By Marlene Tran, GCELE Jamaica 2016
While volunteering at the Camp Power to Be, I learned a life-changing lesson. With the help of the campers, I’ve learned to focus on doing what I enjoy and not fear much about how other’s will judge me.
As I watched and learned how to dance from the campers, I realized how powerful music and dance can be. They didn’t seem to care about what the audience will think of their dance, nor how others will think of them. They just danced to the music. I was surprised to see the campers dance so freely as it reminded me of how uniquely different we are – there was something I could learn from them.
The talent show day finally came and my heart was pounding because we were in the spotlight and the audience was watching. My knees were tense, but jerked into action the moment I heard the music start. I looked around at the campers and thought “Wow, I did not know I had the courage to dance on stage, but I am doing it, and I don’t regret a single thing of it.” I no longer feared what the audience thought; I was having so much fun and thought about how regretful I would have been if I stood on the sideline watching the performance.
As a nursing student, I stress and wonder a lot about my future self – will people see me as a good nurse? Does this profession match with who I am? I tend to overwork myself in order to fulfil society’s ‘ideal image of a nurse’, but I’ve learned from the campers that life can be less stressful if you focus on fulfilling your goals and not the goals of society. Just like dancing, I should not stress about how others will see me in the future, instead, I should focus on achieving my current learning goals – like enjoying my clinical placements, and mastering my skills as a student. Only then, will I feel less stress and cherish my time as a nursing student more.
After the trip to Jamaica, I have used this learning experience to remind myself:
Don’t worry about what others think because most of the time, the one who takes risks will learn more than the one who just watches on the sideline 🙂