Student Stories

Fighting an Uphill Battle Against Self-doubt

This is a guest post by Priscilla Tan for InternMatch’s Student Stories. If you’re interested in getting involved with Student Stories, learn more here.

 2004-02-29_Ball_point_pen_writingAfter a painful decision to drop out from a life science course, I decided to switch gear to a journalism field. Back then, I wanted a degree that would make me employable in the job market. Alas, I found my true love to be the written word.

Before enrolling in a writing course, I decided to try my hands on writing for websites. I figured it was going to be easy. I’m not an amateur writer. I took part in several writing competitions and one of my works was published in a magazine. What’s more, I didn’t care much for the salary. I was willing to work for free; all I asked for was the chance to build up my portfolio.

I thought this would give me an extra edge over other newbie writers. A published writer — one would think that this would give me a head start. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake, but I couldn’t be more wrong.

What I didn’t expect was the competition. Many are becoming writers. These people range from a diverse background: housewives, students, bloggers, marketers and among others.

I felt like a fool. What was I thinking?

However, I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel. I set up an Elance account and hoped for more exposure. But things still weren’t looking up. I was competing with writers all over the world. They’ve been writing for decades! Where do I even stand?

Unsupportive relatives were also a factor in my lack of confidence. I was sick of hearing “You’re not going to make it.” I felt miserable as I wasn’t moving forward.

I decided to use the time to brush up on my writing skills. With the help of my dad, I enrolled in a diploma course and passed with flying colors.

Unfortunately, things were still not looking up. I was not paid well and because of this, I couldn’t pay my own bills. I was so stressed that I had frequent migraine attacks.

I thought running out of good books to read was my biggest fear, but no. Not knowing your purpose in life is way more terrifying.

Thankfully, my ordeal was not a permanent one.


What changed it: word of mouth. That was all it took for me to make my tears temporary. The minute I found InternMatch, I was hooked – an understatement, clearly.

Of course it wasn’t easy at first. I sent in my application to a countless number of companies but received no reply. It felt like a slap to the face.What went wrong?

So I did my homework. I decided to apply for an internship, instead. I studied the articles on InternMatch and amended my resume.

After weeks, I finally received a reply. And guess what? I got in!

Looking back, I’m glad to say that everything paid off in the end. It took a while but it was worth every bit.

I started my internship in December and I’m having a lot of fun. My editor’s been really kind and never fails to provide constructive feedback. I even have an Author’s page to boot. How cool is that?

The thing is, you can’t wallow in self-pity. Whining is fine but make it brief. Take a look at Ukraine and Africa. See what these people are going through?

It was a wake-up call for me. It hit me that I just can’t be this self-centered to think about my problems. The fact that I only have employment issues to worry about makes me feel incredibly lucky.

It’s tough, sure. I’m still struggling, but happy.

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Author Bio:

Priscilla is a 21 year old writer and book blogger from Singapore (and yes, she would like the whole humidity thing to go away). A self-confessed print junkie, she’ll read almost anything — even the nutrition information on a cereal box. Check out her blog and she’ll love you forever.

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