7 more lessons learned as a Persona Theory Games intern
The lessons I learned in university shouldn't be so hard to remember but somehow, they are... so forgettable. I remember trying my best to survive and in the beginning trying really hard to compete, but then I realized the person next to me could do whatever I could, and probably even better. Slowly, my passion for programming drained away. The gradual doubts made me realize that maybe I wasn't cut out for it, and then, I was seduced by the world of writing.
Aware of the risks, I decided to use my internship to venture into new grounds. That's when I applied to join Persona Theory Games. My expectations? University crushed all expectations I had for having a good experience through my learning environment. Safe to say, I felt like it would be inevitable again for me to learn everything by myself through the internet.
What a surprise it was to be a part of a project like Kabaret, where I could be a part of something bigger, and felt that my contribution to the story would matter. Before joining, I had told myself to stay silent, know my boundaries, know my place, because this wasn't my story to tell. I was quickly proven wrong. The people and the lessons that I learned here made me realize that I had found a place that I could call home.
Lesson 1: Learn to appreciate
Life doesn't always have to be about achieving things, chasing after what I want, what I don't have. It is also about understanding and appreciating even the littlest of things, the things I have... and not just the pretty things, or the things I choose to remember. Stop, smell, and touch all the flowers, not only the roses. A lesson best illustrated by one of my favorite sayings: "The frog at the bottom of the well doesn't know the vastness of the sea, but it does know the blueness of the sky."
Lesson 2: Write with a purpose
I never knew there was so much more to writing than words strung together in a blank space. But, I soon realized that to write, I have to first understand what I'm trying to say, what I'm trying to get across, the story to tell. Don't write to write. Don't write to "show-off". There's no point in a written piece if no one wants to read it, or if they can't. "Everyone can tell stories, but not everyone is a storyteller." I'm beginning to grasp some of these concepts now.
Lesson 3: Ask "Why?"
The "why" questions are always the best to ask. "Don't accept everything that everyone else expects us to accept. Learn to ask, 'why'?". It is only through understanding that my appreciation will grow.
Lesson 4: Be proud
Taking pride in my work, and the people I choose to work with. "If your work is something you would show your family and friends, something you would put your name on to call yours, then that is something you can say you are proud of. And that should be the standard for anyone's work", a saying that has stuck with me ever since.
Lesson 5: Sharing a community
Being in a community was a first for me. My initial sense of uneasiness didn't stay long, as I soon realized I wasn't forced to "socialize" if I wasn't ready to, or simply didn't feel like it. I do, however, enjoy spending time in our weekly movie nights, where I have also been introduced to movies that I would never have discovered on my own... especially foreign films, where I was exposed to different cultures.
Lesson 6: It's okay to be yourself
I'm not the expressive type. I was never the guy with much to say. But despite it all, I've never really felt left out, or that my silence was a flaw... even if it definitely had been in most of my school days. All of the little moments where the others would try to include me in conversations just so I don't feel left out, are the ones I hold ever so dear. I do hope I leave a silence that will be remembered when I'm gone.
Lesson 7: The work culture
The standard "corporate" structure doesn't exist. Instead, in its place is an assembled "family" unit, one that gives a sense of inclusion, and belonging. Although I was an intern, I was never reminded of it. I wasn't treated like some distant relative who was bound to leave soon. Instead, we all worked on the same projects, giving me an equal sense of importance. We were all in the same boat. No one was going to sink alone. When we're happy we celebrate together too.
These were only a handful out of the many moments and lessons that I could take away from. An experience... no, a journey, best described as "memorable". Because things happened. Things were different. And even if I wasn't going to be better... I could be different.
I'm still where I started off, in my room, staring at the same computer screen, sitting on the same chair, but what is different now is the person sitting on it. Perhaps the most important change of all, knowing there's more than one side to every story... more than my side.
Staring at the blank pages that follow, I wonder what stories I will write from now on. Only time will tell. All I know is that if it happens to be my story, then it won't be about a boy trying to survive in college, but a boy who can say... "I lived".