This post is about the events that happened in my life during 2017. This will be part one of the three parts series of past, present and future.
I have been trying to find the time to think about these even before the New Year’s Eve. But as AIESEC and WiCa is viciously consuming my life, only now I have a little time to breath, to slow down a bit and to reflect.
But first, I have to know where I am before I can decide where I want to be. So let’s talk about 2017.
SPRING and UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE
At the early months of 2017, I was still in the motion of an old, seemingly forgotten way of life. The life of a senior highschooler in Vietnam, trying to make ends meet with the University Entrance Exam. I wrote a lot in those days, perhaps about 67 days straight, documenting my journey towards that test.
I also tried vlogging for a while, made about 7 or 8 vlogs. Then I felt something wasn’t quite right, the format wasn’t appealing to me. I wanted my videos to be more like an essay than a rant, with much more editing involed, I guess I got that vision from watching Frank Yang’s video. But I was lazy and
things just slowly slipped into the slothful procrastination routine. That’s why there was always a sting in my esteem when someome asked what happened to vlogs.
I remember being nervous about the Uni Test. The days flew by, one by one. There were days that I didn’t sit down to study, to follow through with my plans. Those were the days that I doubted myself, those were the days that fear got the better of me. But luckily for me, the University Entrance Exam wasn’t that hard, at least for me. And I was eligible for the major that I wanted to pursuit.
The summer was nice, I had to opportunity to visit Taiwan and meet Frank Yang out of a coincidence. We spent 2 hours talking and hitting a chest and bicep, tricep training. I still have to videos of him sharing ideas with me. It was surreal to be able to meet someone you admire for so long. He was something else, something different from the common Joe and Jane that we get to see in our everyday life. There’s some truth in saying that he’s fortunate not to worry about money thus was enabled to live a life without mundane responsibilities. But for some reason that aspect only elevates his being to whole new level, a modern day Renaissance man on a quest to find Truth and Understanding.
I want to say that meeting changed my life. I thought so at fist.
“Oh man, I just saw what it’s like to live like a Renaissance, now it’s time to take action!” “Oh man, Frank’s the real deal, I have to start making moves!” “Oh man, how can I be like Frank?”
I want to say that by meeting my idol and actually see how he lives, how he thinks, how he is lit a spark in me that forever changes the track of life. But it didn’t, at least up til now. But I got to be his acquaintance and currently working to help him building his website and creating his own book. So something has come out of that. And that’s the highlight of my summer.
I was excited and eager to prove myself when I join University. I joined a Debate Contest and made some new friends. I finished at 18th out of 60 contestants in individual score. Not bad as a starter, if I say so myself. Then I applied for DAV’s Leader (which is another contest of my school) but failed. In retrospect, I guess my attitude was a bit off, I was nervous so I over-compensated it with my “confidence” and my “boldness”. That was my first fail at the University.
Simultaneously, I applied for AIESEC in FTU Hanoi. The application process was one week of grueling, hard-core load of work. For the first time in my life, I was put into a sink-or-swim situation and truly tested. At that week, I realized my endurance and capability was not as grand and impressive as I have always assumed. I still have much to learn.
But regardless, I passed through. I got picked to be in the organizing committee of Winter Camp 2017, with the position of taking care of preparing the logistic and eventually running the project. Currently, I’m in between the weeks of running the project. I will dedicate this first chapter of my AIESEC journey to a whole other post, because it’s too important to be a paragraph.
Also simultaneously, I was invited to be the President of Hanoi Socratic Society, which is a club for people who enjoying learning about social sciences and humanitarian subjects. I, alongside 4 other core members have finished the probation phase of this year recruitment. And currently, I’m inactive as a President. I haven’t done anything related to HSS for the past 2 weeks because of the work load of AIESEC. With proper planning and timely execution, I could have.
I also got my first proper job as an English tutor for a 12th grader who almost knows nothing of this language. My job is to guide him through his University Entrance Exam with just the mark to pass, which may sound utterly simple and easy if it weren’t for the fact my student almost knows nothing of English.
Based on what happens in this fall, I can sometimes view myself as a workaholic – a busy busy man with lots of baskets to juggle.
The basket that I have neglected the most, ironically the one that often deems the most important, education. The first out of eight semesters of my college life has passed by without leaving any educational imprint on my mind. I can only barely remember some lines here and there of the only book that I actually read. The rest is already slowly fading away and will soon be forgotten. There’s one subject that I literally studied nothing in the first semester. Zero.
And during the final semester test, I had to work out of that subject. I could have cheated, easily. But somethings told me right then and there that if I decided to cheat at that final subject, the whole semester will official end without me actually studying for anything. To me and my personal values, I have to right that wrong, at least with this subject.
So I ended my year with the agreement with myself to study this subject for real.
Winter came when I realized I was drowning in work. Everything was out of my control, I stretched myself a little bit too thin for anything to be efficient. AIESEC work tangled up and turned into a mess because of my inexperience and overall naive way of approach the tasks. The English tutoring work still haven’t gone anywhere, with me and my students taking turns having excuses after excuses to miss a class. Socratic work has come to a halt.
And that’s how my 2017 went.
Somehow, with all of these going on in my life, I felt like my journey still haven’t started.
Somehow, I feel like my action are not mapping out my dreams and ambition. Even contrary, the more I struggled to finish tasks after tasks, the dimmer the vision became.