It’s been 11 month since I landed the United States, time flies. If you ask me what is the biggest challange during this year, writing and speaking in my second language is definitely No.1, especially academic writing. I couldn’t even remember how many times I didn’t know how to express myself accurately and formally, and felt like I was just a loser. It happens, and it happens a lot. I can always find the best word to express myself in my native language because I read a lot, but in English, it depends on my vocabulary. Academic writing requires serious and high level vocabulary, which apparently needs time to accrue.

My assignments have been commented ‘I don’t understand’, ‘I’m confused’, or ‘what are you trying to say here’ for so many times that I just can’t remember. I always doubted myself if I can be a good researcher or not. How can I be a good researcher if my reader can’t understand what I’m talking about?! Or, let’s say I don’t care if I can be a good researcher or not because too few people can achieve that, but still I’m questioning myself if I can be a qualified researcher.

I know some people may say that, you still have years of practice. The point is, I don’t know how much time do I need to pracice myself and catch up with native speaker scholars. Weeks, months, or years? Is the society willing to wait for me? Apparently not. If there’s someone who has similar academic level as me but with higher level of academic writing, why I will be selected?

Here, my complaints are done. What I can do to make a change? I guess the only way is to practice. If there are so many foreigners can do that, I can also be one of them. I just want to tell people that not everyone in the PhD (student) group is extremely smart, I’m not. Lots of people may say that ‘OMG you got admitted by a PhD program, you must be a genius!’ However, no, I’m not genius, I don’t even know if I can be called smart. My high school teacher was even surprised I got an A in math and said I got it out of luck. But I work extra hard, and that’s one of the reasons there were some outcomes. So, same here, my only choice is to practice more since this second. I don’t have a choice but again working extra hard.