The Story of the Cum Lauders (Part – 7): Economic Limitations Are Not Barriers

“Initially, not a few doubted that I could go to college. But in the end I was able to prove that economic limitations were not an obstacle”, said Astiyani, who admitted that she did not come from a rich family. Father is a farmer and his mother is a housewife.

Since Asti entered UPI, her parents had conveyed her inability to pay for college, but she remained steadfast, convincing herself to go to college. Anxiety mixed with hopes of becoming one, even though at that time he had already graduated as an UPI student. One thing that can dispel that anxiety is aiming for a mission.

“I still remember, the announcement of the results of bidikmisi verification on the second Friday of the month of Ramadan 2014. Alhamdulillah I am grateful that I have passed the Bidikmisi scholarship so that the problem of tuition fees can be resolved”.

The beginning of his journey as a new student in the Agroindustry Technology Education Study Program (PTAg) was difficult for him, because at that time the student who aspired to become a teacher did not have a laptop. This requires Asti to regularly visit UPI Net to work on practicum reports or sometimes borrow a friend’s laptop. Realizing that laptops are an important tool for carrying out various college assignments, Asti began setting aside Bidik Misi scholarship funds to save up until the end of the first semester, laptops can also be purchased.

Campus is a new world, where the youngest of three siblings has gained many valuable experiences and has become life lessons. In addition to undergoing a busy lecture schedule and practicum and a pile of assignments, Asti must divide his time with activities outside the campus. Alumni of SMA 17 Bandung, a scouting teacher at SMPN 2 Bandung, is also sometimes a judge in competitions. This experience is one way for him to make some extra money. He enjoyed every trip, he didn’t think of it as a burden.

The journey of student life took him to one of the leading soy sauce factories, where Asti did industrial practice (PI). At that time, he was placed in an IPAL (wastewater treatment plant) which required him to deal with the smell of sewage every day, especially after it rained. After that, this student who was born in Cianjur on January 17, 1996 conducted research on agro-industry (RA) with the theme of edible film. The topic of this research is his interests, as well as the research project of his supervisor. PPLSP (field experience program) at SMKN 1 Mundu, Cirebon gave him unforgettable experiences as a teacher and getting to know many people.

The hardest struggle she felt was her thesis which required her to go back and forth from Bandung to Cirebon to collect research data at SMKN 1 Mundu, Cirebon, because at that time her pregnancy was just entering its early trimester. Often this student who likes to cook feels nauseous when compiling his research report. Even so, getting pregnant during the thesis became one of the prayers for students who married on May 14, 2017. She is grateful that her husband allowed her to finish college even though she had to live far away for a while.

What are the short-term plans after graduation?

Of course, taking care of the baby she is carrying and if given the fortune and opportunity, she intends to continue her master’s studies and also open a business in the food sector.

“For me, college is not a requirement, but a wish that I have chosen, so it must be followed sincerely so that it feels light, without burden”.

“Alhamdulillah, I can feel the undergraduate exam trials that every student has been waiting for. I am grateful, happy mixed with emotion, because I can prove to people who used to doubt me”.

Asti is very grateful to be able to be proud of his family, especially his parents who live in Cidaun-Cianjur. His gratitude goes to all lecturers and employees of the PTAg study program especially to PI, RA, PPLSP and thesis supervisors for their guidance and direction, also to parents and beloved husbands for their support, not forgetting to friends of Agrin 2014, who have accompanied her for undergoing studies.

“Don’t delay your work, it’s better to pay in installments than to do it at the last second which results in not optimal results. Always have a target because with that we unconsciously motivate ourselves to reach expectations, struggling from the start, never getting bored, always trying and praying. Don’t be ashamed to ask anyone and don’t be stingy about sharing”, said the student who was crowned cum laude at the hearing yesterday with a GPA of 3.72 after taking the undergraduate study within 3 years and 6 months.

Barakallah Asti, we hope your fighting spirit can inspire -MNH-