Thursday, March 9, 2017

Never Give Up

If you remember my intro in my post about Pinto Art Museum - about my life these days and that I have some great news to share. I think now is the time to talk about that. =)

Finally, finally! I've been accepted in a PhD program! (This gal is a bit teary eyed right now.) It's been my goal for several years already (all my entries can be found in the label Road to PhD) and now, it's starting to become a reality.

I would say the whole PhD application process was not an easy road. I applied to a lot of grad schools and emailed professors in different countries since January 2016 and every time, it was either "There's no vacant position." or "You are not accepted." or no reply at all. It was depressing and emotionally draining. Every time I get rejected, I checked another school, another professor. And then I get rejected again. It came to a point of even asking myself whether I still deserve to do a PhD. Self-pity and weariness took over. That's the point where I realized I need to surrender my dreams to God. One weekend this January, I had a very honest, soul-baring talk to Him. I prayed, cried, demanded answers, and just said every single thing that's running in my mind. I did not hear any answer at that moment but after sometime, I got the answers. Things started to fall into place. On the fourth week of January, I received an email from a scientist in one of the PhD programs I applied to at the start of this year. It was very encouraging. Week after week, interview after interview, prayer after prayer, I was finally accepted in his group. I've been meaning to do biomedical research and now it's finally becoming a reality.

So, I guess, what I get from the whole experience is that it's a test of patience and perseverance - that we should never give up on our dreams no matter what, no matter how long it takes. And that it's also a walk of faith - that God's plans are what's best for us and His timing is always perfect. And He has given me people who also play a part in making my dream a reality:
  • my family who has always been there for me since Day 1, who has always supported and loved me, especially in my unlovable moments;
  • my previous supervisors in the Submergence team, advisers/professors in my undergrad and masters, and supervisor in my current work, for not only sharing their knowledge but also for influencing and helping me navigate in the field of scientific research and for the recommendation letters they made countless of times in all my grad school applications;
  • my friends who have been a shoulder to cry on whenever I discuss my PhD dream and the rejections I encountered along the way and who also lend a helping hand during the interview process (someone became my consultant and gave some interview do's and don'ts and another came with me when I needed to do interviews at the office and one time, we even spent the whole night at the office for a late night interview).
I will forever be grateful and honored to have all these amazing people in my life.

Ultimately, my dreams and sacrifices, my achievements and failures, every bit of my being, I offer them all to God. To God be the glory! 

Before I end this post, here's a gentle reminder for all the people who are chasing their dreams.

image source here

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