What I learned in 2018

What I learned in 2018 at Edinburgh

The year 2018 saw me going through my second semester as a second year and my first semester as a third year. Looking back, what a year 2018 was for me! Last year taught me so many things. Indeed, like everyone, I had hard times but I also had very great moments that I can not forget. I would like to share my journey of personal growth and invaluable life lessons during my time at the University of Edinburgh. In this post, I will look back what I learned from my last year in retrospect!

1. I learned I can do more with my knowledge than research

in 2018, I got landed another job at a HR software company. This job was almost an ideal match for me. I got to use my knowledge in modern languages, linguistics and informatics to assist the research team developing a CV-parsing software in Thai and Japanese. I have to thank another PhD student in the linguistics department who refered me to the company as soon as  he knew they wanted a Linguistics-related student to work for them. The knowledge that was drilled into me in my first year as a cognitive science student (such as morphology in linguistics or coding) really came in handy!

2. I also learned it’s not easy to earn

While work pay here is definitely far better than in my home country (Thailand), it really brought home the value of money. I used to buy a 20-pound dress without much thought whereas I would really think about what that 20 pounds means now. It made me start to really appreciate the work and effort my parents put to earn enough money to send me to a good university abroad. It also made me proud that I now earned some money myself even if it is not a lot. Work experience really helps me grow.

3. I learned responsibility and teamwork

I also took part in a few societal roles in 2018. In my second year, I was a trip organiser for Edinburgh University Photography Society. While it was a really demanding role where I had to organise 2-3 day trips and I didn’t enjoy it then, I really felt I learned a lot from it in hindsight. In particular, I learned that I need to communicate well with my fellow committee mates as society is not run by me alone. I learned that no matter how hard it is, I must never give up a duty that I have already taken on. I didn’t regret being a part of a committee and I am still working as the Vice President of Thai Society now!

4. I made new friends

This is the greatest benefit of being in societies for me. While in first year I wasn’t really active in societies and found it really hard to make friends, as soon as I became part of a committee, I started meeting a lot of people including some of my best friends. I went to more events than I have ever done and people started remembering me from the society fairs and society socials. 2018 was a really happy year for me where I was never lonely! I met so many good friends and also attended many good flat parties and nights out! I would never imagine myself doing this in 2017!

5. I learned how to cook!

This might sound funny but it’s true! I never really had the need to cook when I was with my parents or at Pollock Halls where I could dine at my canteen in first year. However, as I started second year, I was forced to cook. I started by following up recipes online… Now, I find cooking to be one of my favourite hobbies! It is also fun to invite friends over and show off your cooking skills!