Before 20 Years Old

Clarina Tiara Agneta
5 min readMay 27, 2020


I have never imagined my self as a teacher. Not even once. Ever since I was in elementary school I always making fun of student teachers. Well, I made them cried, once. No worries, then I grew up and start to see how important to be a teacher is. This story tells the turning point of my life! An English teacher that does not know what she always wanted to do in her life. Enjoy!

I love English. Since I was in kindergarten, I talked to my Mom using English. It is always amazing to remember how I learned the language by using it directly to talked with my Mom. I know that not all children can get the same privilege to learn English the way I learned in my age. My Mom was an English teacher before she finally had me and my sister. This is why I cannot really tell you how did I learn English. Some of my friends asked me, “How did you learn English for the first time?”, “What did you do to be fluent in English?”. Well, I really don’t know. All I know is that I learned English by using it since I was a kid. It is funny but that is the fact why I can speak English fluently now. Anyway, I still don’t have any dreams to be an English teacher at that time.

My childhood dream was to be a Children Books Writer. My Mom said that since I was in kindergarten I always have a special relationship with books. When I read a book, I forgot to eat, I forgot to drink and did not even move my position. My favorite book at that time was Goldilocks and the 3 Bears.

This is my childhood favorite book.

That was when I finally thought that one day I want to write a book that makes other children fall in love with books the way I fall in love with this book. Then, I forgot about that dream because I went to school and learn many things. Do you know that feeling when, “Oh, I love this!”, “So, actually I am good at this.”, but never really knew which one is your passion? That was my life before 20.

My life before 20 is just about to go with the flow and never have a certain purpose for anything. I chose to do anything that I wanted and never thought about the reason why I chose it. The more I grew up the more I realized that I really don’t know what I really want to be. I did not know why I tried so hard to reach the top 10 students in my class. I love to draw, my art teacher always said I am good at it, but I never felt certain for anything that might become my passion and interest. I did not even know why I chose to take Science in High School major focus. I don’t want to be a doctor, indeed I hate Math, but why did I choose Science? This is it, this is what I always called “A quarter-life crisis”. It was when I graduated from High School and I did not know where to apply for college. I have no specific interest in anything but more likely I can do many things.

Finally, I chose to apply for English Language Education simply because I love English. At that time I never thought about being a teacher or lecture or even teaching.

In my first day of class as a university student, my lecturer ask,
“How many of you want to be a teacher? Raise your hands”.

My friends some of them raise their hands certainly, some were laughing and me:

Then he asked once again, “If you don’t want to be a teacher then why did you apply for English Language Education? Here we learn how to be an English teacher.”

I am pretty sure at that time I am not certain for being a teacher or not and that question was tickling me from the inside

“Then, why don’t you try to teach?”

Finally, I started to teach with my friends at Limitless Learning Center (LLC) as an English Tutor. LLC is a community of young people who provide free tutoring in Salatiga. We teach children to adulthood for free. It was funny because sometimes I had a student who was older than me. Only in LLC, University students can learn Photoshop from High School students. I had 2 years of experience teaching in LLC. It was a great experience when I had the chance to teach English for High School students and University students. In my second year, I became the Creative Team who manage the mentors and mentee in LLC. After I experienced teaching by myself, I started to grow my interest in teaching.

Me and my students in Limitless Learning Center. You can find LLC in Instagram @limitlesslearning_

I remember one of my mentor friend in LLC said,
“You know that I really wanted to be the Secretary-General of ASEAN, right? After I teach I thought I would be more proud to see my student become Secretary-General of ASEAN. At that time, I would be standing in the crowd clapping for my student as his or her teacher.”

That sentence made me realize how important to be a teacher is. That sentence moved my heart to become a better teacher.

Then here comes the opportunity to be a better teacher. In my third year of college life, I have to choose my interest in teaching. Real teaching practice as a teacher. The choice was teaching adults or teaching children. In my mind, I have chosen to teach children, because I like children. Then I got a little bit doubtful because I used to be an English tutor for High School students. Then I thought,

“Oh! This is it! I have the opportunities to teach children and gain new experiences!”. So, I finally teach children as a student-teacher.

Never I realized that my choice at that time referred back to my childhood dream. Teaching children recalled my childhood dream to be a Children Books Writer.

Now, I realize that all of my journeys brought me back to where I was in the first place. This is my story, an English teacher that wanted to be a Children Books Writer.



Clarina Tiara Agneta

Life is happen that way because you are built for it!