Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us. —Wilma Rudolph
Why do I choose this particular quote?
I guess if you know me in person, you probably know that my English wasn’t great when I just got to the Netherlands, especially in my first year. I didn’t seem that bright and many of the others didn’t actually think I could survive the pressure of the program and make it to graduation. I am not here to prove that you are wrong or that I am actually smarter than you thought of me. I am here to share some of my thoughts to many other rookie foreign students just like how I was.
In my first year, I needed time to settle in a complete different country and learn a new way of studying, plus to find the right motivation to keep going. I made a lot of mistakes and most importantly, I learnt from my mistakes. Study abroad is very challenging, not only because of the intense study program, also you are often homesick, you come to a country where you literally know nobody. You have to deal with every little thing every day. So a lot of foreign students (like me) needed more tolerance, support and guidance instead of judging, picky and being laughed at. Of course, foreign students should also be independent, open-minded and driven. Luckily I learnt a lot from my experience and survived, for this, I sincerely thank three of my mentors, that you always believed in me and you are always there for me.
In the end I made it, I graduated in time, I received an eight for my internship and a seven for my final thesis. I am proud of myself and I don’t see why I shouldn’t. I used to compare myself to those top students or native speakers in the class, I felt ashamed about my poor English. You know what, it took me one year to realize that why should I compare myself to others? Then I started to focus on myself, I tried to read out loud in my room as much as possible; I tried to watch English movies and TV series without subtitles; meanwhile, Bram helped me a lot throughout the years. What you don’t see is that behind some of the luck I got, I am also a very hard-working person.
Here I am now, I am not perfect and I don’t want to be. But I can say that I am happy and I am confident about myself. Just remember, always focus on how to improve yourself, but NOT compare with others, that destroys your confidence and enthusiasm.
Please don’t look down to others, because you don’t know what he/she can achieve. Never underestimate the power of determination. And never, give up.