the message that they sent me, and with the help of one of my friend, I tried to restore the friendship I once had. It was hard. I lower my own ego to even talk to them again. At first, they responded to me almost maliciously. With time given, they begin to respond to me almost nicely.

The fifth semester came to be the year. I actually got back almost half of my friend from my major. I even got the new one. For the first time in almost one year, I hang-out with them. It actually felt kind of nice. I had one of my best friend in my class, and he actually helped me with my class. It turned out that the ill-talking was only shared to some people, whom I did even consider to be exist. For now, I had my friend to back me up anytime. I am grateful that I did lose them forever. There were some of my old friend that I couldn’t reach out just yet, but considering that my time in this campus is not over yet, maybe I can ask them for a second chance.

Illustration’s made by: Adam Filzcharles, edited to monochrome

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