Alumni Voice


“The Year 2020”

Hnin Ei Shwe Yee

University student (Bachelor of Business Information Systems)

Back in 2019, no one, not even a single soul, would have predicted that by next year, human beings would have their freedom taken right in front of their eyes, to be restrained from doing our everyday routines, isolate ourselves, and stopped functioning altogether. Before we knew it, 2020 has become everyone’s least favourite year. Right before we dive into the topic, I would like to introduce myself so that you can come into terms with my ideals and thoughts that are based off on my circumstances. I am one of the participants from Myanmar who have participated for TYCA vol 3 back in 2017. With a goal to become an independent individual, I left my country to do further studies in Australia hoping to broaden my insight and explore beyond. Ironically enough, the independence I was aiming for prior ceases to exist by the time 2020 rolled in.

It is already a feat for an international student to live on a foreign land far from home, let alone cope up to this sudden unforeseeable pandemic. My daily routines and plans were disrupted and I was forced to take a break from my part time job and from experiencing a proper university life. I was secluded inside my room for most part of the year, isolated from the society which I think is deem necessary for a student’s wisdom and experience to fully mature in. This does not only apply to myself but also to the fellow international students who are currently studying abroad to face this frustrating and emotionally draining self-quarantine. The negative effects that come with it are endless, ranging from fear of contracting the virus to boredom in addition to the endless negative thoughts that come and go when you are alone almost every day. This can be physically and mentally exhausting as it rages overtime.

However, this does not mean that my comfort has been completely taken away from me. Putting the negative thoughts asides, I still have a roof over my head and food on the table, not to mention the internet network which helped me connect to my friends and family. If we turn this situation a hundred and eighty degree and look from an optimistic point of view, it means that the quarantine has granted everyone with our own personal free time. This would not have been possible in the 21st century where almost everyone is dealing with a busy schedule. It would not have been possible for me as someone who is both dealing with the school studies and a part time job, to have a time to look at other trivial segments of my life. By making an opportunity out of this threat, I was able to take this chance to further hone my skills and knowledge on my insight of this world. The time I have spent were not wasteful, I enjoyed my time by drawing, improving my language skills, and raising my awareness from hearing the voices of various people from around the world who have put in their two pennyworths of the situation, which makes me realize that I am still living in a society virtually inside the internet. I was also able to take up a few free courses that divert from my usual school subjects to get a different outlook on things. Most importantly, I was able to enjoy my time for myself and not for anyone’s else.

During a time of pandemic, it is encouraging to see how students have stepped forward to reach out a helping hand to other students even when they are equally facing the same problems themselves. Likewise, I hope that we can do the same after the COVID-19 to fix things through our capabilities with our field of expertise and experience that we have received. TYCA that has touched on various subject on the today’s world development has become one of the participants’ advantageous point which we may not even learn at schools. Objectively speaking, things we have learnt throughout the length of the program, whether it is the negotiation to reach a favourable outcome or raising awareness of the sustainable goals, will help us apply them in the contribution of both economically and socially in the future after COVID-19. Covid-19 has emerged unexpectedly and caught everyone off guard. As much as I’d like to say that we should have been prepared for the unexpected but I am no professional and that would have been irresponsible of me. However, I believe that we, human beings, are programmed to learn and grow from our past experiences to adapt to the changes and improve along the way. To this point of the day, we have come across many of the unexpected but still managed to overcome the impossible. No matter how morally degenerating the situation may be, as long as we have got each other’s back, we can turn the tables.

2019年に戻って、来年までに人類が目の前で自由を奪われ、これまでの日常生活に制限がかかり、自分自身を孤立させ、誰かと一緒何かをにすることができなくなるとは、誰も、一人の魂でさえも予測していなかったでしょう。いつの間にか、2020年は誰もが最も嫌いな年になっていました。本題に入る前に、私の理想や考えがどこから来ているのかを理解していただけるように、自己紹介をしたいと思います。私は2017年のTYCA vol.3に参加したミャンマーからの参加者の一人です。自立した個人になることを目標に、自分の見識を広げ、その先を探求したいと思い、国を離れてオーストラリアに留学しています。皮肉なことに、それまで目指していた自立は2020年を迎える頃にはなくなってしまいました。





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