Joining a Conference : Little Chick Steps

Hi, it’s been a while. I’m not really good in writing in routines hence the irregular updates on this blog lol. Today’s blog is even from last year’s update haha, it’s because I just remember that I have not shared it yet.

Okay, cut to the real content, this time I’d like to share about conferences. To be fair, I’d just lay out the fact that at that time I was totally a fresh graduate, holding a Bachelor Degree in Architecture. I’m actually writing this trying to encourage anyone who wants to join a conference yet hesitating, thinking that you’re not good enough or you’re still young (because that’s what crossed my mind everytime lol)

Last year, prior to graduation, the students in last semester needed to write a thesis on anything that they put interest on. We were then facilitated by the lecturer, getting feedbacks and critics, and when everything was done, we were obliged to share our findings to the academic world.

One day, my lecturer said that my thesis group should each join a conference, sending our thesis. He encouraged us to try on challenging in the academic world, internationally. I was…oblivious? lol. I just thought it was so cool, I did not think it through and just send it to the opening conferences at that time.

There were two opening conferences, both are international, so I tried both of them. My lecturer reminded me that I could not send the same paper, since it could be a plagiarism of my own findings (basically me copying me haha). So I took my time to breakdown and explore my own thesis so that it could be born(?) into 2 different papers.

Then I just sent them out, not hoping for anything to happen. I was just a fresh graduate anyway, I bet lots of great brainers are from higher education and up. However, it took me by surprise to know that both of my papers got accepted.

Oh btw, this is me not being structured, it should be the announcement of the paper acceptance first, then you sent your paper, if your paper got accepted, then it means you’re officially counted as the participant of the conference. (I notice that some conferences only take notes on your abstract tho, so you should do your best on the abstract!)

Since I sent them at the last hours, I did not expect I could be accepted at all. There are lots of issue regarding the payment and everything. I mean, I was just trying everything without knowing that it costs alot! YES EVERYONE, YOU EVERY YOUNG ONES, CONFERENCES COST A LOT SADDD;;;;

The first conference coming up, and I-GOT-SCARED.

What if I say something stupid? What if my paper is actually just a simple-minded findings through this simple brain of mind? What if other people mock me for being oblivious to my own ability? Like, I do not feel smart at all. I felt like I would be the dumbest participant in that conference.

Then, I quit.

I let my fear came to me and made me quit, I regretted a bit because before I knew it, the second conference was coming. This time, I thought to myself that I should not make the same mistakes. So I went for it. I searched the most possible way to get to the conference in the most affordable cost.

Well, like the people said, where there is a will, there is a way! Because I totally found the cost that par up to my budget.

The second conference happened to be held in Chiba University, in Japan. Anyone who lives in my country would know that the airfare to go to Japan equals around 3 times our country’s GDP, meaning anyone who works here with standard payment would lose the three-months-salary just to get the airfare. But prior to my departure, there was a travel fair happening in my country. I remember I came really early to get the cheapest one, and I got it. Thanks to the travel fair, I got the ticket by half of the usual price. It was totally worth it the exhaustion I got from standing all day lol.

I then checked on my senior who lives in Japan due to her master degree. I was asking her for an affordable accommodation for a week, and she asked me to just come to her place instead! I was really touched, I never thought that it would be fine to just live out of someone even for a week, she even cooked for me and treated me to sushi bar. But she really is a nice person, I’ve worked with her in my freshmen years, she is someone that I actually look up to. Which makes me even hesitating to burden her huhu;;;;

Well, you know, when you’re a lecturer or anyone from higher education, it might be easier to get the grants to go to conferences. But there were none for the undergraduates. I guess the academic people in my country might find it futile to waste money on a kid who is just trying to get his/her little chick steps lol. That’s why I tried so hard to cut down the expenses and try lots of things to get the most affordable one. (I even shopped in a secondhand store in Japan, not buying the new ones lol. Except for the gifts I bought for others tho)

Cut to the conference, I eventually ended up coming and following all the programs. It was however as I expected, I was the youngest there. Well, there were other two people of my age, so technically we are the youngest lol. The other people are those who are pursuing their doctoral degree, master degree or are in research team. I was alone. I went alone to Japan, I join the conference alone, eventhough I live with my senior, most of the time I travel alone since she’s still busy with her thesis.

I would not lie, I was still scared. I had to present my paper in front of so many people who are above my league. But this time I did not back out, I tried my best. Surprisingly, I actually could catch up with the others. Sure thing I still looked dumb compared to them lol, but I did try to speak out my mind regarding their papers and findings. I learn a lot from many fields, and I was actually happy that my paper opened up a new field to them as well. I got to befriend some of the presenter who are older and much more experienced than me, and the really appreciated me. The plus point of being the youngest is that everyone would dot on you, so no one let me be alone during the next program lol. It was fun, since I came with no one but I went back home with new friends.

At the end of the program, there were award ceremonial. Of course I didn’t get it lol, but one of my new friends got selected as the best presenter. She is one of young lecturers (she might be just 5 years older than me?) I’ve ever known so it was really amazing seeing her, tho to be honest I’m not surprised, she gave off the intelligent aura when you talk to her lol.

Anyway, I know it might be hard for the students who thinks that they’re still young to strive for the international stages. I mean, I would not sugarcoat anything, my country’s education is actually lacking… Education is really expensive, not all people could access it. There are lots of bright minds who could not shine through because they just cannot get the grants to do it. Of course there are lots of scholarship, but yeah most of them are high-standard, if not only available to those with doctoral degree. I’d actually want to share that not only the people in the higher education who has passion in researching, but also the younger ones. It would be good if there is a platform to help all of them to get the education that all of us deserved.

So, I’d like anyone who reads this to know that everything would have a way when you really want it. Do not let the country’s standard blocking you from getting more experiences. If the scholarship does not work, then try other things. Make proposals, email them to whoever you know that might help you, search for travel fairs, contact your friends or relatives, EVERYTHING could help you.

No, you are not too young.

And of course, not dumb. Do not follow anyone standard, make your own and live to it. Widen your view and hold your chin up, because you can do and you can be everything that you are earnestly striving on šŸ™‚

Well, with that I’ll leave my post to now. I hope it’s helpful haha.

And here’s some photos of the programs! (We went to Fuji Mt. but it was closed due to the heavy snowfall). Cheers!
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