Waking up at 8:00, looking out the window at the dark sky, I allowed myself to sleep for one more hour before leaving the bed for breakfast. Year 2018 is about to come to the end and here I am in Helsinki, just finishing the exam, taking a long break before the new semester and randomly hanging out with friends. Coming back to student life was not totally easy as people often expect but at least for me, it is far more comfortable than working life. Actually, I had the first semester struggling with new environment (Nordic culture is harder to break through than I expected). The amount of school works is a little bit intimidating at first as well. As I came here by means of scholarship, I am required to strictly accomplish a certain amount of credits at certain level of grade to maintain scholarship status. Such requirement did stress me out sometimes in the last semester (and may continue to stress me in the next one) but luckily, it does not make me lose enthusiasm with studying. It should be the first time that I dedicated my full time for studying, seriously reading a large number of term papers and writing a ton of assignments. And I do enjoy studying after all. I was amazed a lot when reading the academic papers and figuring out a lot of interesting theories and empirical evidences related to corporate governance that could explain what I experienced in my last five years at work. And I felt good when receiving good grades as well (revision before examination is still an intimidating thing though). I started to be friends with some very kind people, both Vietnamese, Finnish and international friends. I started to come to terms with the winter here 😉 (maybe it is still too early to say so :P). After all, I felt good that I decided to go that far, coming here to realize my childhood dream of studying abroad (after working my ass off for years to save for living expense but after all I still think it’s worth) (even when life after graduate is quite uncertain) .
More about 2018, I learnt to be more content with being happier than I deserve (Thanks to Jane Austen for that nice quote). I learnt to accept my shortcomings, learning to enjoy more my little achievements and not comparing myself with others. I used to think myself not smart enough but only a hardworking girl and tried some ways to fix it but now I am totally fine with this fact. Two years ago, when I was asked by my Chinese teacher at NCCU about the compliments that I would love to listen from other people, I said without hesitation that I love to be complimented as a smart girl (Perhaps I was haunted with a comment made by a “used-to-be” crush of mine six or seven years ago that I have to work smart not work hard :w). But now I am totally fine if I do anything silly or I am not smart enough 😛 and I just thought that simple hardworking may not bring me with instant or superior success but at least it guarantees me to come by life in a sustainable manner.
About other positive things in 2018, I had my very first article published on the magazine, even better, a Chinese article published on a Taiwanese magazine. I was awarded with scholarship to study here, in Finland and another scholarship to continue with CFA (though my first reaction to the news was like “so I have to take CFA again”, haha). I was selected for two career mentoring programs in Finland and I am a little bit out of context what to do next but I think such a thing somehow helps me maintain my self-confidence. 2019 may be another difficult year but before entering the new year, I love the idea of enjoying the few days left of 2018 and relishing the humble achievements I got this year.