In my total of six and a half years spent in Hong Kong, there are many places that hold special and happy memories for me. But among those, one of them would be my alma mater, the University of Hong Kong (HKU).
Welcome to this longer than usual post, which I’ve been meaning to share since graduation, because I wanted to always have these snapshots and memories to look back on. I wanted to share this campus with anyone who is interested and also share my personal HKU story along with it. Here we go, let’s have a look around HKU, my tertiary education home of five years, also the best five years of my education journey. ☺
There are many different stories of HKU coming from its many students and graduates, some great, some bad, some indifferent. But for me, I had the best experience during my time there, filled with some bumps here and there, but overall, I will always remember my university years with a lot of joy.
I started properly looking into universities in 2009, when I was in my second year of polytechnic (I’m a Mass Communication graduate from Ngee Ann Polytechnic!) and found my dream school in HKU. You might be thinking, how obvious, HKU is a dream school for many. It’s true, I knew it, but a dream is a dream and I dreamed along with everyone else who wanted it!
In 2010, I spent six months in Hong Kong for an internship as part of my final year polytechnic studies, and visited HKU for the first time. I wanted nothing more than to return to the energetic city of Hong Kong and to be accepted into its best school. By the end of 2010, while completing my final semester at polytechnic, I also worked on my applications and applied to the top 3 universities in Hong Kong, to quite a lot of skepticism and doubt of my abilities directed my way.
To be honest, I wasn’t super confident about how the results would turn out either, and at the time, there were those who judged me for coming from a “polytechnic background”, thinking it impossible that I had any chance. (I’d like to put it here that my polytechnic programme was very challenging, made me work harder than I ever did before, gave me plenty of opportunities and I am proud of that very polytechnic background.)
When I think back now, perhaps it really was a bold choice, a big dream to dream about a place at one of the most prestigious academic institutions in Asia, ranked among some of the best schools in the world. But what I’ve realized and will always remember, is that my Father God blesses me more than I can imagine. ☺
In April 2011, I received acceptances to 2 of the 3 universities I applied to, one of them being HKU. At that point, I was just happy to be accepted into any university (it’s always been a dream) and to have the chance to start a new chapter in Hong Kong. August 2011, I was on a flight to Hong Kong.
When I applied to HKU, I was a Mass Communication student with a specialization in Journalism and Publishing and had just completed a journalism related internship. At that point, I realized that journalism was pretty likely not going to be the career path for me going onward, so I applied to the Bachelor of Arts programme at HKU, stating my interest to major in English Studies and minor in Journalism.
Applying to the BA programme was probably one of the best decisions I made, and till today, if you ask me, I will still tell you (and I am very biased) that the best faculty at HKU is the Arts Faculty. ☺♥ I graduated after my 3 years of study with a major in Comparative Literature and a minor in Sociology. (Note: I was admitted to HKU before the change in Hong Kong’s academic structure for secondary and tertiary education. As of 2012, most undergraduate degree programmes in HK universities requires 4 years of study.) My final major and minor were different from my original intended plans, and were all newly discovered during my time there. I will always love HKU for that.
At HKU, I had the most incredible lecturers, full of passion and knowledge for their fields of study, several tutors that I truly looked up to and classmates that I enjoyed hearing a variety of viewpoints from. I graduated with the Class of 2014 and whenever anyone asked if I had any postgrad plans, I laughingly told everyone, nope, not at all! Completely not happening.
What would you know, it was July 2015 and I just got home from a day of meetings when I found an acceptance letter to HKU’s Faculty of Social Sciences to pursue my Master’s degree in the Sociology department. HAHA, I jumped up and down and screeched around to my family for 10 minutes straight. Last year, I graduated for the second time with the Class of 2017!
I have a lot of feelings and opinions when it comes to HKU, and while this will obviously not be the same for everyone, HKU significantly impacted my life in the best ways possible. In my five years here, sure I received two degrees, but also so much more.
As the first in my family to graduate from university, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a university education. But what I was blessed to discover was joy in my studies, the ability to excel, some of the best lecturers I feel privileged to be taught by, wonderful friendships, my courses of study, opportunities to interact with people from all over the world, a chance to learn about Hong Kong from Hong Kongers themselves and inspiration to always keep learning, even after I leave the grounds of my campus.
Thank you and goodbye HKU, I have moved on to the next chapter of my twenties, and while I am asked every once in a while if I have plans to pursue a PhD (I just want to say thank you to those who think so highly of me hahaha!), this time, the answer really is no. But who’s to know, life can bring surprises when you least expect them right? ;)
Thanks for reading my education story and I hope you enjoy this look around the HKU campus! Till next time.
The University of Hong Kong (HKU)