All About Me

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.”


A name. That’s what every person on this Earth has been given, and has the right to have. It is what people call us by, who people know us as. The short quote given in Shakespeare’s playwright of Romeo and Juliet simply means that a name might not mean so much in comparison to the person using it. A name may change, but the meaning or person behind that stays the same. And that is what I’m going to write about in this essay. Not just about the ‘name’, Karin Novelia, but the meaning behind it and the person who’s been living with the name.

Karin Novelia was the name given to me on my birthday, 2nd November 1996. It simply means “holy girl” and “girl born in November”. Right now, I’m 13 years old and a student at SMP Santa Laurensia, Alam Sutera, Serpong-Tangerang. I live at Alam Sutera Kirana in a family of five. I have a dad named Tekno Wibowo, who works as a Marketing Manager at Polytron and a mom, Soegijantini (everyone calls her Yanti or Fei-Fei), who’s a stay at home mom. I’m the middle child from 3 siblings. I have an older brother named Billy Irianto who is currently in the 9thGrade and a younger sister, Tania Juliani Wibowo who is in the 3rd Grade, both at Santa Laurensia.

You could describe my family as quiet and independent. We though of course love each other and spend time with one another but we usually spend our time alone. We have our own interests that we share with each other and we respect. My father was always busy working when I was young and my mother had her own hobbies. That left me with a lot of alone time. But I understood how my parents were and even though I felt lonely at times, I tried my best to cope with it. That kind of thinking and mindset is what lead me to become a mature and independent girl.

My passions are reading, writing and music. I’ve fallen in love with reading since I was still in the 2nd grade and read thicker novels than most of my friends. The first book I ever read seriously was the first Harry Potter book. My interest in reading has definitely had a good impact on me as an individual. It has broadened my horizons by building my creativity, fueling my sense of imagination, adding information to my well of knowledge and teaching me life lessons.

As an outlet for my bursting imagination, I got interested with writing. I’d write about anything, about school to my family, about my feelings to my problems. I always hear many stories about how famous authors have shared their stories and the impact they have made on other people. The pen is mightier than the sword, as they say. I even signed up to the Young Journalist’s Club in my old school, Colegio San Agustin.

Did I mention that school was in the Philippines? I was born in the Makati City Center Hospital, in Manila. My parents along with my just turned 1-year-old brother had moved there on account of my father’s transfer to the Polytron’s Philippines branch. I spent the first 9 years of my childhood there. In comparison with Santa Laurensia, C.S.A was definitely bigger with classes that when on until class O. I have always been a bit quiet, keeping things to myself. But luckily I found a few good friends that accepted me.

One thing I used to always think was important was social status. Sometimes, I would do things just so I could fit in, so I could feel normal. But that definitely changed when I moved to Indonesia. I was terribly shock when I realized we were actually going to move. Usually, my dad would say a thing or two about Indonesia and joke about us living there again someday. But, as the city of my childhood, the place I grew up I became too attached to Manila even consider moving. When he told me at first, I didn’t think he was serious.

The reason we had to move was because he got a promotion. From a normal office worker he got promoted to Marketing Manager. We had to make a few sacrifices for the move. We had lots of junk in our 2 story house, stuff we couldn’t all bring along. We sold our favorite scooter, some of my Digimon plushies, and nearly half of our DVD collection. I did get some share of the money though.

So after 9 years in the Philippines I stepped onto the land of my root country, Indonesia. I was terribly devastated when we moved. I was an Indonesia but I knew nearly nothing about my own country. The main problem of course was language, because I could barely speak Indonesian. All I could say was: Nama saya Karin, and Aku harus ke toilet. I had to adapt to a whole new environment, a whole new school, and making a name for myself from scratch. But the move although it has been a challenge has changed me positively. I have knowledge and have experienced two different cultures, seen the variety of people in Indonesia, learned a whole new language and history of Indonesia. I’ve become more of a hard-worker since moving here, trying to keep up with lessons.

So much that I now wear glasses and have been tactlessly labeled a ‘nerd’ by some of my friends. At first the terms, ‘nerd’ and ‘geek’, was something I hated and stung my heart so badly when I was first called that. But then I realized, I liked being a nerd. I like feeling smart and gaining information and school appealed so much to me. It more than just a place to meet my friends, it was also a place for me to learn and figure out what I want to do with my life. Every aspect of ‘social status’ I used to believe in was thrown right out the window. I may be weird, I may be a nerd, I may seem crazy at times and a tad not normal, but hey, that’s who I am.
And now, just take a look at me. I’m a fluent speaker in Bahasa Indonesia, have lots of friends, I am known to take charge, be a leader and be sometimes called a ‘nerd’. I’ve always listened to music and have begun to pursue it. And now after 4 years of life in Indonesia, I’ve finally found a place to plant my English Language skills and potential, the Writing Club. I really have many hopes in my future. I wish to become and author and sell my books world-wide. And maybe become a journalist because I want to help the world on a global scale with issues likeglobal warming, hunger problems and such. I also consider of becoming a song-writer, a psychologist or a teacher (in Language and Literature, of course!). Okay, that may seem like a lot and I’m a bit unsure on most of those aspirations, but with so many things to try and experience and life, I’m just trying to broaden my horizons and keep my options open.

Once I entered and began junior high school here at Santa Laurensia, I was determined to reinvent myself even more. And when the Writing Club Competition was opened, I thought, This is also my chance. I joined the club not only to improve and develop my writing skills but also to share my talents with the world. In this club we will enter many writing competitions but we’re not in it only for the prizes. These competitions like the Road to Copenhagen competition can open many opportunities for us. In this competition you are asked to write an essay about what the children of today can do to combat climate change. The winner will then attend the Climate Conference in Copenhagen (but the venue changes every year). Competitions like this encourage young people to take a stand and act to help the world today and to build up to the future, their own future.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll be a name on the spine of a book you’ve lovingly placed on your favorite spot on the bookshelf, another name to go with all the famous authors on the Times bookstore walls or bags or a maybe the singer of your favorite songs sounding from the radio. All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them (Walt Disney). And I really believe mine will come true. We’ll have to wait and see. Keep looking out for my name —— Karin Novelia.


Sir Writes-A-Lot


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