As crazy as it sounds, three years of university has flown by in a blink of an eye. I still remember vividly the day when my A-level grades got released and I found out I would be undertaking my undergraduate degree at the University of Manchester, the mixture of anxiousness and eagerness, to this very day now that I am almost graduating- hopefully. These three years have been nothing short of surprises, happiness, disappointments, and most of all resilience.
Thinking back to my first day of university, I remember stepping into Whitworth Hall accommodation. Though it has a very peculiar design, and the room size wasn’t particularly spacious, the student hall was a great avenue for me to get to know different people from around the world and luckily enough, all my flatmates were really socialable and hospitable which made the process of settling in and adapting to a new environment much easier. I was also very fortunate to have been a part of the ITMB cohort that I was in since everyone was so amazing and talented that it made the lessons very enjoyable and productive.
Apart from hanging out with people from my course, I also joined different societies in my first year such as the Manchester University Chinese Student Society and the Manchester Public Affairs and Social Services Society. One of the highlights during my first year was the drama show that I took part in. Though the rehearsals were extremely demanding, in which some nights we would rehearse all the way to 3am and then rinse and repeat for a whole week; nevertheless, the feeling of accomplishment when we finally finished the performance was something I have never experienced before and even until this day I still ponder about those good old times.
One of the strangest parts of my three years of university, and I’m sure everyone has experienced something similar or completely different, is the strike of COVID. For many people, COVID has changed their lives completely: transforming the way we live and learn, changing our perspectives in life, making sacrifices that we never would have imagined. I am sure everyone has experienced their ups and downs in the face of this pandemic. For me, it also wasn’t easy in terms of studying remotely for the entire year two, helping my family financially from the outbreak and finally accepting the cruel yet helpless truth of losing someone dear and close to you. However, one thing for sure is that whilst this pandemic has taken a lot from us, it has also given a lot of opportunities for us to grow as an individual and as a person. I have learnt how to be more responsible, independent, thoughtful, and most importantly, not take life for granted and cherish every moment I step foot on this earth.
Three years of university in the grand scheme of things perhaps don’t mean a lot, but the lessons I have learnt, the people I have met and the memories I have made will be something that I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life. Even though these three years have been full of the unexpected, as John Lennon once said “Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.
Thank you University of Manchester and I can’t wait to embark on my next journey in life.
~ Class of 2022