Monday, 28 March 2016

I made a decision

To not go for an all-expenses paid trip to Uganda.

Some of you may be thinking, "Damn wasted leh!", "Is she crazy??"...

Just so you know, I have always been.

Anyway, just a brief summary of how I got this opportunity in the first place: As I've mentioned before, I was got to go to Japan on an internship (which was too, all-expenses paid). This year, the same organisation offered me an internship at their office in Uganda. When I first received the email, I wasn't too sure about the job scope but still expressed my interest. Did the interview, secured the internship. I'm always one who jumps at every chance to go overseas. Which is also why I am now quite shocked at my own decision haha. I'm not too sure if this is progression or regression.

There are three main reasons why I decided to reject this wonderful opportunity (Even as I wrote the email to reject the internship, I was very aware of how awesome it is).

One, I have many things that I want and need to do in Singapore. Surprisingly. I can cross off a lot of things that I want and need to complete by staying in Singapore. There are many things that I want to solve in my immediate environment and local community.

Two, my sister had a liver transplant earlier this year. My mum said that I should just go ahead, but I kinda wanna be here for my family.

Three is a little personal: I don't think I'm good enough to do what the internship requires of me. I think it's okay for me to reveal this; the internship mainly involves mentoring students who are going to start college this fall. I just don't think that I have the capacity to be someone who can teach college content well because I am barely surviving myself. My parents and some of my friends told me that I was just lacking self-confidence. I told them, no, I am being self-aware of my capabilities and my lack of knowledge. I just think it's unfair if the students have to put up with a mediocre teacher.

Yes, academically, I am very mediocre. And I have my grades to prove it haha. I know I won't have any problems interacting with students and having a good time with them but that is just half of what this internship entails. I believe someone else will be able to fill the shoes better.

My mum said that I will regret this and that I "always regret" my decisions. But I realised I have been having second thoughts from the very beginning and up until the moment I set my mind to reject the internship offer. I kept trying to convince myself that this will be the right thing to do. But I never had to do this for my Japan internship. Sure, I was anxious and nervous before embarking on my Japan internship but never once did this fear make me consider otherwise. My desire outweighed my fears.

As I always believe, if there is hesitation, it means that I don't want it enough.

This is actually the second rejection of the year from my part. I'm not trying to brag but instead, I want to remind everyone that it is okay to just go out there and explore several options. Like I said before, I am a very mediocre student. If I can do it, you can definitely do it (perhaps even better). Anyway, I previously got into a two-week Sino-Singapore exchange but I rejected their offer in favour of the Uganda one. Both made me grow especially in terms of honing my interview skills and helping me discover what I really want, so I am very thankful for both of these opportunities as well as their affirmation for me.

Throughout the whole of March, I had friends who gave me really good advice or were just great being a listening ear. I think one piece of advice that I will remember for a long time is "Just put 10% in making the decision and 90% in doing it well". I didn't exactly use only 10% in decision-making haha and I definitely not sure if my 90% was enough. I need more time to develop myself as a more capable individual first. And like I mentioned, it's not fair to bring in other people as guinea pigs so that I can have a successful experiment. I will go back, if given the chance, with better knowledge and equipment.

Final note: Right now, I have my eyes on some local internships and short overseas program like TISP2016. Will update progress soon.

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