Monday, February 2, 2015

Chin Up!

I have finally received the feedback for every essay that I have written in the first term and for a presentation that I did last week. Unlike in Indonesia, feedbacks for essay and presentation are given in detail, not just by a number that God knows where from. My lecturers actually read every single word in my paper and gave me a constructive feedback for several sentences that I wrote (like "this should be supported by more evidence" or "great idea!"). For the presentation feedback, my course coordinator created a table consists of marking criteria and gave it to the whole class, so that we would get feedback from each of our classmates.

I said "I'm the stupidest one here" a lot. I said "I'm nothing compared to everyone here" abundantly, as well. I'm constantly being too hard on myself, and I know it. So it feels relieving to receive such constructive feedbacks to keep my self-efficacy from plummeting. Now I realized that while academic world is clearly not for me and I'm not going to get a PhD anytime soon, I'm not all that bad. I am actually really proud of my presentation and my essay. There are some flaws, obviously, but I'm still learning, and making some mistakes is not a bad thing as long as I can make some progress. I thought I would never critically analyse a paper as well as what my lecturer expected me to do, but hey, I read my undergraduate thesis (the one that I am very proud of), and already found a new flaws in just a few minutes - which is a sign that my knowledge is evolving. And yes, being an international student who has never used English in academic setting before, of course needing more time and effort in order to thrive is normal.

The scores that I got for the first term was not impressive. But it wasn't bad, and I have to admit that I really get what I deserve. I obviously underestimated my own ability. I still have what it takes to be what I aspire to be - I just need to be reminded of that fact all the time, instead of ruminating perpetually.

So chin up, chin up. Keep this in mind: everything is going to be okay.

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