These past three days I had been joining the third selection of Program Pertukaran Antar Negara 2014 (Youth Exchange Programme) held by Ministry of Youth and Sports in Bandung, West Java.
As some of you might already know, PPAN 2014 has several programmes overseas for the youth all over Indonesia. This year, my province (West Java, it is) will send five West Javanese youth to participate in the programmes, which are as follows:
1. Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Exchange Programme (SSEAYP)
2. Indonesia – Malaysia Youth Exchange Programme (IMYEP)
3. Indonesia – Canada Youth Exchange Programme (ICYEP)
4. Australia – Indonesia Youth Exchange Programme (AIYEP)
5. Indonesia – Korea Youth Exchange Programme (IKYEP)
and so I applied the ICYEP one, hoping my luck could work again this time to at least bring me to the second selection. Fortunately, I did pass the first selection and defeated over 700 applicants among with other selected 99 applicants, a thing I did not expect in the first place. Hence, still with nothing to expect and nothing to lose, I joined the second selection which was held in Bandung. I did my best in the second selection and still expected nothing, not even a ticket to the third selection. I realised that it takes a smart and humble person with the desire to improve to be a young ambassador of West Java. Qualifications that I was sure I did not have yet.
Thinking that I did not have those qualifications, I still had that feeling that I would be selected into the third selection. A part of me was still being too optimistic that I could be selected into the third selection…
and yes I did, I was one of 54 participants who got selected into the third selection.
To be selected into the third round selection was truly an honour yet my desire to win grew larger than anyone could ever imagine. Either being optimistic or narcissistic, I just really wanted to be selected as a representative of West Java for the Indonesia – Canada Youth Exchange Programme. To dig more experiences abroad and be my parents’ pride was one of the reasons why I wanted to be selected.
With a huge determination to win, I joined the third selection which was held for three days in The Cipaku Garden Hotel Bandung. The first day I arrived, a girl who was also a participant in the third selection told me that this year’s selected representatives are all males and women participants are only a back up.
Knowing that, I blamed myself for being so careless for not reading the whole programmes description and the required candidates. But I was already there and as I tried to keep thinking positive I was sure the committee should have been planning to send female candidates for their programmes and if they were not going to send female candidates, at least I could expand a networking with 51 West Javanese youth who joined the selection.
So there I was, far from home, being engaged with the selection and a quite challenging environment. As I met a lot of inspiring West Javanese youth during the selection, my desire to win slowly turned into a desire to improve myself to be better. I was ashamed to know that I did not balance my desire to win with the effort I should have made. Seeing other participants’ great efforts during the selection, especially during the art and cultural performance, I realised I underestimated the selection and I had been too proud of myself all the time. If I really wanted to win, I would have made greater efforts yet I did not.
It was indeed a slap in the face, a moment of reflection, and a lesson learnt for me to never ever underestimate things I thought I could handle and to always do my best in everything I do.
The last day of the selection, the committee finally announced five selected participants who are going to be the representatives of West Java in the programmes. All of them are great males I had expected to win. To my surprise, the committee also announced that they will send one female representative to the Indonesia – Canada Youth Exchange Programme but they have not announced it since they only got the approval of sending female representative from the Ministry of Youth and Sports right after the third selection of PPAN 2014 was already over.
I did not expect to win and be the female representative anymore. I had my lesson and seen better participants. With a very objective committee, I am pretty sure only the best participant wins. I appreciate all the decisions made by the committee and a very insightful experience I had. It was an exceptional and truly life changing experience that helped me develop myself to be better.
And in the end, it made me realise that everyone could just go overseas to have an exchange programme, but it takes more than just an ordinary person to be an ambassador of Indonesia, whose knowledge is rich and heart is always willing to serve, and I’m still far from being a person like that.
P.S: Thank you so much to my family, especially my parents, my friends and best friends who made it possible for me to be selected as one of two possible candidates for the ICYEP. Although I didn’t make it in the end, I do really appreciate the supports. Thank you thank you thank you I love you all! ❤