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A not-so common dilemma.

I know that writing might not get so much points on expressing one’s love and creativity for Anime as compared to how Cosplaying and Photo/Videography do, but I just want to be creative also in my own unique way. How? By sharing my dilemma.
Yes, I am one proud otaku. I always have this fondness about anime-related activities or stuffs, even now that I will be turning 25 years old this year. However, in both my professional and social world, many people would not believe that I do love these kawaii things once I hand them over my credentials.
There is always this dead and confusing atmosphere- either they wouldn’t believe me or they will not get convinced. Why? Because I claim to be an otaku, yet I:
- finished two Engineering degrees, namely Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE) and Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Sanitary Engineering (BSEnSE);
- graduated cum laude in both courses, commended with a special leadership award;
- passed the 2 board exams both with flying colors; and most of all
- ranked number 1 in my Environmental and Sanitary Engineering board exam.
Magnificent? Indeed, I am very proud of that. However, I did not share this just because I wanted to brag my achievements in life. The truth is, I am just concerned about why do most people perceive that if you’re an otaku, you are an anti-social, childish, a 24-hr unproductive, lazy, and most of all, a dumb person.
Is there an arbitrary etiquette on how should a person perceive you? Why would they think that an otaku will never achieve such recognitions?
Truly this is my dilemma- being an otaku yet people see me not. Oftentimes, my juniors in my university would ask me how did I pass two engineering degrees and become a topnotcher since they know that my fandoms are anime and manga.
Fortunately, I got used to it. I always tell them to manage their time properly and prioritize what should be the most important task to be done.
Overtime, I learned how to deal with those inappropriate perceptions for otakus. How? I tell them that being an otaku has an advantage during the preparation of board exams. Here’s how:
1. You can use mnemonics by using the first letter of the names of your fave character to every formula you’ll gonna memorize.
2. Unique stories from anime series may influence your retention so you can associate something you find hard to remember.
3. Burning the midnight oil is difficult unless you are trained to finish one season of an anime series in one night. (Yeah!)
4. I find it really effective to take a short break by replaying a funny episode of a comedy anime during those times that I really have a hard time fighting sleepiness. I suddenly get recharged yet no caffeine involved.
5. You get inspirations from those heroes/heroines who did not give up in achieving their goals in life.

It is not easy to handle both academics and a hobby at the same time. Sometimes, you need to sacrifice one in order to achieve a greater step on the other. There is always a proper time for everything. However, abandonment was never an option for me. I love what I do and I know that I am at my best on both worlds! I hope you are too.
Country: Philippines