04 November 2019


I remember one meeting with a Professor in IBS back then in 2011- she was technically my boss. I was trying to get her to sign a form for a week, it was an application for fellowship or something I couldn't recall.

I was made to understand that she was busy and she only had little time to spare for our short session. She flipped through the forms, and upon seeing that the space for her name and designation under the dots was left blank, she made a disapproving expression.

Her PhD student who was present quickly knew something was wrong just in split second. He was alarmed.

"Why is this space left blank?" she asks, while slightly shaking her head. "My postgraduate student usually knows better."

She left the room in a hurry, but not before she signed the form, and the PhD student took away the papers and stamped her name and designation and handed them over to me. He was casual, but I knew the gravity of the situation, and I do believe he hoped I learnt my lesson.

The first few days at the institute prior to the incident, I was called stupid in the laboratory by another person.

Never in my life, I felt so inadequate. The stress of working got into my head. I just want to disappear sometimes, some other day I wish I don't have to wake up from bed.

Maybe it was imposter syndrome, maybe I was having inferiority complex. Whatever it is, I knew that I couldn't last any longer. I thought I was too young, too immature to go out there and participate in the workforce.

What making everything worse was she knew my previous supervisor at my faculty, and I fear the longer I stay there, the more she hates me and my incompetence would make my faculty in general and my previous supervisor especially look bad in her eyes.

By the end of the first month, the professor gave me an ultimatum. It sounded like she gave me options, but it felt like a termination. Don't get me wrong though, I was actually relieved when she relayed the message. I was there to gain experience, but she was seeing me as a postgraduate student prospect. With such high expectations, I didn't think I could cope.

I left the institute after four weeks of internship/part-time/horsing around idk but it did gave me a taste of real life.

I don't have any ulterior motives writing this down, but yeah, this story suddenly pops in my head earlier today and I thought to share it just for the sake of my future self if ever he forgets how low he has been. With that I bid my farewell. Till we meet on the next entry (I hope it's gonna be about the KL Fabulous Food Hunt 😉)

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