Qualifications: International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)
Name of University if currently studying: University of Oxford
If you are studying at university, tell us about your course/major and why you chose it.
My chosen course is Materials Science. It is the study of how the properties of materials relates to the manufacture of the materials and its microstructure, which can be applied to discover new materials that are used to improve the quality of our lives. I chose this course because I love how wide-ranging the subject is, and also because it is a combination of Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Engineering, all of which are subjects that I enjoy a lot.
What is your most memorable experience in school?
My most memorable experience in school is when all students stood along the school corridors to sing ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘We Are Lasallians’ for our teachers on Teacher’s Appreciation Day. It was an event planned by our Student Representative Council and it’s funny to see how we had secret meetings and were sent top secret emails before the event as it was meant to be a surprise for our teachers. Whether or not it was still kept as a secret before the event I do not know, but what I do know is that it was an authentic and heart-touching atmosphere, some were even moved to tears, and it just shows how warm and close-knit the school community is.
What were your favourite and least favourite subjects in school, and why?
My favourite subjects at school are the sciences, not only because we get to conduct really interesting science experiments, like investigating the caffeine content in energy and building our own bow and arrow for Physics, but also because we get to apply knowledge that we have learnt in real life. We also get to plan and conduct our own experiments under the supervision of a teacher as part of the IB course, which was an amazing experience!
My least favourite subjects are essay subjects like English and English Literature, mainly because I do not enjoy writing essays and reading poems or classics. Nonetheless, these subjects have developed my critical thinking and analytical skills and taught me to be more perceptive, which I believe are essential skills in life.
What extracurricular activities did you do?
I was in the school’s volleyball club and there are many opportunities for us to go for tournaments to gain experience and to meet new friends from other schools.
I was also in the Investing Club, which is a student-led club where students share their knowledge and experience in investing every week.
What was the best thing about your school?
The best thing about my school is its inclusive and close-knit community. Familiar and friendly faces are always surrounding you and it’s always easy to get help when you need it.
If you could travel back in time, what is the one thing that you would change when you were a student?
One thing that I would change is to spend more time with my school friends. Now that most of us have parted ways to different countries and have different commitments, it has become difficult for us to come together and have a quick catch-up, especially with the presence of COVID-19. Before this, we always organized trips to other parts of Malaysia, some of which I have not been able to attend due to other commitments, which has been one of my greatest regrets ever since.
What advice would you give to current students of your alma mater?
Don’t be afraid of failures. Be daring to step out of your comfort zone and seize every opportunity available to you, because growth can only happen in the absence of comfort.
What lessons did you learn in 2020?
Due to the pandemic, future plans have had to be altered and everything has become uncertain for me. One lesson that I have learnt in 2020 is to always be prepared for unforeseen circumstances as they are inevitable, and remember that when one door shuts, another opens.