I was told this blog is primarily for high school students who are not yet UST students. Having met literally tens of thousands of them over the past two decades (mass sessions, admission interviews, high school talks and graduation ceremonies), there are things I believe young adults like yourselves have to think through before making your life-changing decision in this brand new phase of life.
Like everyone else, you have gone to many admission talks, infodays, college/uni exhibits. You have worked hard to make good grades. You have participated in activities and events to prepare for entries in your college/university application form to impress interviewers. All these, you were told, would help you secure a place in university.
What intrigues me is when the most common question at admission interviews was asked – “Why do you want to study this program?”, more often than not, students seem not to know the reason, neither do they know what the program they apply for is really about. They don’t even know what really interests them in life. Many would make a choice simply because they have better grades in that subject and were advised to a program they have better chance to be admitted.
On the other hand, what we interviewers would love to see is a curiosity about the world and a desire to learn, not just doing what you’ve been asked to do and following a path paved by others. Neither do we want to see individuals living out the expectation of others.
True educators… well, let’s not use the fancy word here – teachers, are to encourage curiosity and nurture independent thinkers. Textbooks and information are tools that prompt you to think and to see your interest. Interaction and discussion would give you different perspectives. Going through the process will improve your thinking abilities. So don’t simply listen and just follow what you’ve been asked to do. Think it through if it is really your choice. Let your curiosity guide you. Explore the world and people, experience different cultures, meet people and make new friends. I am sure that you will find something that really excites you. When you find out what clicks, you will know where your passion lies. An enjoyable journey towards a fulfilling life won’t be too far away.
Prof King L. Chow
Academic Director (Undergraduate Core Education)