With passion, determination, hard work and perseverance, dreams can become a reality. Interestingly, people often boast that they are hard workers without understanding what it really means. In fact, it demands a lot of time and energy behind the scene to make things really work. Should we really push ourselves beyond our limits?
When you test your limits
Being a scholar, it is tempting to view your scholarship as the be all and end all of your academic journey. With a fully-funded education and job opportunities after graduation, it seems that there is little else for you to worry about. The truth is, securing a scholarship is only the beginning. However, one should also understand that the journey is a process and is not always a bed of roses. Being acknowledged to be intellectually competent and culturally adept often translate into greater pressure to perform well and deliver good results–as well as being consistent in upholding the highest standard provided by the scholarship donor (MFAT), organizations (ISO, AUSA, etc.), your university, and your home country. For some, being outside the A-range grade is a failure. I cannot judge them. Perhaps, it matters since scholars ought to maintain a certain GPA or they have other reasons. But while it is good to challenge ourselves and test our limits, we should not be pushing ourselves too hard at the expense of our physical and mental health.
Although I’ve received some awards during the completion ceremony, nothing of these came easy. Just like others, I have had my share of physical, emotional, and mental challenges. I am not perfect. I have strengths as well as weaknesses. I’ve tried to act on it as soon as I recognize them. 15 out of 18 months have passed and I have learned so many things on this journey. Truly, I have experienced both the best and worst, but the most important part is that I would always reflect and learn from the experience–what went well, what went wrong, and how I can improve. After all, I know in my heart that I have done my best out of good intentions. Therefore, no matter what the outcome is, I am at peace. Finally, we should not be afraid of failure because through it, we can learn how to be resilient. Some days I get A+, A- or A but some days I also get B or B-. For some people, being outside the A range is already a failing grade. Regardless whether it is B, C, or D-grade, failure remains failure when we do not learn from them. But if we learn from them, it becomes the springboard to our success. I could not thank enough the people who have been part of my journey–those who supported me and those challenged me in any way. Today, I am better person than who I was from the start. Sincere acknowledgement to MFAT New Zealand, UoA-GSM, ISO-Rebecca, Suriati, and Suhaila!! CCF New Zealand, Tita M., JF and my Family. Glory to King!
4 Things to remember:
So, whenever you find yourself stressed out as you struggle somewhere in your academic journey or even when you are acing it like a pro, do not forget four things: One, pray for wisdom, strength, and endurance. Apart from God, we still can do nothing. Two, acknowledge that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Some are good at public speaking and academic writing but struggle with numbers and scientific names or vice versa. By understanding this, it would be easier for you; focus on your strengths to offset your weaknesses. You can ask for help to turn your weakness into strength–join a study group or find a study buddy. Three, seek guidance and counsel from your family and friends. Having the image of an independent, smart, diligent or perhaps being a constant achiever or an A+ person, there is a tendency that would feel uncomfortable asking for help. Set aside the ego and take courage. Do not be afraid to ask because we have been told, ‘no man is an island’. However, if you prefer not to bother them or if the time difference between your home country and where you are does not match, your friendly ISO–are more than happy to hear from you and are very willing to help you within their means. Get in touch with them. Four, go out and do something new. While academic requirements look like mountains, you have to devote some time to eat out, go for a walk, smell the flowers, play with children or socialize/network through events. Sometimes, we tend to allow our deadlines blur the little things yet equally important in life. It is important to have a balance. I know it is easier said than done. Been there–but let us try to do it anyway. 🙂 If we have the courage to begin, let us have the courage to succeed!
After all, the prize of passion for learning, perseverance, and determination is endless opportunities.
–The Official Traveler