19 May, Sunday
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Proakatemian esseepankki

Studying Abroad Is My Dream

Kirjoittanut: Aileen Marie Flores Nunez - tiimistä Kaaos.

Esseen tyyppi: Blogiessee / 1 esseepistettä.

Mindset: menestymisen psykologia
Carol S. Dweck
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

I grew up in a country where completing your university from a reputable institution matters a lot when you are applying for a job. During my first interview after completing my university, I could not forget my interviewer’s eyebrows raised when she looked at my school credential and asked, “Where is this school?” Despite my impressive scholastic records, I could not be confident enough to be the best applicant since I completed my degree from a small college in the southern part of the Philippines. Getting hired at that time in a big city was a fighting chance. Luckily, I made it. It was from the fifth interview I had on that same day. I taught in that school for 8 years and gained valuable working experience. 


I then had a chance to work in Dubai, UAE. My working experience there was not related to my education degree which I had completed. However, I grew my career from office receptionist to logistics manager in the span of 13 years. I was enjoying the peak of my career along with the financial benefits I gained. However, as I looked into our company organization, that was the end position that I could take. My educational record does not qualify for higher positions anymore. That was the time I realized I needed to do something for myself. I need to equip myself and be the boss and why not. 


These two stories from my past brought me here to Proakatemia as an international student. My application to TAMK and my visa procedure went smoothly, and everything came right and on time despite the pandemic. At that time, I thought this journey was really meant for me. Our first day of school was an amazing and unforgettable experience. It started with the school orientation and acquaintance with my fellow students. It was more of a surprise and honestly not dismay that most of my teammates are from my country. The happy alley tribute and welcome speeches and cheers were the highlight of that day. It was at that moment that I realized I had made it. My dream came true. I was so happy. I am living my dream. 


But then it was not all a fairy tale story at all. After 2 terms had passed and our team ended in a smaller number, we had no choice but to join with the Entres and form a new team together. I missed my previous team sometimes, especially during our  PAJA time. It was deeply engaging, and we had a lot of fun together while learning but excluding our drama moments. Our coaches, Hanna, Jussi, and Cristian were incredibly supportive and guided us sincerely. I am grateful too for our other coaches. I learned a lot from our encounters, especially about building a team built in trust, respect, transparency, and resilience. 


My new team KAAOS is a newfound nest for me. Being a foreigner in this country, feeling so isolated, with very few friends around, I felt, I got the right team to integrate. Most of my teammates are cool and chilly. The team vibe is relaxing and with an optimistic and supportive ambiance. Every time I leave the room after paja, I just always feel light. It is a positive feeling for me. I wish to complete my studies along with this team. I am hoping most of us, if not all, stay together, work together, build a business together and run the 24-hour challenge together and be there on that stage to graduate together. 


Indeed, realizing this dream of mine is not easy and smooth sailing. Being an international student through an arranged program with an agency is a different matter and made my situation a bit difficult too. There are financial constraints for any benefit or support as an international student, unlike others. Aside from attending actual classes, staying active, and complying with school team projects, I need to do enough part time jobs to earn money to save up my school fees and living expenses. Doing all these every day, being all over the place and mostly my part time work requires physical strength, and I always feel exhausted at every end of the day. Experiencing these mental and physical stress, there are times when I can’t stop asking myself if I made the right decision and if keeping this dream is worth continuing. What is my purpose, and will this make me a better person and my life worth living? 


At times like this, feeling my motivation is low, I tried to lift myself by reading inspirational books or any online article that could keep me grounded and stay focused despite the difficulties I encounter. One of the most compelling guiding principles I always reread is about mindset by Carol Dweck. On her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she mentioned, “The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it is not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives” (Dweck 2007). With this thought, I tell myself that these challenges help me grow and improve myself and that these challenges help me grow and get better. This can contribute a powerful impact to my own growth. Great things take time and effort. Defining success from this perspective to see that hardship and failures are opportunities. Success is being better for myself and not being above others. Failure is a painful experience, but it does not define me. It is something to be dealt with and fixed. It is about how I get better along the process and not only what’s in the end.  


The situation I have now could be a reason for me to quit and look into a simpler option with no difficulties, however, I realized that I will just momentarily and temporarily fixing things and at the end would not feel good about it. I would like to stretch myself further with what my effort could do and learn and enjoy the journey. Find better opportunities that can lessen my burden. Becoming an entrepreneur requires a strong growth mindset and a courageous heart. I know I would find more meaning in my life on this path. Besides, I have invested so much finance, time, and energy in this study. It will be over in two years. I will just never know that one day it is already our graduation day. So, I tried to keep focused and grounded. Always be aware of the intention for what I live for. I may not see the final success yet… but I will be there soon on the right time with the right growth mindset.  








Dweck, C. 2007. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success 

USA: Random House Publishing Group