Believing in your own time and pace…

Oh Hello there! I hope you are doing good (at least trying your best) and keeping up with the ever changing ‘new normal’ lifestyle? Before you read any further, let me introduce myself for I do not want to be an incognito penning down some random thoughts here.

I’m Vinuri, a final year undergraduate of University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Throughout my journey as an undergraduate, I’ve had my fair share of learning and development opportunities which led me to be a better person. However, not all opportunities were well received by me at the first chance given and some of which I had to let go all together. My inner self would often tell me to pursue in new avenues, take risks, challenge myself and reward for my hard work along the way; but ironically I sometimes used to stick only to the latter. Back in the day I felt demotivated at times seeing others’ achievements but slowly and steadily, I started to believe in my own time and pace which led me achieve better and direct myself towards promising pathways. But why should you know about all of this? And this is where the real story begins!

I got to know about the Sustainable Education Foundation and the ScholarX mentoring programme in 2020 via social media channels and was excited as I read further about it. But at that time with my personal commitments and self-doubt of time management, I did not want to sign up for the programme, and oh, there goes another missed opportunity! When I saw a few of my friends in the ScholarX class of 2020, rather than taking a step behind and looking down on myself, I started following their ScholarX journeys from there onwards with a hope and plan to join the class of 2021 myself! Fast forward to February 2021, I came across the programme timeline for ScholarX 2021 shared on Facebook and immediately seized the opportunity. The waiting ended on 26th of April with a mail that read “Scholarx 2021- We Have a Match!” and I felt accomplished to be chosen as a mentee of the class of 2021.

For those of you who have not yet heard about this great initiative that connects Sri Lankan undergraduates with mentors of multidisciplinary expertise from around the world, could read more just as I did at https://sefglobal.org/scholarx/2021/.

What is most interesting is that the mentors of ScholarX are also Sri Lankans who once were just as their mentees but now have reached milestones and taking all efforts possible to support and encourage the next generation to achieve the same, OR EVEN BETTER! And this is where you will get to know about my mentor, vasuki silva, A Graduate Research Assistant at UTHSC- College of Medicine, Tennessee, a dedicated, goal oriented, humble human being!

During the first meet up itself she guided us to plan ahead and make the maximum use of the ‘new normal’ lifestyle. She specifically noted down each of our short and long-term goals and advised us how we could pump up the game! We had a long conversation during which we got to know more about each other, about her undergrad journey and current status as a Graduate Research Assistant.

It has been over a month since I enrolled the programme, and so far the journey has been nothing short of an encouraging learning experience. As I constantly stress on the fact of believing in one’s time and pace, being a mentee of Ms. Vasuki has once again reminded me of the same. I feel that I might not have received such an exposure, assistance and guidance as I’ve so far from her, if I joined last year for the class of 2020. Not trying to talk any less about other mentors or glorify my decision to miss an opportunity, but this is a reminder to any of you in doubt or demotivated, that sometimes life offers fancier opportunities as a second chance!

When applying for ScholarX 2021, my intention was to seek assistance from an expert to improve and prepare myself for life after graduation. Little did I know that I will open doors to a learning experience beyond my expectations! I’m thankful for SEF for the opportunity given and grateful for my mentor for her encouraging guidance.

Now that you’ve read why I always believe in my own time and pace and how my ScholarX story began, feel free to send me any feedback about anything and everything that I could improve in my writing. I’m looking forward to pen down my experience along the way as a ScholarX mentee, so your feedback would definitely help me in that :)

Believe in your own time and pace and make sure you live a life worth it!

Until next time, I remain,

Vinuri Mendis