"Fear of failure" is something that a lot of high achievers are familiar with. Growing up, I've often felt like there isn't room for me to make mistakes. A lot of my worst memories are of times I have failed to succeed.
Today, I ran for an Exec position for the Women in Technology club that I am a part of. I wanted to be the Communications officer but unfortunately did not get elected for the position. As someone who has had prior experience as both a president and a secretary of different clubs, I tried to reassure myself that I do have the experience that would have made me qualified for the position. However, it still hurts that I wasn't elected, although I am happy for the other person who ran, as she would also fit the role well.
Moving forward, it is also hard, sometimes, to justify even trying. If I'm bound to fail, why do I keep trying? In fact, this is not the first time I have run for a position and lost. Back in 6th grade, I remember being so disappointed, going home and crying after I failed to win the Treasurer position of Student Council. I have never done well in an election, to be honest. All of the positions I have held were always chosen by the advisor or the previous position-holders.
Now, I realize, that perhaps the problem isn't my qualifications. Rather, it is the way I put myself out there and the way people perceive me. Perhaps, they can see the self-confidence that I am lacking. I could perhaps say that what I feel is "impostor syndrome." This all ties back to my fear of failure.
As a young adult, I am living in that time where it is hard to have confidence and self-esteem in myself, from my appearance to my accomplishments. When I do poorly on an exam, I struggle to make myself feel better again about my intelligence. I question myself, "Am I even smart enough to understand this? What am I doing wrong?" And other times, I have trouble accepting the way I look. Sometimes I look at the mirror and think "Why can't my face be smaller? Why can't my eyes be bigger? Why can't my acne go away?" In this age of the internet, it is so easy to compare ourselves with the people around us and wonder why we aren't as successful as the people around us. And at the same time, it feels like every failure is permanent and something that can be used against me.
You might be able to see where I'm going with this. My fear of failure comes from my lack of self love. If I were able to believe in myself, there would be no need to be scared to fail. Because at least then I would have known that I tried and that's what matters.
With that said, maybe my goal for the rest of 2019 should be to learn to love myself.
Many of my friends know I listen to a lot of Korean pop. Because of my love to Korean music, I have become interested in Korean culture. As someone who also comes from an Asian background, it is interesting to see the differences between Japanese and Korean cultures, as well as the tensions between the two countries. In fact, I only learned about the tensions between the two countries because I had become interested in Korean culture. This is something I would have known if I had lived and grown up in Japan. The tensions come from the imperialistic era of Japan, where they conquered some of China, Korea, etc. Unfortunately, the people living under Japanese rule were exploited so this resentment has lasted for quite a while. It doesn't help that Japan has not formally apologized for the wrongdoings.
However, this has not deterred me from being interested in Korean culture. Unfortunately, UC doesn't offer any sort of Korean class. Instead, I was wondering if Korea has something like Japan's JLPT test for foreigners to prove their language proficiency. And I found it! It is called Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK). This made me think that for one of my honors experiences, I could try learning the language and attempt to pass the first level. I looked at a practice exam and wow does it look difficult. I will probably end up putting more than 75 hours into it haha! But because it is something I already had an interest in and would probably do anyway, it's worth it.
Today I met with my academic advisor for CS. This was my first time meeting her because over winter break, my CS advisor changed. She was organized and friendly, just as an advisor should be. I was thankful that she had put in the effort to know what I was doing outside of CS before even meeting me (in regards to the University Honors Program and my coop program). She also considered different programs that I might be interested in and we talked about those during our meeting as well. I definitely enjoyed speaking with her more than my previous advisor and I'm excited to work with her for the next 4 years.
Today I had the opportunity to attend a "Cloud Study Jam" hosted by a Google Campus Representative at UC. We used the Google Cloud Platform and Qwiklabs tutorials to learn more about the power of cloud computing. As someone who wants to minor in Business Analytics (the closest UC has to a data science degree for undergraduates), cloud computing is something that is highly used in the world of data science.
We learned about Google Cloud Platform as being an Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service, which is why it makes it so easy for businesses and researchers to do cloud computing without the need of a physical server and upkeeping. The labs are timed, so it prevented me from fully understanding what was going on but I think I got a good preview. As part of the Study Jam, we got $100 credits toward the Google Cloud Platform, so I am excited to try it out and see if I can learn a little bit more about it.
As my first year in college comes close to an end, I thought about some of the things I have accomplished so far and the many more things I would like to accomplish. Here is a simple reflection post on what I am thinking about.
Today I had the opportunity to attend Women in Technology (WiT)'s Capture the Flag event. The event was for beginner/intermediate levels, which was perfect for my first Capture the Flag. It exposed me to the linux system and how to use terminals. As a CS major, I've heard a lot of people like linux, so I was glad that I could play around with it on a safe space on the VM. My partner and I got second place, and received a touch screen hacking device and a Raspberry pi gaming system, respectively. I can't wait until the summer so that I can play around with my new Raspberry pi!
Today I met with my honors advisor, Meghan Morris. I didn't know what to expect, but I felt very welcomed within the first 5 minutes of our talk. It was refreshing to meet someone who wasn't connected to CEAS. We discussed how I am doing so far in the semester and what some of my plans are during my time in the Honors program.
Ideas for experiences
1. An experience centered around my 20th coming-of-age ceremonial pictures in Japan
2. Photographic journey of South Korea, capturing people's lives
3. European backpacking trip (something that has been on my bucket list)
4. Data science research (to supplement my Business Analytics minor that I will be working towards)
5. Learning a new programming language over the summer (need to apply by April 5th!)
6. Trip to Turkey to reestablish my roots?
7. Leadership position in a student org
I learned that experiences can be pretty flexible as long as there is some growth in character to achieve becoming a Global Citizen Scholar. Although there are seminars that can be taken as well, since I am a technical major, I wanted to use my experiences to focus more on my creative side.
I got a lot out of meeting Meghan today, and I'm excited to see where my Honors path will take me!