I was doing a campus tour in Uni the other day. It involved bringing a group of prospective students around the campus, showing them the various first class facilities and enthralling them with positive stories of Uni life.
On this particular beautiful and sunny day, I was hosting a group of students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic Singapore. Wonderful and inquisitive people they were. One of their lecturers was in my small tour group of nine. We had just passed the cafeteria, where masses of students were having their lunch break.
"There seems to be a lot of girls in this campus. How's the males to females ratio here?" the lecturer asked.
"I think its around 30 to 70. Or maybe 35 to 65." I replied.
"It must be lucky being a guy here." she contemplated.
"Yeah I guess so," I replied after a pause. "I guess so."
"I am lucky to be a student here."
Perhaps that's the best word to describe my time here in this campus now known as Monash University Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science.
Not that because it is a predominantly female populated course, even though that's a plus sign.
I was lucky because I was given countless opportunities do develop my skills and network. I had the chance to sample nearly every facet of student life, accumulating a wealth of experience in the process.
I was given the chance to realise my potential.
I never really realised I was lucky until a couple of weeks back, when it dawned upon me that a lot of International students who came here to study didn't have the chance to enjoy the opportunities I had.
They came here, study diligently for the whole degree, and went home with a cert. That's it.
Not that I didn't work hard for those opportunities, but I must admit a big amount of luck was involved.
Damn, I wouldn't even be here if not for the huge amount of luck during SPM examinations. Chinese was always my Achilles Heel, and getting that elusive A1 was like a faraway dream until I was lucky enough to get an essay question similar to one that I had memorised.
That clinched the JPA scholarship and I had a plane ticket to study overseas, which was never a part of my dream.
In fact, I was seriously considering to study in a local Uni and be an English teacher. Being a pharmacist? The thought never crossed my mine in the first 18 years of my life.
After 18 months of studying matriculation in Peninsula Malaysia post SPM, I finally came to Melbourne on a hot and humid day in February 2005, on a wing and a prayer.
P/s: This is the first part of a continuous series on my Uni story.