“If it were you, what would it be?”


So, this past weekend, I attended two different graduation dinners. On Saturday night, I went down to Illinois to attend UIUC MASA’s Graduation Night, and on Sunday night, it was UW-Madison MSA’s Graduation Night. Sure, it was a little hectic and tiring for me to attend both of them (considering how I had to drive back up on Monday morning after sending him back down to Illinois), but it was worth the time & energy.

My perfect date for the weekend.
My perfect date for the weekend.

No worries, this post will not be the “omg I’m so in love with my perfect date and how perfect the weekend was or how the two graduation dinners were“. Mind you, I might post about that one day, but this is not that post. This post is more to answering a question that my clingy junior asked me during one of the graduation dinners, where they were showing the graduating seniors’ achievements (academic, personal, etc) during their college years.

“So, if it were you, what would your achievement(s) be?”

That made me think about my whole four years in Madison, and what I have done that I can actually be proud of. I can’t say I’m proud of what I’ve achieved academically, I know I could’ve done better if only I was still passionate and interested to pursue a career in the actuarial world [though, I did made it to the Dean’s list for one semester, which was good enough for me].

I think I’m going to just list them down, and take it from there [because it’s late at night now and I need to sleep but I really want to get this blog post done and over with instead of stopping halfway and not having the will to finish it off at a later time]

  1. My EES Certificate. I learnt about the Certificate in Education and Educational Services during my second year (I think?), and I figured, why not pursue it alongside my degree? It’s just an extra five courses, and it’ll give me a good introduction to the education world (who knew education policy can be so interesting and complicated, and heck, how interesting it is to learn about how video games can affect and improve one’s learning). It’s a bit unconventional, and won’t actually do anything for me (doesn’t qualify me to teach or anything, obviously), but it serves more as a way for me to have a taste of what’s being taught in the School of Education.
  2. Nominated for the Louise Troxell Award, Spring 2017. The Louise Troxell Award (I don’t know if the link is available for the public to view) is for “an outstanding upperclass woman whose qualifications include intellectual ability and curiosity, good citizenship, appreciation of the world outside herself and interest in participating in its affairs” [from its website]. One of my previous coordinators at ISS nominated me for this award, but unfortunately I did not win it [granted, when I looked the award up, I think it was supposed to be for Americans only? maybe? Idk] but yeah, to be nominated itself was a sign that someone other than myself thinks that I have done significant things on campus.
  3. International Reach volunteer/ambassador for 4 years, Program Assistant for 1 semester. Am grateful that the International Reach program [where international students volunteer to speak/present at schools/on campus/in Madison about topics related to our culture/history/tradition, etc] became my family for the past four years, and that I was trusted with the responsibilities to spearhead the workshop for the volunteers last semester. Granted, it could’ve gone better, but it was a new program that they wanted to implement and I’m grateful to be able to help out in any way possible.
  4. Lived alone in a studio for two years. Well, not a full two years, of course, but close to two years. I think living alone in a studio has its perks on my growth, and how it helped me to be more independent (especially with my finances). Sure enough, it’s expensive as hell, and I could’ve saved a lot more money if I were to share an apartment or a room with someone else, but I think the satisfaction of living alone is worth it. Plus, I can always make more money in the future. And I might not even have the opportunity to live alone again in the future, so might as well make full use of this opportunity, no?
  5. College Library Excellence-in-Service Award for Fall 2016. After 3.5 years of working as a Circulation Student Assistant, I’m going to miss my overnight shifts and my #HelenCSunriseClub moments.
  6. Travelled to 22 states [23, if you count Alaska next month]. Didn’t make it to even half of the country, but heck, I’m good with it. It’s been fun travelling the US with my friends, and will definitely cherish the moments.
  7. Attended the NASPA Undergraduate Pre-Conference in San Antonio, Texas in February 2017. Have been meaning to write about this, can’t promise I will, but I will keep this in mind. It was a last-minute decision to apply for their Capstone scholarship to attend the conference, but definitely glad that I did. It was my first ever professional conference that I attended because I wanted to, and not because I needed to. What’s more was it was the first time I went to a place alone, not knowing anyone there or anyone who would be attending, or anyone in the area that I could crash at. So, yeah, I AirBnB-ed and Uber-ed my way that weekend, and felt super out of place with all the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows who were there because they are all in the same program that paid for them to attend, and then there was me, who came on my own money and because I felt like doing it out of the blue.
  8. Ran my first ever half-marathon last semester, and even though I didn’t train as much as I should, I still managed to complete it (thanks to my senior who ran with me and pushed me to do my best and to complete it even though it took us ages because I felt like giving up half the time). So, yes, this was a huge accomplishment for me, even though I lack the stamina and energy that my high-school-basketball-player used to have.
  9. #KaklongMadison is a thing now, and that does not require any further description lol what kind of an achievement is this anyway ._.
  10. And lastly, at least for now (just because I don’t want to write more and because I’m so sleepy I could fall asleep right here on my desk), I think one of my biggest achievements is being invited to speak during the International Students Graduation Celebration in a few weeks’ time. It’s not as big as speaking during commencement or anything, but it’d be an honor and a privilege to be able to share my experiences and thoughts with the people during the graduation celebration.

Obviously, there are more that I could add to the list, but I think, if you ask me to list some of the most important things I’ve done or achieved, I would talk about these. These, along with many other small achievements, big/small failures that I do not share with people, made my four years of undergraduate here in Madison meaningful, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Okay, time to sleep. Until next time, adios, stay awesome! 🙂

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