Jun Yi: A Scholar's Life

I remember the great expectations put on me by my parents and relatives to ensure that I would stand out from the rest. My mother had a vision for me and she would remind me from time to time about it; my father talked less but when he spoke, he really gave me the freedom of thoughts and soul-searching. Sooner that I had imagined, I entered my mother’s vision with the wings of freedom that my father had given me- I had successfully become a JPA scholar and I was on my own since then.

Excitement is natural to me when it comes to new experiences. As a fresh scholar, I was amazed by the diverse personalities, abilities and experiences which made fellow scholars who they are. Looking back to the old pictures from the first day I entered my college, I am not surprised that I and fellow scholars had changed a whole lot. Basically, new experiences changed us and it was from them that we had grown. I befriended my first roommate; I tried to become a leader of a diverse group of people; I started to burn midnight oil; I sang on the stage for the first time in the Talent Night; and I faced the death of my hero. There had been genuine happiness and real disappointments in these new experiences, but I took the courage to make the best out of them. Sometimes, a scholar needs to be very independent; sometimes, good friends would just come around and say: “lean on me”. Whatever it takes, I always believe in hope and courage.

Some people might think that scholars are role models from every aspect, but aren’t scholars humans as well? And as humans we must have our own weaknesses, right? As for me, I have to admit that I am not a highly articulate and sociable person, yet. Very often, a voice in me would say that I am fixed in certain ways: that I could never speak to convince and never wise to organize. To break away all the chains, I love to go against the river flow. You know the feeling of wind blowing against you as you speed ahead? That’s how good it feels! Whenever a voice in me said that I couldn’t do this and that, I would doubt it and challenge it. Certainly, there were many times when I failed, swallowed bitterness and wondered if I deserve the title of a “scholar”. But then, to overcome failures would make me a better person and indeed, a striving scholar. Success comes in between trials and failures.

Maybe some people are wondering, why am I not sharing on my academic learning? Well, I am sure it is pretty much as expected by many people. I relied on enthusiasm, discipline and consistence to learn effectively. Whenever I felt lagging behind in the classroom, I would call out for the mentioned elements. Well, to me, what make up my educational experience are really the people who educate me and learn with me. I am so grateful to have had some of the most interesting and knowledgeable lecturers. Their wisdom, humor and knowledge truly inspired me to keep improving myself as a holistic human being. And yes, I found the greatest friends that never could be found. What most important that I had learned from my friends are not to stereotype people and cherish the different talents and capabilities among ourselves. I truly can’t imagine a future when children study from home in front of computers. You need friends to get yourself educated properly. My friends taught me not only Physics, Calculus and Chemistry, but also sincerity, determination, love and happiness.

Gratitude is another important driving force which keeps me looking forward for what lies ahead. I thank God for my life, for the beauty of nature, for the ability to dream, for the gift of a family, great educators and friends, and for countless possibilities and opportunities. Indeed, I believe gratitude towards what I have in life will boost my spirit and expand my vision of a bright future as a scholar. As Mahatma Gandhi once said: “live as if you will die tomorrow; learn as if you will live forever.”

Allen Lian Jun Yi | University of California, Berkeley(Class of 2015)

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