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Ariya (Candy) Suriyabutr

Lunchtime Stories was a live storytelling event at Curtin University. It focused on sharing international students’ stories to inspire understanding and empathy between Curtin peers; and to energise the Curtin community–leaving a positive impact on storytellers and listeners and to refresh their day and minds.

Candy is studying a Master’s degree in Education at Curtin University. Candy often finds herself over thinking things and worrying about how her actions might lead her in the wrong direction. She shares how learning and speaking English played a huge role in her education and how wearing mascara is never a good choice when talking to lecturers about difficult topics. Candy shared her story on 21 May 2019.

[Transcript]

Hello, my name is Candy. I am study in Master’s Degree of Education at Curtin University. My story is about my own over-thinking. Maybe if I do something, it’s going to lead me to the wrong direction. When I was in my internship, I used to be the pre-service teacher for my internship as in my bachelor degree. At that time, after I graduate, I should be the teacher in high-school. But I think, from my knowledge, and at the time, my skill is not enough to be the teacher, so I decide to continue studying in Master’s degree, and I take a scholarship because I don’t want my parents to pay me too much—for my Master’s student. And, I got a scholarship to study my first Master’s in Thailand.

At the time, I decide to choose to study in the university that have international program, because I wanted to continue using English that I—before I take scholarship, I needed to take the final exam here, and it’s quite expensive exam, so I just want to continue using English. And, at that time, I think, the English was my problem. I need to write everything, my assignment and take a test in English, because my Bachelor is in education and my Master is in science program, so study everything in science. Both the textbook exam is in science and in English. So, I quite serious at that time, it’s very stressful because half of my classmates are students from Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy, and some of them is start working in a hospital already. So I think I will have a problem there about my exam that I cannot leave, cannot understand everything when I take exam.

So what I need to do at that time is need to study hard, harder than I did in my bachelor. It was quite stressful, but after I try to study by myself and when I have some questions, I ask my professor. After finish the exam, I got an ‘A’ after exam, that I take a test. So I think at that time, the thing that make me quite worried and stressful is my over-thinking that I will be failed in this unit. And, after finish all the exam, I need to do the thesis to graduate. I do my thesis for the whole year, collect data from my participants, and the day that I went is, the day that I need to take different exam for my thesis. I quite study hard and work hard for my exam, and before the different exam I just think that—that there could be have something went wrong. I should be find something that’s bad for me, and I think, ‘okay I just wake up and get there. These are the most beautiful days that I have.’ Because I think that if I cannot do well maybe that will make me feel better than overthinking. Yeah, and when I start present my studies, everything went well, is like my research question, my collecting data is very good and all of the teachers look happy with my presentation.

But, the last part of my presentation is about data I analysed. One of the teachers asked me that I did something wrong with my SPSS with my data I analyse. And yes I read—I translate data in correct way—it mean that all of my hard work the whole year is fail, so I feel like, ‘Oh my god, what happened?’ as I work with this thing for the whole year.

But, in the end, the final day I present the incorrect thing. At that time, I really want to cry, because is like I’m the failure, the big failure of my life, and I cannot cry because I wear mascara! So what I need to do is I look up to the wall, I look up into the sky, and it’s like, ‘I cannot cry at this time, because if I cry, my face will be dirty.’ I just smile at my teacher, I told them, ‘Okay, I will correct it as soon as possible,’ and then I just went back to my home and cry at my home.

And next week, after finish presentation, I make appointment with my professor to correct my thesis again. I told myself, at that time that it’s quite sad that I need to correct everything when all of my friends already finished. And, he said that it’s not quite the big mistake. I just change some explanations of my information, but before he talk the sentence, he asked me that, ‘What do you think about our solution for this problem?’ and I told myself that, ‘I will not cry at that time, he will not see me crying in front of him.’ And after he asked me about the solution, I cannot speak anything because I think it’s something in my eye, and I start crying. And I told him that, ‘I cannot think anything at that time,’ and I cry, I cry a lot, and he looking for the tissue paper, to help me with my eye. And he give me the box of tissue paper and he said that, ‘You cannot cry a lot at this time, because I have one tissue paper left. Just use this one tissue paper.’ I said, ‘Okay, I will stop crying at that time,’ and I think, ‘Why! When I cry, I can cry only one tissue paper?’

Yeah, and after I finish crying, we start collecting everything again, and so lucky, I submit my thesis on time. Yeah, and then, after finish my thesis process, my scholarship—the next scholarship that I can continue to study in Master Degree at overseas—at first, I think that, ‘I will not continue any Master’s degree because, study is so suffer like make me suffer.’ But I don’t know, I just try to take exam and I got this scholarship.

And before I got this scholarship, I have the interview, a little interview that they will select the students, that they will pass or not pass, and they asked me one question that, ‘What do you see in the future after you got this scholarship that will send you to study in the Faculty of Education?’ I have nothing in my brain, and I told them that I will be a good teacher, because I will study in the Faculty of Education. And they said ‘Hmmm,’ and I went out from that interview room and I think that ‘Why I answer the stupid question like that?’ I answer, ‘Yeah, I will be a good teacher,’ I should answer ‘So that I will share my country, use my knowledge.’ And then I think, ‘Yeah, I will not get this scholarship for sure.’ But so lucky, I got the scholarship and now I study in Curtin University for my second Master’s degree.

And at first, that I start studying here, even when I study in the international programme before but, everything is different, the English they speak in Thailand, I study with Asian people, is quite different from Australian accent, or everything that makes me feel like worried again. I start being stressful again, and then I try to study hard, harder than my first Master’s, and try to talk with my friends, then they help me a lot. I talk with my professor, and they also help me and give a lot of suggestions, and I already got some results, from my studies. I got quite a good result, some distinctions, some high distinctions, I think it’s a good thing for international students. This is not my first language, it’s different, and I think I did quite well. It’s not that good as some local students, but I just do my best with everything—and what I know is, don’t worry too much. Sometimes we cannot stop over-thinking, stop our opinion, but just do as best as we can. And then, just accept the results, if we find the mistakes just correct it, and move on. Yeah, this is my story.

Copyright © 2019 Ariya (Candy) Suriyabutr

These stories have been licensed to the Centre for Stories by the Storyteller. For reproduction and distribution of these stories, please contact the Centre for Stories.


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