ALWAYS A BEAUTIFUL AUTUMN, BUT THIS YEAR IS HARDER BY CORONA
The autumn always makes me excited by the changing of its colors. As a hobby, I like to take photos of seasons, for example the photos of autumn when leaves started to twist their colors. I like to save it as my own album of nature and sometimes I shared those photos to surprise my family and friends who are in Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam where there are only 2 seasons in a year: rainy and sunny seasons. I have experienced two autumn seasons in Finland and this autumn was as beautiful as usual but has more struggles to me because of corona. Corona has started from the time I come back to Finland from Vietnam. We wondered how lucky we were not getting infected of corona virus in our flight and keeping safe for family until now. We can clearly see how corona effects to people’s lives in the world and every individual has own experiences to it.
I think that this autumn has gone quite well to me, but I could not really enjoy it as normally because of corona. I spent most of my time at home, not feeling enjoyable to go shopping, discovering the city life or socializing anymore. I have locked down myself in house, just going out for walking in jungles and shopping food for a week. I have learnt to adapt with the special time caused by corona. Bad thing caused of this is that I started to be afraid of socialization and seriously think that I must learn to come back to social after this pandemic. I have not met any friends by face to face or expanded more relationship already long time. Luckily, I have with me my husband who I called one of my rare social relationship for a year. We spent time together for walking, cooking, chit chat, food shopping, etc. He helped me a lot to avoid bad feeling of solitude or depression, especially in the darkness time of autumn.
Starting autumn semester this year has been somehow harder too. My class members could not meet as freely as normally, and we were limited to have some activities which gathers as crowded group. I found out that most of my young classmates have not feared corona. They tried always to find chances to meet or participate in some school events. Oppositely, I tried to avoid all of those. I want to think of my family as priority; keeping myself safe from by not coming to bars with them or gathering to chit chat or socialize too much. I think that has caused a bad impression to my classmates about me. As the result, I can see I am not as close as they are to each other now and oppositely I also found hard to be close with them also. Maybe it was not only because of corona time, but it was the gap of age, culture and of that we have not had enough time yet to work together. Hopefully, new coming year will bring a better situation when corona goes away, and people can have more chance to connect and understand of each other.
Looking back to this semester, I however feel satisfied of what I have learnt and achieved. I could recognize my little improvements by practicing the reflection tools of Motorola. I think I can really learn more by analyzing deeper the knowledge, reflecting on them, and sharing to others. That learning method helped me be aware more of which knowledge I could input into my brain, at same time to know what knowledge can really help me in practice. By the way, I have hit the highest points of Money in business course which for me there are still many things to discover more, but I have achieved good points by devoting efforts through essays and presentation using Motorola analyzing tool.
Also, in this semester, I have joined in quite many distance workshops about the entrepreneurship which I believed that I have learnt and have been inspired a lot. I could expand my connection also a bit online and have had the knowledge of how to obtain better networking in business environment. I have had a chance to meet the specialists who were very helpful, and they promised to help me and my team out for planning the business idea plan for getting funded in the future. I believe being able to an entrepreneur, I must start from a very little step every day. That is why I try to learn more and more from every channel like YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. about business life and tips for entrepreneurs and I am persist and excited of what I am doing every day.
Last time I have shared with my class about some of my business ideas. I have in hands around 4 ideas and I am in the process of evaluating, sorting, and testing it together with one Chinese classmate. I like all my ideas, but in the early stage I acknowledged that I must be calmful, sharp and practical to know what idea can really apply in the practice to earn the first coins for my business. I think I have good coach who has a lot of experience and is quite calmful and supportive. I am expecting to ask for her advisory more for my business plan in the future.
There are still many things ahead for me to do and learn, for example, Finnish language, Finnish business culture and environment or business customs. I am still a newbie because I am just as an immigrant who have come to Finland for only 1.5 year ago and am still as a learner of the entrepreneurship. Despite of how much experiences I have had in Vietnam or what I have known to do, here in Finland I must start to do again from Zero. I see a long road ahead to achieve. My worry now is to find a job to do in Finland to earn more experience in my free time. They can be a part time job or summer job which can be a cleaning works, sale works or office work. I have searched for these jobs from the time I got to Finland, but no company accepted my application. That is what makes me worried now of how I can win a job for this summer and from where or what relationship I can ask for help.
My second worry was about my Finnish language skill. I must re-take the YKI test which allows me to have Finnish citizenship after 3 years later. I could not pass it lately because I did not have enough time to focus on it and had not many chances to practice for it. Now, it is not that urgent to take the test, but I really have a need of communicating with my parents in law who cannot speak any English. Also, it is obliged to be fluent in Finnish for future business if I would like to sell anything to a Finn. Finnish is the hardest language, and it is still struggling me too much. I have tried to figure out many ways to learn it, like using apps, reading books, making friends with Finnish people…but not much useful to me.
Thinking about the culture shock during the first-year time in Finland, I remember immediately to the words stuck to the mirror of Immigrant office where I asked for 4-year residence permit. Those words said that in Finland women do everything by themselves without help of husband, and they expect that immigrants like us can also do things by ourselves. In Vietnam, we have a dependent relationship which people ask for help when they really need, and we help each other back when we can. The women in my country also are considered as the womenfolk and cannot do the heavy work as men. That is why I felt the word hit my brain as shock. However, luckily my husband somehow understands it and can helps me with heavy works in daily life. There are still some works that I must of course do myself like buying the bus ticket, getting to be checked in the hospital or registering for some study programs, etc. Oppositely, I also help my husband in the return sometimes. Especially, in the future, I think I must learn to be more independent, for example if I can have baby, all kinds of baby care works must be handled well by me.
Through this course about Finnish culture, I appreciate of the knowledge I can learn so far. Every lecture was very practical and useful to us. There was some knowledge I have learnt from reality, like being punctual. Funnily in Vietnam, people are never on time. For example, if the wedding time is at 15 pm, then people will come at 18 pm or even 20 pm. In some events honestly, I was one of the people who come to the company late everyday 30 minutes and we are willing to work more at afternoon. Even if the director moved the working time 1 hour later, there were still some people to come late. Late culture appears in every company and was hard to change. However, amazingly I have never been late in any meeting in Finland. I have got the praise for this from my classmates to be the earliest in the class. I have been trying to adapt to the new culture and was strict to myself to make that law for myself to be punctual.
Another information which is meaningful for me to know was about being honest. In my last exam of business mathematics, the coach said to us that if we have thought to cheat in the exam, we should have forgot about it. If she discovered it, we could have been asked to quit our school time immediately. It was a shock for me because in my high school, cheating happens frequently, and the students were asked to leave the exam room and the punishment was just not being able to pass the course. Honestly, I have been quite a good student who have never tried to cheat, but hearing about the strict warning made my skin goosebumps. I somehow agree with it and is very good to learn and be aware of this culture, for now and my future business activities.
I think it is still hard for me to be a friend with a Finnish person. I can see the reason why after working in team with some of my classmates. Because I am kind of gentle and easy to accept, so in some event I felt some people want to take control of me. I know I must be more confident to prove myself as strong as they are. I hope this is just my misunderstanding by the way. I would like to learn more about Finnish culture and customs to be able to get along and be a friend of Finnish people.
Overall, I feel that I do not need to care too much on how people think about me. Every kind of relationship will depend on how much values we can bring to each other. Maybe when I can prove my values to my classmates, some of them can automatically come to cooperate with me or even be my friends. Learning and achieving something is a process and now I am enjoying every step of it. Future is never able to foresee, but we see them in from hope and every step we are making during our daily life. I am thankful for this great chance to live in Finland and to study in TAMK.