Here in my quiet, isolated cubicle corner, things do not have to be loud and crazy to show how much busier I have gotten since the last time I posted here. Like I have predicted, I did receive a huge wave of new projects. Was it five or more? I can’t even remember. I can tell indeed that September will be a very busy month. During half the week my server connection is down, the printer is always “asleep”, and emails with attachments that I send turn into emails with long programming code. And I don’t even know how to program! Our main contact for tech support is on vacation so my requests for help were not answered as quickly as I would have liked. It took a little bit of ingenuity to get around the little technical difficulties, but determination to get the job done had taken me a long way.
Late last week I celebrated living in Canada for four years! Time has flown so fast indeed. Also, my brother is coming to Canada in a month! I am so excited because I totally missed most of his teenage years and I’m more determined than ever to catch up, in person that is. He will be attending high school as soon as he arrives but I realized, it’s never too early to share to him my experiences and my life lessons that I learned, including the ones I learned the hard way. Some of these are:
- Volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about.
- Find time to play your favorite sport or game. (for him it’s chess)
- Find a career choice of your interest. (Now in Canada he will have the real freedom to choose)
- Get a good night’s sleep as often as possible.
- Get a part-time job: I know that having a job while going to school is not the norm in the Philippines. I want him to realize though that even flipping burgers at a fast-food place after school or getting a summer job related to one’s degree teaches valuable things that a person needs to have in his work ethic toolkit.
- Pack in too many work house in your schedule: my mistake from experience until now and as a result, I haven’t had a regular weekly day off for as long as I can remember.
- Depend on caffeine to stay awake: If you do, it will a bit more difficult to do #4 in the Do list
- Trade sleeping time to play video games the entire night: The consequence both from the lack of sleep and unfinished responsibilities will eventually be too much to handle.
- Be shy: Being in a foreign country is the most intimidating challenge ever, but also the most exciting. A little bit of assertiveness will take you far in terms of what you can discover and achieve. All it takes is to take initiative, ask and learn, and navigating through a whole new world of cultures, norms, opportunities will be a less scary and more fun.
I think another great way to learn is to share. It gives an opportunity to remember the experience and even have a different perspective due to other related questions that the listener may ask. Having an opportunity to share my experiences in my placement through this blog gave me another chance to reflect on what happened and what I have learned.