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Melbourne Beginnings: Seng Doi

Presented in partnership with Study Melbourne, this annual storytelling competition is open to all international students living and studying in Victoria. This year, entrants were invited to write or create a visual work that shares their Melbourne story.

Winners will be announced at a virtual award presentation ceremony on Thu 21 Oct. Book your place here.


Higher Education Shortlist

Just Get it Started by Seng Doi

Brene Brown once said, “Perfectionism and fear are keeping people from learning and growing”, and I have experienced it myself.

We have plenty of great ideas that we never get to make it alive because we are afraid of not being perfect.

I would have never thought I’d be a podcaster, especially someone like me who used to be so self-concious of the way I speak English and not so confident with my speaking skill. As most of my 2020 was buried in lockdown, I started my own podcast called ‘The Doing Part’, the podcast that share stories of the doing process of our ideas, thoughts, and dreams. Of course, it didn’t just happen, and this is how my story began…

As the world encountered this phenomenal pandemic called ‘Covid-19’ in 2020, some international students decided to go back to their home countries. But I was among those who decided to stay in this beloved City of Melbourne; embracing the unknown future and greater uncertainties that comes with it. And that future doesn’t disappoint me either, bringing continuous lockdown— 6 lockdowns — to be specific, here in Victoria.

During those lockdowns, I would occupy myself with attending different workshops and program organised by Study Melbourne and other International Student communities. First, this was the time where I can make new friends, create new connections, and expand my network. Secondly, I was able to learn different topics and develop new ideas that I can turn into projects that not only help me personally but inspire others to start their own journey. Attending those programs gave me opportunities to hear other people’s stories, their journey of how they started which gave me strengths and hope to explore my path.

Hosting my podcast, I was able to work on my communication skills and speaking although at times this could be so nerve-wrecking. Hearing those little mistakes, I made during my talk makes me want to work on them and get better as I go.  Listening to our own voice can be the most daunting experience but I learned to embrace myself and love myself for who I am through this process. Sometimes, this voice of our own can be hidden deep inside and telling us that we’re not perfect enough to do what we want to do.

Most importantly, I learned that to start doing something, I don’t have to be perfect at everything. I can just start from where I am and develop the necessary skills along the way. Will I be making mistakes? Of course, I will, and that is totally fine. Being a human, learning will always be part of our lives and making mistakes is part of the process.

Life may throw at us with uncertainties, and full of the unknowns, but one thing that is certain is that we can begin as we like. Whether that is starting your art project, own business or writing your first book, you can always begin. By simply beginning, you’ll find yourself doing things you would have never thought of doing otherwise, you’ll see how capable you are and how strong you have become.

If I can start it, so can you!

Don’t wait until you’re perfect.

Just get it started. Now.