"Failure is just a phase. You must exhaust all possibilities, try out all the different ways and accept all responsibilities." -Jaime Ysmael, a third-year student in Sauder school of business and also team leader in AIESEC UBC Incoming Exchange portfolio.
Coastal Conference was an amazing conference. Not only did it run with few hiccups, it also had very memorable experiences that I will remember for a long time. As great as the conference was, I can’t rank it as my #1 because of my WRC (Western Regional Conference)-I equally enjoyed my experiences in both conferences but for different reasons.
I enjoyed WRC because it was my first conference. Everyone remembers his or her firsts really well and same for me. I had the chance to meet so many wonderful people and was inspired to put more efforts into AIESEC. I wouldn’t be a TL (team leader) today if I hadn’t gone to the conference. I might not even choose to stay in this amazing organization if I hadn’t had the strong connection developed through that conference. WRC is also the conference that exposed me to the true AIESEC culture, which is so unique that it is almost impossible to find in any other student organizations.
Coastal was a different experience. I wish it could last longer so that I would have been able to meet more people and write more sugarcubes (special notes that delegates can send to others during the conference). If there were one thing that I regret at Coastal, it would be that I wasn’t able to stay up late and bond more with delegates from my LC and other LCs. However, I love Coastal just as much as WRC because Coastal invoked something important in me.
Coming into Coastal, I was going through some tough times. As a Team Leader for ICX (Incoming Exchange portfolio), I had gone through team reorganization as members from my team left. Not only that, I was also disappointed in myself for my lack of activity in the past weeks. That was basically a rough start of my term to say the least. When I heard that all the members from my new team were attending the conference, I was pumped up. I kept on looking back on my first conference, and I wanted them to have similar experiences. As for my own personal development, I wanted to learn to improve as a more experienced member as opposed to a new one. I wanted to reflect on what I had done so far and on what I can do to move forward.
I immediately had that rush when the conference began, but I took a more active role this time during all the events. Comparing to WRC, I felt that I enjoyed the culture more as I felt a closer bond with the organization. Seeing all the people I had met before brought back good memories from the past. As the first day ended, I felt at home already. AIESEC really helps you feel like you’re part of a family and that is what is so amazing about it. Also, unwilling to see a repetition of what happened to my previous team, I spent the first night bonding with my new team and tried to develop a closer relationship with them. That was an important point for me-I wanted to have them feel at home and become more engaged in AIESEC.
As the second day came, I felt rejuvenated. The day focuses a lot more on learning and I indeed learned a lot about myself and about how to contribute to AIESEC. I just want to emphasize how amazing the Facis (Facilitators), the agenda team and the chair of the conference were as they made this day a great experience for both the new members and the old ones. In my specific track, my favorite moment was the discussion we had with Sam (the Chair), Cam (former Local Committee President of Victoria) and Exchange Participants from abroad. Their experiences enlightened me and pushed me to improve myself. As the day passed by, I became happier as I saw how my team had been growing since the conference started. I could see how they were stepping out of their comfort zones and I could see the potential that they had for the future. I felt like a parent seeing my children growing in front of my very eyes. As night rolled along, my connection with my team grew even more-the photo booth and the karaoke sessions made me feel extremely lucky to have them as my members. I saw the passion they had and felt confident that I was able to reach out to them, and that was the moment in this conference that my goals of knowing and improving myself as well as empowering my members were accomplished.
My thoughts were confirmed the following day during the simulation session. My team outperformed me and they really pushed the envelope in trying to get as far as they could. I was really proud. After the simulation, I reflect again during the meditation session. It was here that I was able to truly think back to what Coastal had taught me personally in terms of my goals. It was here that I realized how important persistence is in achieving the goals. In fact, it was so important that a few days later, I decided to write a poem about it. I would like to share it all with you:
I’ve fallen, I’ve lost, and I’ve failed
I’ve disappointed the people around me
Those close to me have bailed
There’s nothing in me for others to see
But I’m never going to give up
I’ll keep trying again and again
I won’t ever even think to stop
I know that it’s just a matter of when
I know failure is just a phase
You must exhaust all possibilities
And try out all the different ways
And accept all responsibilities
I’ve risen up, I’ve won, and I’ve succeeded
I was crazy enough to try
All my fears in life are now shed
I’m no longer living a lie
At the end of the conference, as we were saying our goodbyes, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I feel like I was a renewed person and I was able to reach out to my team. I also felt that I had experienced a change in myself for the better. There was so much that I wish I could have said. I remember in WRC, I tried to write a sugarcube for everyone. Unfortunately, I could not do that this time. However, I want all of you to know that I joined AIESEC because of you, the people. For those who haven’t been able to go to a conference yet, I implore you to go to the next one. My favorite part of AIESEC is seeing others grow, so I want to see you all grow alongside with me in our journey through AIESEC. Let’s all together make 2015 a great year for AIESEC!