The First Crossroad

I’m sure a majority of the people who did student exchange had doubts about studying abroad at one point or another. For me, I reached this crossroad during my application process.

In preparation to study abroad, I started a new part-time job. In addition, I overloaded so that I would graduate on time.

It was fine in the beginning when I enjoyed the challenge. That changed when my assessments started piling on.

My track-record has been pretty good. I’m not a perfectionist by any means but I’ve come to expect a particular standard from my work.

Out of nowhere, I had hit a writer’s block. I knew what I needed to write but I couldn’t articulate it.   I was struggling to hand my work on time.

Nothing seemed right.

I started to doubt myself and whether I was studying the right course. My double-degree will come to an end next year and by the end of this year, I will complete my two majors.

Many of my classmates seem to be on track; they have a goal in mind and are proactive in working towards it. Then there’s little old me, clueless and lost.

This took a toll on my confidence as well as my academic performance.

I was worried I would fail my units. Not only would this delay my graduation, it would completely throw off the arrangements I had made to study abroad.

My reaction? Take the easy route out. If my previous post were an indication, I was eating sour grapes.

I had a list of reasons to justify my decision against studying in Japan:

  • “I will miss my family”
  • “It costs too much money”
  • “I don’t have to worry about graduating on time”
  • “I can’t communicate properly”
  • “I’ve studied enough of commerce subjects”
  • “I don’t know anyone there”

… and so forth.

To others, those may be legitimate concerns but for me, they were poor excuses. At its best, a coping mechanism for me to deal with my fear of getting rejected.

After consulting a few people, I realised this is something I really want. It has been the only thing I have talked about the past year and it would be a pity if I threw it away just like that.

As one of my favourite Malaysian bloggers Timothy Tiah recently said, “it’s not what happens to you but how you react to it that matters.”

It is uncertain whether I will be accepted into the program but I believe the feeling of regret would be far worse.


With that said, I am proud to announce I’ll be continuing with this journey.

I’ve already sent out an email asking for academic reference and I will be lodging my application by the end of this month.


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