Kaleidoscope: Slices Of Life #1 – Dear Diary…

Written by: Soh Iwin (20-E5)

Designed by: Jolene Leow (20-E1)

“Dear diary, today I signed up to be a part of Eunoia Junior College Press’ Kaleidoscope Committee. Over here, we write stories that will be posted on The Origin* (EJC Press’ website) — it sounds pretty cool, right? But, but, but…the issue is that I have just received my first committee assignment and I have to write a story! I mean, sure, I love writing stories! However, my slow brain just cannot think of a creative story right now! Help!” 

As I wrote in my diary, I chewed on my pen cap fretfully. What should I write about? No, I didn’t want to pluck a narrative topic out of thin air and expand it into a story — no, I didn’t really want to write about fantasy — no, I didn’t want to invent new stories…

Soon, a sense of discomfort rushed within me as anxiety and self-doubt overwhelmed me, crushing my discouraged spirit in a merciless fashion. You know, it’s a helpless feeling where you are enthusiastic about something, but don’t know where to start. After all, I am not a writing genius! After collecting my thoughts and emotions, I decided to browse through the committee’s shared folder to see what my committee mates had written. Hopefully, I could find some inspiration… 

“This is stellar work!” I marvelled, as I scanned through their stories. This positive remark was followed by a starkly worrying and negative one. 

“OH NO! What am I supposed to write to match up to my committee mates’ standards?” I muttered, my mind in a haphazard mess. Thinking deeply, I started to consider what I truly wanted to write, to make the most out of the experience. I want to try out a new writing style, I want something inspirational, I want to write about an experience, I want…

Eureka! I could write a diary entry on a life lesson that I recently learnt! After all, a diary entry is still a narrative, right? Scrambling back to my diary, I enthusiastically picked up my pen to start writing. Words flowed out with ease onto my paper, as my pen ink neatly stringed the words into sentences.

“Dear diary, I am back with a story! Today, I wish to share with you more about how I initiated my very first event in school – Euphonia, a Model United Nations and Press Corps conference!”

Wait a minute, is writing about this a silly idea? The devil of my thoughts questioned me. My thoughts were about to spiral into a chain of negativity tempting me with the prospects of giving up when another voice in my head interrupted me. 

Stop! it said. If you give up now, you will never know whether it will become successful! Let’s give it a shot! Boy, would anyone expect such a tiny jolt of impulsiveness to boost my confidence to try again. 

Okay, diary, so how did I start this event? Initially, I craved a sense of contribution to something meaningful, a new initiative, and a new challenge centering my interest in writing and attending MUN conferences! It was also my dream to initiate an event that others can participate in! I chose to work on an initiative because I felt that instead of waiting for opportunities to appear before me, why not create opportunities for myself? This could make my experience more meaningful! Thus, organising a Press Corps and MUN conference sounded like a good fit. 

Thereafter, I asked myself, ‘But — how can you make this meaningful and ensure that more people, not just avid student journalists and MUN-ners, can benefit from this experience?’ That’s when I thought of making students debate on issues that are closely related to their humanities syllabus. This way, learning and the application of concepts would be more interesting! 

Wow… did I sound like I was wholly confident of this idea? Of course not! Initially, I found this idea silly, as I thought, “Who would approve such a wild idea!” But boy, was I wrong. As I pitched the idea to my fellow friend (while being amused at myself for foolishly hoping for him to express tiny bits of support), I was surprised that my friend was interested in working on it with me! 

‘Okay, let’s write a proposal before we ask the teachers for their opinions and approval! We can call this event “Euphonia” since we want our participants to have a clear voice and stake in the event!’ he said with deep ebullience. I agreed, and as I wrote the proposal, I perpetually questioned the plausibility of it being approved. The chances seemed so bleak, and I was ready to be slammed with the idea of rejection by the time I submitted it to the teachers. After all, this idea was merely the product of a random brainwave, so why would the quality of the idea be good? The only string pulling me back from losing hope was none other than my passion for writing and MUN, which recurrently reminded me that I should still try and give it a shot to prevent myself from regretting in the future.

However, surprise, surprise! After a week or so, I received a pleasant surprise —  the teachers had expressed approval for it! Euphoria bubbled within me as I savoured the joy I received from the good news. And so, here I am, starting to embark on my first steps on a new initiative I would not have imagined myself doing! 

This is the story that you and I are now reading. Of course, your sharpness and observant nature may have prompted you that I eventually wrote two stories in one story, to share one common message on tackling one’s self doubt. Yes, this story may come from a plain student who only did a small project, which may seem small and insignificant; however, the overarching message is that courage brings you to greater heights. A small sprinkle of faith in yourself can spur you on to try out something that may have always seemed impossible — who knows, maybe you will succeed! 

Additionally, the very fact that this story started from nothing and became something testifies the notion that everyone has the potential to handle something new and possibly do great things. Yes, things may appear daunting when we first meet them. Yes, an idea may seem unfeasible or overambitious. But if you are fraught with self doubt, just like how I initially was for my story — and Euphonia — would you take your first step in giving yourself a chance to prove yourself? Would you erase the doubt and be willing to venture into a new adventure?

Dear diary, today I wrote my story based on my faith in myself! 

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With great power comes great responsibility.

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