5 Things I Learned from Being the ‘New Kid’ at ETIB

There’s nothing worse than being an outsider. Always feeling like you will never fit in; no matter how hard you try to. If you’re an introvert like me, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. And you know for a fact that an introvert’s biggest nightmare is being the “new kid” in class.

But you know what’s worse than just being a new kid?

It’s being a new kid that transfers from an American university system to its complete opposite: USJ. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in translation at my old university, I decided to undertake a Master’s program at ETIB. At the time, I didn’t think it would be much of a challenge, but boy was I wrong!

Since I’ve been a new kid at ETIB for almost two years, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve learned quite a few things. So from a fellow introvert to another, I believe it is my duty to pass on the “5 things I learned from being the ‘new kid’ at ETIB”, and hopefully help you adjust to the new world you’re about to enter.


  1. Your first day will be the worst and best day of your life.

How you may ask? Well, for one thing you’re going to make a fool out of yourself at some point during the day. Whether it’s trying to figure out how to use USJ’s confusing elevators, pushing a door when it clearly says “Pull”, or maybe entering the wrong class and having to do “the walk of shame” as you awkwardly leave the room. But one thing is certain, you’ll laugh about it one day with your new friends, and that’s what will make it the best day ever.

  1. The people you’re most intimidated by will end up being your closest friends.

Trust me when I say this: Never judge anyone based on first impressions. Especially when you’re the “new kid”, because your anxiousness will make everyone seem judgmental and stuck-up.

  1. There are a lot more people like you around, you just have to look closer.

I’m not going to lie, making new friends will be draining. But at some point you’ll have to break out of your shell and actually talk to your classmates. You’ll be surprised to find out how many other introverts are in your class!

  1. Stress will become your new best friend. 

I won’t sugar coat it: Studying at ETIB is no cakewalk. As someone who graduated from an American university and pursued a Masters degree at its complete opposite, I was shocked to discover a whole new level of stress. With USJ’s insane amount of workload, it’s easy to wallow in your own sorrows. However, instead of trying to overcome stress, embrace it. Use your sense of urgency as motivation to work faster and harder and you’ll be surprised to see how much you can accomplish.

  1. At least one of your teachers will become your mentor.

Your teachers have a lot more to offer than just teach you how to translate. After all, they’ve been through everything you’re going through. From being a new kid, to studying translation, to adulting and planning for the future. So don’t be afraid to reach out.


Everyone’s experience at ETIB is different, and yours might not be exactly like mine, but it’s always comforting to know that someone has been through the same nightmare as you. If you need me, you know where to find me. I’ll always be that awkward student who can learn almost anything except how to make small talk.

Advice from one soon-to-be graduate to another

“What are your plans now that you’re about to graduate?” A simple question that has the power to make you feel that your world is crumbling at your feet.

Graduation is closer than ever and you think you’ve got it all figured out, then someone asks you that million-dollar question and all you can think of is What am I doing with my life? Where do I start? Where am I headed? A myriad of questions spirals in your mind, desperate for some kind of an answer.

It’s not easy being in your shoes right now. It’s a bitter-sweet time when you feel happy and sad and everything in between. But guess what? You’re not alone.

“What is the right answer?” you ask. Well, I believe there is no direct answer but if there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s: worry not. Here’s a piece of advice from a soon-to-be graduate to another.

 It’s okay to be unsure.

Take a step back and decide what’s the next best step for you.

 It’s okay if you don’t get it right the first time.

Life is a roller coaster and after all, you’ll be working for the next 40 years or so, you’ll have plenty of time to find your way.

It’s okay to feel lost, to cry and lose track of your plans.

The funny thing about plans is that they don’t always work out the way we want them to – and more often than not, for the best.

It’s okay if you haven’t figured it all out yet, you just have to be working on creating something of importance; not of importance to anyone but you.

Remember, once you graduate, things beyond your scope of finding a job – and yourself – will come your way but once again, worry not.  You’re only young once. You have your entire life ahead of you. Nothing has been taken away.

Also, bear in mind that the day you graduate is called commencement day for it is the commencement of a new journey. A journey in which you join the real world. So for now, take a moment to realize how far you’ve come and all that you’ve accomplished. Be proud and say to yourself “I did it!”