Take Another Leap of Faith
It was another long-awaited dreadful moment of adrenaline rush.
And this time, I made it.
Jumpy hand motions and uncontrollable grins aside, here’s a recount of my unfortunate past of numerous failures. Written as a heads up for those who may stumble upon the same path as me, but primarily just as a comforting reminder to self that hard work does pay off.
So the story unravels in my blooming days of entering the enchanted gates of college life. Nervous yet curious about everything, I wanted to be adventurous in a rather modest sense. I wanted to “try everything” while humbly staying within the edges of my comfort zone. Upon coming to UCSD, I was excited about the enormous amount of International students on campus because I’ve always felt more connected to those who share the same underlying culture as me. After being exposed to several Chinese-centered student orgs, I decided on two that caught my eye and best matched my social and career endeavors.
After registering for interviews, I quickly drew up a resume from a Word template, tweaked a few colors and shapes, and sent it in.
The first interview crushed me. I’m guessing it was partially because I was completely new to the concept of team interviews and unfathomable write-up questions (which I struggled with so hard because I could not remember how to write a lot of the words in Chinese and ended up using pin-yin and looking like a third-grader). I also signed up for something I definitely should not have, something about having specialty skills in photography(???)…Big misunderstanding on my part, and I’m almost certain that the guy in charge of photography thought I was probably some confused and incoherent joke. Oh wells. (I ended up buying a photography guide book right afterwards because I was so ashamed of not knowing anything he asked about. Sigh.)
The second interview was the Marketing department which I really wanted to get into. The interview itself actually went decently well, but the predicament was that I had no art supplies, digital platforms, or even a portfolio to showcase my work. I was reasonably offered a letter of rejection.
The second student org was more formal and possibly even more competitive. The first department I interviewed for no longer exists current day, possibly has evolved into another form. The second department I tried out for was also Marketing, and for the same reasons as mentioned above, I voluntarily withdrew from the applicant pool. However, I was glad to find out that I was accepted as a Prime Member, which in my understanding means I’ve done pretty well and almost made it through? That is left to be determined…
During the fall semester of my second year in college, I gathered up the courage for a fresh new start. I went through the same application process, but during the interview of the first department I was told that as a Prime Member I do not need to participate in formal interviews alongside new applicants. I scheduled a one-on-one meeting with the department head of the second department I selected (sorry I feel like I’ve been saying department too much), and after a brief talk and her realizing I have practically no experience in the field, she recommended that I have a talk with the Marketing department head instead based on what I have described as my strengths and interests.
And here comes the worst of heartbreaking disappointments. After getting my hopes up of being introduced to the Marketing department, I was once again disheartened by my horrible performance during the conversation with the department head. I knew I lost my chance the second I walked away from the meeting point. I was dull, hesitant, and inexperienced. I had none of the skills she asked for, and the ones I wanted to offer was, by her words, not needed. (Honestly speaking, I don’t quite see how this one-on-one interview is more beneficial to the interviewee. I’m pretty sure she was in a rush and we were talking outside a classroom on a weekday night right before an event hosted by them. Hmm, my loss?)
That night I was pretty much broken down. I doubted myself and what I was capable of. The most distressing thing was that I felt as if I did not make any improvements compared to freshmen year, that I had wasted my time without trying to get better. I planted my face in my knees squatting on the wooden stairs next to my dorm while troubling thoughts like these enveloped me. I ranted to a few friends, and thankfully they were so supportive and encouraging. Being the optimistic kind of person I just naturally walked out of the shadows within the same day, but I knew I was afraid of failing again and was almost triggered by the thought of interviews.
When I received the message of rejection, it wasn’t a matter of surprise anymore. I just felt lost, beaten, humiliated. It’s like that feeling when you want to sniff your nose but a trace of tear would just trickle down and that is not what you want. But there’s nothing I could do about it. Nothing I could do to fix it. Peaceful acceptance.
I started avoiding the events of that organization. Not just holding personal grudges against them but I simply felt like I don’t belong there anymore. I was unnecessary and unneeded. Either way, life carried on.
So time flashes by and here we are at the lovely season of spring blossoms. I guess it’s my blatantly audacious side pushing me to conquer my fears and reach out to opportunities once again. And I’m so glad I did.
Besides the fact that I meticulously designed my own resume this time and I finally have Photoshop work samples (and the software itself, thank god), I’m thankful that I have met people whom I admire and want to chase after. And I’m thankful that I have met people who willingly give me words of encouragement, telling me to try again.
I may seemingly be making a big deal out of a little thing, but life’s basically made up of millions of interweaving little pieces so why not make the most out of it? The night is still young. I still have so much passion left to burn. It’s going strong, and I hope I will make up for what I have missed out on.