Yubita Hida Aprilia never forgets that emotional Friday, September 15, 2017, when she had to undergo an amputation on her right leg at Dr. Soeharso Orthopedic Hospital in Solo.
There was no other choice for her. She had to undergo surgery and lose part of her right leg due to a bone tumor that had spread from her foot to her calf.
“It was sad, but what else could I do? My parents and the doctor agreed that it had to be done to prevent further spread,” Yubita recalled while tears welled up in her eyes.
That was the beginning of the conversation with Yubita Hida Aprilia when a team of UGM reporters visited her home in Termas Village, Karangrayung District, Grobogan, Purwodadi, Central Java, not long ago.
Yubita is a new student at UGM who was accepted into the Indonesian Language and Literature Study Program in the Faculty of Cultural Sciences through the national entrance test (SNBT) with a 100% tuition subsidy.
Being accepted to study at UGM is a source of joy for Yubita after enduring numerous challenges. She suffered from a bone tumor from elementary school until the eighth grade. Throughout that period, she had to use crutches.
There have been many changes in Yubita’s life since losing one of her legs. She was forced to limit many activities, such as scouting and sports.
Even though she initially studied in the science program during high school at Karangrayung State High School 1, she had to change her aspirations.
Initially, she wanted to become a doctor, but the fear of being unable to participate in practical fieldwork due to her condition made her change her mind. Moreover, she lost her father, Tarli, to lung disease shortly after high school.
“My father passed away around the time of my high school graduation. That’s why I take a gap year,” Yubita said.
Although it wasn’t the end of everything, Yubita realized that her days ahead would be difficult, especially considering her mother, Juwariyah, had to support the family independently.
Her older sister, Yuli Nur Hidayah, is already married. She cannot offer much help as she hasn’t fully established herself yet. Her younger brother, Setyo Budi Utomo, is still in the third grade.
Waiting for a year for the opportunity to enter university, Yubita spent her time reading and practicing test questions. Her mother’s part-time income as a chicken butcher at the Godong Grobogan market made her reluctant to ask for additional tutoring.
“It wasn’t likely; besides, the tutoring location is far from home,” she said.
Yubita seems more mature than her age. It hasn’t been easy for her to accept the situation after the surgery, but she faces everything calmly and with acceptance. After the surgery, she became more aware of her body’s condition.
Yubita’s grades in high school were quite good, with an average score of 85.46 on the School Examination. However, she consistently maintained a rigorous study routine to catch up, waking up at 3 a.m. every day to study until dawn.
“Most of the time, I would request to be provided with exercise books and try-out packages. If I encountered difficulties, I would occasionally watch YouTube videos. As for why I chose Language and Literature, I hope the field of study won’t involve too much practical work,” said the admirer of literary figures such as Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Khalil Gibran, and Rendra.
Yubita feels grateful that her schoolmates treated her kindly despite her physical limitations. One of her high school friends, who happened to be a relative, willingly picked her up and dropped her off at school.
Born in Grobogan on April 23, 2004, she is undergoing the UGM’s orientation program PPSMB starting Monday (31/7). She is thrilled to study at UGM, the university she dreamt of since junior high.
Juwariyah expressed mixed feelings upon seeing Yubita studying at UGM. She is happy because her daughter’s wishes have come true, but she is also sad because her late husband, Tarli, didn’t witness Yubita’s happiness of being accepted into UGM.
Juwariyah admits that initially, it seemed impossible to continue supporting Yubita’s education. Her income as a part-time worker wouldn’t be sufficient.
“On average, my earnings are around 1.5 million rupiahs. While I’m grateful, it’s saddening that her father couldn’t see Yubita become a UGM student,” the mom said.
Author: Agung Nugroho