Three weeks ago, I got a bad news. It was that I must join a prajabatan for three weeks. What is prajabatan? And why was it a bad news for me? Here’s the story.
In Indonesia, when people become a civil servant, there is a kind of initiation that they must follow to be a hundred percent accepted as a civil servant and it is a must because it is a government regulation. But not like freshman initiation we see in college/university with the senior students do the initiation to their juniors, it is actually an education and training of how to be a good civil servant. That’s prajabatan.
This was a bad news for me because:
First, it was supposed to be held on October of this year, not this early on June when I was not ready at all because all I knew was this would be on October. I was confused that time, did not know what to do first to prepare my self and all the things that I must bring to the dorm. Yup, during prajabatan, I must live in a dorm for three weeks. It would be a bit better if the dorm was clean and nice, but no, it was a dorm, even an ex-dorm of a squad of boys. So, you can imagine it by yourself.
Second, it is Ramadan. In prajabatan, there are a lot of activities since early morning to middle of the night I must do. From gymnastics at 5.30 am, study in class at 8 am for 8 to 9 hours a day—with no coffee break because it is Ramadan and we all are fasting—, learn to reciting Al Qur’ an from after tarawih at 9 pm until 11 pm, and we must wake up on 3.30 am—and sometimes on 4 am when we were too tired to listen to the alarm—for sahur (a tradition in Islam to eat in the middle of the night every Ramadan to prepare body to fasting with no water and food at all for more than ten hours a day) and hard to sleep again after that because we must do Shubuh prayer on 5 am. So, can you count how many hours left for me and my friends to rest our body? Only 3-4 hours a day. Exhausting? You bet!
Third, I always think prajabatan is not so important since it is an education and training and I already work as a civil servant months before this, so what should I learn again? I know all the jobs already. What a waste, I think.
But, that is all my complaint because, honestly, I enjoyed my three weeks in the dorm, three weeks of being exhausting, three weeks of missing home, three weeks of feeling sleepy in the class, three weeks of meeting new people, three weeks of making new family. I enjoyed those three weeks of unexpected prajabatan.
I forgot since when I started to enjoy living in the dorm with that tight schedules every day. Probably, since when I got to know my friends one by one. I think what I grateful for was that all the girls slept in one room—so did the boys, but in different room of course—that led us to know and to be close to each other. At night before bed, we shared stories we laughed together. In the morning, we woke each other up because it was too tiring to wake up by our self—and there were this morning when we yelled at every alarm and that was so funny to remember. In gymnastic, we laughed at every funny moves others did and in class, we mocked each other so we wouldn’t fall asleep in the class.
On the picture of me and my friends above—there are 35 of us—I put some emoticons that related to our days in dorm. The suitcases are to show how many things we brought in to the dorm for three weeks and out of the dorm. Heavy for sure. The book with falling leave to show how many we learned and how boring it was in the class. The camera is a symbol for many pictures we took during prajabatan. The food is the symbol of the menu in dorm that was so dry and boring and made us ordered lots of food by delivery. And there is this cat that symbolizes many cats around the dorm and one of them is named Putri—or Princess in English—by the boys and I don’t know why. In the left corner, I left a note for my new friends, I hope they can read it because I see it too small to read 😅
I never thought that prajabatan would be this fun. At first week, I still thought it was a bad idea to hold a prajabatan in Ramadan and a week felt like a year, but when it came to the second week, I felt the rhythm and I finally could follow it to end and, I didn’t know how, it felt sad to end the prajabatan. But, still, it was nice to remember, but no to repeat 😂
I don’t want to be such a melancholic person, but let me say the sincere grateful from my heart to my all new friends to accept this young lady with arrogant face as part of their life 😊 Maybe there was a part of me they want to punch, especially my selfish attitude at first— so sorry for that, it’s a habit of meeting new people—, but don’t forget this your ‘lil sis, okay?
So, to my new family in dorm and to all my Muslim friends in this world, it’s just four days before our big day, our Eid, so I would like to send you all:
HAPPY EID AL-FITR
تَقَبَّلَ اللَّهُ مِنَّا وَمِنْك
TAQOBBALALLAHU MINNA WA MINKUM
Have a nice day, everyone, and here are the faces of me and my friends in .gif I made when we were still in the dorm. Guess which one is me.