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Why not? An Attitude Worth Having

Having a “why not?” attitude is a very important trait to have throughout the GLP and life in general.

Talking at Dunmore Lang College

As a first year university student coming straight from high school I obviously have much to learn from university and life as a whole, but as I’m sure many of us feel that way I am here to offer some advice on how I have tried to maximise my first year at university.

It all began last year as I, like many other HSC students, began to feel overwhelmed and inadequate while attempting daunting applications for early entry schemes such as the Global Leadership Entry Program (GLEP). But I thought “why not?”. Although it took time to apply, there were actually very few cons as at the very least I would have the opportunity to practice and develop my writing skills and at best would get guaranteed a place at my goal university. This is where this attitude begun for me.

The “Why not?” attitude is applicable when applying for other opportunities as well. For example I really wanted to participate in the GLP’s Cultural Series Day to Auburn but, as many of you probably experience, I had two significant anxieties about participating. Firstly, was my inadequacy as I thought why bother applying as there are plenty more superior candidates. Secondly, was that I get uncomfortable going to things where I don’t know anyone attending. In situations like these it is important to take a step back and further analyse the pros and cons of the situation. In regards to being out of my social comfort zone the worst possible outcome was that I would be a nervous mess and not make friends with people that I’ll possibly never see again. So when put in perspective it is obvious what the best decision is.

I’m sure many of us have felt anxious before attending colloquia but once you get there and begin talking to the person next to you you not only lose some of that fear but you also get to learn how to hone it in and ultimately be less anxious while networking.

I ended up getting accepted to the Cultural Day and it has been one of my favourite experience at university so far. I got to explore a part of Sydney that I’ve never seen before, meet new people participating in the GLP and of course develop my cultural intelligence. A main part of the Cultural Day was getting to hear and experience, through simulation, first hand accounts of what refugees experience in the Refugee Camp in my Neighbourhood which really put the statistics we often hear about in perspective. The other significant part of the day was developing an understanding of the Turkish Muslim community in Auburn through a tour of the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque. I definitely recommend all GLPer’s to attend a Cultural Day.

Auburn Cultural Day

If we let our anxieties get to us rather than listening to the “why not?” voice in our heads we miss incredible opportunities like these. This attitude can also help in other aspects of life as well not just for the GLP. For example I was interested in applying to the Macquarie Undergraduate Research Internship but I thought as a first year that I am not good enough and that there will be so many better candidates. Again I asked myself “why not?”. As the saying goes we are our own worst critic and in situations like these that is truly the case. I ended up getting the internship and I can’t believe that I ever considered not applying.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that all students should apply for everything that you're interested in, whether it be GLP activities or internships, as even if you think you have no chance to get it you might surprise yourself. I can assure you that when you second-guess yourself in applying for things just ask “why not?” and chances are there are very few reasons not to do it.

Taking this attitude throughout your university journey will lead you to many unexpected exciting journeys that will allow you to grow in a way that you never would have thought. So just think… Why not?

*Roy Barnes is now a second-year student, and a GLP Blog Contributor.