The Story of My Rotring 500

İsmail Efe Top


Picture of my rotring 500

I wasn't always a good student, classes didn't interest me until I started university. Before university, every school year would go the same. I would tell myself that I only had to pass my exams and tough it out until the summer vacation. Then the whole loop would start again. I would daydream during classes and study exams the night before. While I had a goal, studying computer science, I wouldn't work properly to achieve it.

Because I wanted to study computer science, I had chosen the math and science major. For context, in turkey, there are 4 different kinds of high school majors and we have to select a major in second semester of 10th grade. Every university major falls into one of these 4 high school majors and you have to take the proper exam according to the university major you want to study. These high school majors are…

  1. Math and science
  2. Math and social sciences
  3. Foreign Language
  4. Turkish social sciences and literature

While these might not be the correct translations, you get the point.

For example, if you want to study computer science you have to take the math and science exam or if you want to study economics you have to take the math and social sciences exam. Now let's get to our story…

Even though I knew I hated the science part (chemistry, biology, and physics) of my major, I thought I would just stick with it for 2 years. And this made me hate my classes more. In my last year of high school, I started to sway to the foreign language section of the university exam because of my love for the English language. Also the fact that I almost aced the language part of the university exam helped a lot.

While I was researching my options, I came across foreign language education at metu. Ever since I was little, I admired people who studied there. In my mind metu was a university that only geniuses could go and I couldn't even imagine myself there. I thought I wasn't smart enough. While this opinion changed when I learned that I could get into it, metu always stayed my favorite university.

While my test scores at that moment wasn't enough to get me there, I knew I could get in if I studied enough. And that was my motivation. I wrote 'METU' in large letters on a paper and taped it to my TV. I started sleeping at 9 pm and waking up at 5 am. This way I could study before school and get the necessary sleep. I bought tons of practice exams and I was ready. Except for one thing, a mechanical pencil.

The morning I started this routine my favorite pencil broke. I didn't think much of it, after all it was a cheap pencil. My plan was to go to the stationery store before school and get the same pencil. So, I got into the stationery, picked my regular pen and just before I was about to pay I saw something behind the counter. There was a mechanical pencil that cost ten times more. Out of curiosity, I asked if I could look at it. The man took the pencil out of the display case and started to look at it carefully, it was clear that he admired the pen too. Then he gave that pen to me, I was shocked. It felt light and well-made at the same time. Nothing like the pencils I held before, it was clear that it was a machine that was purposely built for writing. I started doing the math in my head, "If I use the money from my savings, I can buy it. But I tried so hard to save that money". Then a thought came to my mind, "The only way this purchase can be justifiable is if this pen gets me into metu". With determination, I bought the pen and put it in my pocket for safekeeping. That year, I solved thousands of questions and studied hundreds of hours with it. And in the end, this pen made me achieve my dreams.

I am currently studying my dream major and I am doing it with the people I cherish. While I have no use for a mechanical pencil now, I still carry it with me almost everywhere I go.

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