Letters from the dorm: level up by reflecting on your experiences

Letters from the dorm: level up by reflecting on your experiences


Not the worst place to reflect on intellectual and personal growth.
Photo: April Xu Xiaoyi

Observe, write, share – these three verbs together capture the essence of my personal and intellectual journey thus far.

From early childhood, I have travelled in different parts of 28 countries with wide-open eyes. Daily encounters with people with cultural, social, linguistic, and political differences always fascinated me. As a relatively shy girl, writing everything down was my way of processing these observations and experiences, piecing them together, and sharing them with family and friends.

As I have matured, I’ve begun to embrace more fantastic opportunities related to writing; notably serving as editor in chief of my school’s undergraduate law review, designing a universal health coverage campaign for the World Health Organisation (WHO), contributing research to the Hong Kong government, and regularly publishing journalistic, academic, and creative writing pieces through international publications like Huffington Post and South China Morning Post.

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These endeavours have allowed me to improve my ability to engage with others. My work with the Claremont Journal of Law and Public Policy, and the WHO, for example, has taught me to share knowledge with a bigger audience to encourage change and reform.

As I reflect on these experiences, I notice one thing: the more I understand the power of words – both spoken and written – the more importance I place on having my eyes wide-open, like I did when I was a child.

It’s easy to see why I was drawn to studying international relations and politics. As someone who travelled a lot from an early age and has experienced being an international school student in Hong Kong and a Chinese student in the US, I have a never-ending thirst to compare and contrast what I observe in different countries.

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For me, careful observations require discipline – they should be thorough and objective instead of quickly jumping to conclusions. Writing helps me organise my thinking logically, and take on creative approaches, before sharing discoveries with others,

As I run through the Pomona gates once more before graduating in May, I will certainly continue observing, writing, and sharing. I hope to work in the political sphere as a think tank researcher or international organisation officer.

Edited by Ben Young

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
The power to write and observe


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