University life reaches beyond the classroom
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When I started university two years ago, I just focused on my academic performance. I was determined to graduate with first-class honours. But I realize now that there is more to university life than just good grades. There are many other factors that determine the success of an individual, for example, whether or not you possess an international outlook or effective interpersonal skills. I came to realize this after becoming president of the Students’ Union.
Prior to being elected, I served for a year as a member of the Information Technology Committee of the Students’ Union. At that time, I just wanted to learn something outside the classroom. And I did. I learnt a great deal serving in the committee. But after that experience, I felt I should make a bigger contribution. Thus, I ran for the presidency of the 21st Students’ Union in my second year at CityU.
As president, I realized the importance of interpersonal, time management and English and Chinese skills. I have not mastered fully all these skills, but I have had a lot of opportunity to develop as a person, meeting different people whose extensive professional knowledge and work experiences have helped broaden my horizons.
For instance, I have compared my ideas with those of Professor H K Chang, President of CityU, on issues raised at various meetings, thus learning from his insight. I have also benefited from meeting other leaders from society, amounting to a kind of learning which is rarely available in any books.
In addition, I have learned how to manage pressure. In the first few months of my stint as president I was not performing very well in my studies, or speeches, because I did not manage properly my emotions. The more nervous I became, the worse my performance was. So I started to learn how to manage my feelings and now I feel quite comfortable making speeches, even before senior government officials from the Ministry of Education.
Serving the Students’ Union helps us learn beyond books and classrooms and allows us to think about how we can help our fellow students. If you share my thoughts, I strongly encourage you to join the Students’ Union and experience another aspect of university life.