When thinking of how to have a fresh start of 2021, one idea lightened me up was “Why not begin with where the majority of audience has learnt so much about them? – University”. For that reason, I couldn’t find a better guest than my friend – who was one of the brightest stars when we were both in University. She shall share with us how her University life nurtured and grew her up. Those memorable years could possibly a great boost to a new year, with a new plan and a bunch of resolutions. So no more time for wordy introduction, let’s come and meet Phuong, who often names herself as Chek – her super cute nickname.
Could you introduce more about yourself to the readers?
Hi all, my name is Phuong, or you can call me Chek. I’m now living in my hometown, Quang Tri, Vietnam. I’m currently working as an Operations Translator for Mine Advisory Group, a non-government organization in humanitarian mine action. To say three words best-described about me, I would like to use: creative, enthusiastic, and multifunctional. Firstly “Creative” I always find many different and intriguing ways, not only in organizing programs but also in my daily work and activities. I am very enthusiastic, as well. I am confident that I always do my tasks and treat people around me with all my heart and ability.
Finally, most important, I am very multifunctional. It may sound weird, but I am confident that I can do so many things in many fields. I have done like learning the guitar, knitting, cooking, and so on. I also used to study biometrics, physiognomy, and astrology as I enjoy knowing more about people.
Well, I am always keen on making people happy and comfortable when they are around me. I have always been a risk-taker person, from simple things like wearing a T-shirt and jeans to class (as the teacher) without make-up to deciding to take my Master’s Degree one month before school started. I have always been straightforward, which against or upset others. Some will hate me because of this characteristic, but for the most part, it helps me gain a truthful network.
So I have seen you participate in various activities during your university life. What do you think about the benefits of joining those activities?
It must be having valuable networks and relationships. I am proud that those relationships are strong-tied until now when we are busy with our businesses. My friends and network have supported me through and through in various ways, including studying, emotional-support, and so on. The perk of having great friends is I also can learn from one another to become a better version of myself. It’s even more essential when we start our profession, and things get harder to have genuine relationships.
Another precious gift I have got from those activities is being a more confident person. I used to be “a typical A-grade student” at High School. Like my peers, I studied all and all, days and nights for the University Entrance Exam. University, however, was an open door for me when I got involved in various opportunities. Without the extra-care from my parents, I explored myself to the fullest to see what I can do. Just that, my confidence has built up each day of knowing myself a bit more and being strong on what I can make the difference.
- Well, how would you balance between studying and being active in extracurricular stuff?
About balancing between studying and being active in extracurricular activities, that’s how others perceive me. To be honest, I actually struggled a lot (laugh). But here are a few tips from what I did to make all the **its done.
Well, I am lucky to have good memorization ability. I can easily remember instantly. This is extremely helpful for studying pages of lessons one night before the exams.
Another approach of mine is finding the smartest and easiest way to do things. I prefer using logical thinking to learn things & try to gain a deeper understanding. Even with English, I have applied a systematic approach to memorize either learning new words or grammatical points.
Learning how to dance with the rain, I mean training myself to work under pressure.
- Throughout your Uni life, you have been through many exchange programs. How have your exchange and master program abroad meant to you?
Firstly, I would love to mention the Exchange program to Germany in year three at Uni. Going to Germany has been a life-changing experience. What I have learned and understand is being sympathetic. Coming from an Asian country, especially a small and traditional town, I encountered multi differences, even the smallest and the most normal to the norms. For instance, people can drink water from a tub and sharing it with others. You can drink water while taking a shower (how weird). Then, I was shocked when seeing my friends dating or having many relationships at the same time. Well, I learned to adapt to those changes one after another. In the end, what I realized was that we could not change people’s differences, and accepting others’ disparities did not mean that you should alter to – You are still who you are.
As long as they treat me equally, it must be okay.
Secondly, it must be cliche, but I have to say that English was another obstacle for me. I had learned English for years before setting my foot in Germany. However, when I was there, I obtained English to think more logically and socially than I had been, not only in studying but in other aspects of life. As I stayed in Germany, I was exposed to examples and learnings different from what I usually knew. When I saw how crucial adaptability was and how small I was in this big big world.
- What are the key turning points/the key milestone/memory which you are proudest/happiest about your life?
Well, I have mentioned here and there in my sharing how going to Uni and Germany has meant to me. Therefore, I have to choose one specific milestone; it must be that journey. At the young now can explore the world at a very young age with all the latest technology, but yeah, back then, the opportunity was open when I got to Uni. Each day was an opportunity to explore me, to be better than “me” the previous day.
- What would you wanna share with others besides your work? Interest/long-term passion/sharing/quotes and so on.
I’ve found joy in music (singing and playing the guitar, plus the ukelele). I am also big on making handmade stuff. Well, by doing these things, I can activate other parts of my brain. When I am immersed in these activities, it fully sets me in the zone. I could see myself having some hidden talents in the creative world.
- Some ending words for our readers, especially young people who are still in Uni?
As people always say, we wouldn’t regret what we did but what we haven’t done. Some people will tell you are not capable enough, you are not talented enough, you should not do this or that (Even you would say those things to yourself). When you achieve high results, some will be jealous of you. Well, you cannot satisfy all people on earth, so why do that?
When the world is too noisy, be quiet. You are better to care less about other thoughts. Instead, be bold in our actions. You do what you do isn’t about showing others how good you are (can be). But for the most part, the more opportunities you take, the more you learn and grow to a better version of yourself.
It’s my honor to have the opportunity to share my experiences and views with Mau and you. I hope these little sharing can help you guys, especially for those who are still in school. Hence, you can be more confident, more motivated in studying other activities to improve yourself and prepare the necessary knowledge and skills for the future.