Personal Life

Lessons learned over a year after graduation

My life has been an emotional roller coaster with its ups and downs in the past 1 year after my university graduation. Every single moment happened during my past year could appear in my mind right away and vividly whenever I close my eyes and think back over them. I see a 20 – something girl immersing herself in the first full – time job with Deaf people and being in tears when listening to magic transformations of Deaf children and their families. But I also see that girl disappointedly burying  her face in her hands and keep asking herself whether she was on track or not. That girl is me! In the past 1 year, I fell down then got back up. I got lost then came back with a handful of priceless lessons that have made a tremendous growth in myself and the below are two most crucial ones.

  1. Don’t rush through life. Things take time.

Pursuing a Masters degree in Europe has always been a dream of mine. Therefore, right after my graduation, I applied for a scholarship program that I really liked. I put everything I could do in the application to prove my passion and desire for the course and when the result came out, I was speechless. I failed, and my feeling when I knew the program wouldn’t open until 2018 could only be described by no words other than “Empty”.

Covering my next days was frustration. I couldn’t stop being upset with myself. Being rejected is definitely not a nice thing, but waiting for at least 2 years is way more terrible than that. But I had forgotten that things around us need time to grow, especially good things, including success, because they are not instantly there. No matter how great the talent or efforts are, some things just take time. And “nobody is going to win all the time. On the highway of life you can’t always be in the fast lane.” (Haruki Murakami)

Looking back on my past years, I realise I have been a shuttle moving non – stop with seemingly never-ending plans. Now it is time for me to slow down and learn to be patient, and also to bring fun to the waiting time if it isn’t fun enough. In other words, if things take time to develop, why don’t we turn that time (one of) the most memorable stage(s) to remember in our entire lives?  Instead of complaining, I now consider those 2 waiting years as a precious opportunity for me to do whatever I want in order to turn my potential into performance. I would enrich my wealth of knowledge, brush up necessary skills, strengthen my goals and motivation, nurture my love with Europe or deepen the relationship with my own self and with other people. My dream, my passion for Europe is still there, it just needs time to be turned into reality. And I have made a plan to travel around South East Asia before turning 25 (or 26) and I’m sure that I have enough time to make it happen.


2. Life is basically unfair, but…

Yes, life is obviously unfair! I have complained about the life unfairness for so many times, especially since I stepped into the real world work because some people work their ass off and might never get what they are aiming for while others can get it very easily, even without any effort. But you know what?  “Even in a situation that’s unfair, it’s possible to seek out a kind of fairness” (Haruki Murakami).

This quote has changed my mind and my view towards life. It has reminded me of the most powerful tool people possess which is the power to choose. You can choose to stay either positive or negative. You can choose either to move forwards or to give up. You can choose either to keep complaining “Life sucks” or to change it. You can whine or you can shine when life is unfair.

One month ago, I applied for an editor position at a national news agency and I was required me to sit for an intensive entrance exam. However, I was crazily obsessed with the question “how fair was the exam gonna be?” that I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Then I noticed that the fear just kept me behind. And regarding to the recruited position, it was what I had aspired for years. It’s international affairs, it’s languages, it’s writing. All was what I’m passionate about, so for no reason would I give this chance to anyone else. I told myself every day before and even in the test days not to surrender early, be myself and do all the best I could so that I wouldn’t regret later.

Then came the moment of truth. With butterflies in my stomach, I opened the file, looked carefully for my name, scrolled up and down for several times until I believed what I had seen was real. Guess what? I made it through with the highest score among nearly 600 candidates. Speechless I was, literally, but in a good way. This is the sweetest result I have ever had in my life so far. My efforts paid off, but the more importance lies in my decision to be positive rather than to be negative, I reckon. If I had kept being obsessed with the fairness and unfairness, I wouldn’t have got my dream job and I would have been frustrated with myself. If everything had been easy, I would have stinted on my effort. So it pretty much depends on how you and your choice. For me, unfairness can be one of the challenges in life we have to overcome to achieve what we aim for and also a chance for us to shine.


“Who am I”? is the question we each look for answers everyday in our lives. What creates you? Your personalities, your motivations, your passions, your identity, your abilities and your choices.  J.K.Rowling has written: It is our choices that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities”. I do believe our abilities tell pretty much about ourselves, but it is undeniable that choices we make shape our lives. As a choice – maker, be free but be wise, to make sure that you feel good with your decision. It’s all up to you!


3 thoughts on “Lessons learned over a year after graduation”

  1. What a heartfelt piece of writing. We share the same outlook, but it can be hard to stick to it when the chips are down. You managed it and should be proud of yourself. How is the job going, is it all you expected it to be?


    1. thank you for visiting my blog and reading my posts. that’s what people often say: if life gives you a lemon, just make a lemonade. adaptability and flexibility are key characteristics we should have in life.


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