DEPOK – Like a pearl, the more it is honed, the more it shines. That is the pearl of Papua Christine Evelyne Sedik, familiarly called Ithin, a 2020 Communication Sciences, Undergraduate Program FISIP UI student.
Ithin is one of 9.3 percent of total students from West Papua who have the opportunity to pursue higher education during the Covid-19 pandemic. Being accepted as a student at the nation’s best university, the University of Indonesia, did not stop Ithin from achieving.
This girl from Sorong has made a number of non-academic achievements on campus during her two years of study. One of them is as the first winner of the University of Indonesia Dance Battle Championship, which she won last September.
“Incidentally, for the student category, I got the first place. The student category means the category of students throughout UI who participate. But yesterday, the event participants were not only from Jabodetabek, there were also many from outside Java,” said Ithin.
In addition to dance, Ithin, who is very fond of sport, also won the first place in the UI FISIP Sports Competition (OLIMFIS) 2022 in the women’s double table tennis and women’s futsal categories, representing her program.
Ithin admits that her enthusiasm for achievement cannot be separated from her gratitude for the privilege she got, namely studying at UI.
“I am very grateful because not everyone can study at UI, especially in the Communication Sciences study program. In my opinion, this is a blessing. My privilege is that I am the same here as other students, not differentiated by (fellow) students or lecturers, feeling accepted,” she said.
One of Ithin’s best friends since junior high school, Bernadetha Yuni Samon (familiarly called Yuni), recognizes the ambitious character inherent in her friend. “I know that she struggles despite never showing it to her friends. Originally, she was very ambitious even though she always seemed relaxed,” Yuni said via WhatsApp on Saturday (19/11).
Not satisfied just participating and winning competitions, Ithin is also active in campus organizations, such as: FISIP Dance Community (KTF) and UI Papuan Student Association (IMAPA UI). Ithin joined KTF in her first year of college as a Modern Dance Staff. Meanwhile, in the IMAPA UI association, Ithin serves as a Chairperson for one-year term.
Meanwhile, the number of Papuan students in the UI Communication Sciences study program for 2019-2022 batch is currently only 2 people, namely in 2019 (1 person) and 2020 (1 person).
UI Actuarial Sciences study program student who is also as a member of IMAPA UI association, Devia Andini Pongtiku, feels that many changes occurred at IMAPA UI during the management led by Ithin. It is cause of many reasons, Devia added, the activities in IMAPA UI became her more active and reached more acquaintances and relations from outside.
“Ithin is the type of chairperson who, if she sees that one person is not active and never joins in, she will immediately try to contact and get closer so that the person is also involved in activities,” said Devia.
Apart from feeling well accepted in the UI environment, Ithin said her biggest motivation in achieving and being busy in organizations is to develop herself and increase connections. “As long as I can, I will continue to develop myself by participating in various things. In addition, I can also have connections with other individuals, where I can also learn from them about how to build image and confidence.”
Ithin has become quite an inspirational figure in the eyes of her friends as well. Besides being known to be sincere and maximized in helping others, Devia says Ithin is tough and rarely complains.
“All activities are involved in her, but her academics remain good. She also always relies on God and rarely complains. That’s what makes me amazed by her and want to be as strong and resilient as she is,” said Devia.
Behind her toughness, Ithin admits that her parents’ support is as fuels of her enthusiasm.
“For example, if I want to join a competition or prepare for training, I will inform them (parents), and they support and encourage me. I can be strong until now cause of my parents’ support and pray for me,” said Ithin.
Despite all of Ithin’s achievements and inspiring personality, she wants to convey the aspirations of Papua people through journalism, a specialization which is studied by Ithin at UI Department of Communication, which has often been unheard of by the government.
“I am a native Papuan, and you could say that many voices from people in Papua have not been heard by the government or conveyed by the media for one reason or another. But clearly, I want to know and understand the obstacles for the media in Indonesia today for that,” concluded the girl born in Sentani, Jayapura.
Ithin’s love for her homeland, Papua, makes her hope that she and her friends in Papua will use every opportunity to gain knowledge as well as possible. In addition, Ithin also encourages her friends in Papua not to be afraid to have the big dreams.