2020 was a challenging year, and I hope that at this moment you are reading this post, please give yourself big applause. Please be proud of yourself for making it to the end of this year no matter how many things you have done and achieved this year. 2020 taught me some important things I would love to share with you all.
The importance of seeking help and being vulnerable
Before the pandemic, I thought that I could manage to do everything on my own if I really wanted to and tried. But that was not true. I could not make it through 2020 with the help of my fellow international students, my advisors, and the staff at Boise State. I could not maintain hope for the future without the support of my family and friends back home. This year, I attended counseling sessions for the first time and have used the service since then. Luckily for me, the insurance for international student has covered all sessions fee. I found that seeking help is not an action of weakness, but an action of courage. It is not easy to show others that we are not perfect. And even if we can do things alone if we tried hard enough, it does not mean that we have to.
When one door closes, the others will open
Before this year, I never thought that I would ever do a remote internship. I gave up hope of landing an internship in Summer 2020 when the pandemic hit Boise in March. Not able to go home and not knowing where to stay frustrated me. Then I read a note from a fellow student in my Marketing class of Prof. Koppenhafer that they had been used their free time to look for internships, and I truly wanted to thank that fellow student because they had changed my whole 2020 experience, and honestly the way I viewed my life. I finally landed two internships and gained valuable experience from my time at The Borgen Project and GAO Tek Inc. I have learned that resilience is key. It really is.
The importance of taking a break
I have a fear of wasting time. As an international student, I am afraid to spend my time not wisely because the time I am able to stay in the US is so limited. I have tried to grab all the opportunities I was given to develop myself. And, to be honest, I have not had a productive Winter Break. I did not look for internships in summer 2021 or finish reading any new books. But, I started working again today, and I felt energetic. I have not felt like this for a long time. And most of the time, working for me (studying, attending meetings, planning events, etc.) is more like a responsibility than joy. But today, I felt joy! If it not had been for the last two weeks, I would not be able to feel this great. Hence, taking a break is really important.
I am proud of what I have achieved in 2020, but I want to be more proud of what I have learned and how I have grown. 2020 showed me grief but also showed me hope. And I want to maintain hope and believe that the better is yet to come!
– By Chi Nguyen