Making it happen

Sara Lui Yee-wa, Year 2, Bachelor of Social Sciences in Social Work

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“Can I make this happen?” I start my story with the question I always used to ask myself. Yes, that was me, a person filled with self-doubt and fear when encountering obstacles. For me, adapting to life at university was a great challenge.

But my life was transformed last year. During the promotion of Project X, which aimed at promoting excellence in learning, I was asked, “Why don’t you give yourself more of a chance?” So I did: I participated in lots of activities run by Project X, which is organised by the Department of Applied Social Studies (SS). They included the outward bound training camp, learning communities, workshops, the student leadership scheme and the X-Gala.

These activities gave me the chance to meet other SS students who share similar values with me. We gave each other unconditional support and were willing to accept each other for who we are. These elements are vital for self-development and helped me to deal with many of my problems.

For instance, last year I was a freshman lost in a maze. I was surrounded by a lot of new things in new areas. My academic work was different, my whole life was different. But I gave myself more of a chance by joining things like workshops and the learning community organised by Project X. My situation improved as I knew where I could go for support if I had problems.

The people running Project X were excellent, giving us all unconditional support. That’s why I am now willing, and able, to step out of my comfort zone. I’ll give you an example. I volunteered to be one of the mentors for the Social Work Training Camp 2010. I was responsible for external liaison. Frankly speaking, I didn’t think I could do it. But my confidence grew when I took up the responsibility of the position because I knew I had back-up in the shape of my fellow students.

The job was indeed challenging, and I felt guilty when my shortcomings were exposed. However, my team mates and the staff working for Project X encouraged me to keep going. They helped me make the proper adjustments. The process was heart-warming, rewarding and improving. The University is the last place which allows you to learn through mistakes before you enter the world of work.

And I can safely say that learning by trial and error is rewarding, especially when you have plenty of support.

In June 2010, I worked with children suffering from self-esteem problem during my internship in Dongguan. I soon found that the kids’ inner potential could see the light of day when they felt safe and secure. I helped them to think through ways of letting their individual talents come to the surface.

Using staff from project X as my role models, I was able to really help these children. “Sara, you did a great job!” That’s what people said to me after the X-Gala in September 2010 where I was one of the MCs. A year ago I would never have dreamed I would be an MC at a major event like this. It was a revelation. I still can’t believe I really did it!

All I can add is a huge “Thank you” to everyone at Project X. You gave me the chance to explore what I was capable of and get to understand my weaknesses. Now I feel I can really achieve anything I want. Now I say with confidence, “I can make it happen!”

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