Class Year: 2020
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Minor: Theatre (potentially)
Extracurriculars: International Affairs Symposium, Third Culture Kids Club, Kith and Kin A Cappella Group, Club Soccer
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
Invigorating, challenging, thought-provoking
What has been your favorite class so far (title and professor)? How did it expand your knowledge?
The class that has been the most thought-provoking thus far into my academic journey would be ENVS 160 with Professor James Proctor. Introduction to Environmental Studies has made me rethink many of my beliefs concerning the natural environment and how we as humans engage with it. Before joining the class, I had believed that the only way to encourage a concerted effort on climate change solutions involved scare tactics. However, during the class, this view was quashed and replaced with a desire to pursue geoengineering as a source of relief for our climate change woes.
Why did you decide to attend a college on the other side of the world from your home?
I decided to attend a college far away from home to challenge myself and to see the world through a different lens. As a young boy, I had inherited from my parents an obsession with traveling to foreign countries and experiencing cultures and traditions very different to mine. The real pleasure of any traveling experience, in my opinion, is when you can connect with the local people of a foreign nation on a level where you feel as though you belong there. I came all the way to the U.S. to enhance my love of learning new things and connecting with new people, and I am excited to say that there is a lot more to learn!
Where have you found community on campus?
I have discovered a strong sense of community in almost every aspect of life at Lewis & Clark. Like any international student for the first time in a foreign country, I was initially extremely nervous about making new friends and finding my place on campus. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a community that was not only welcoming in nature but actively encouraged me to seek out opportunities around campus. I have found community in my a capella group, Kith and Kin; in the International Affairs Symposium; in the Third Culture Kids Club; in club soccer; in my residence hall… the list is endless!
What’s your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot on campus would have to be this amazing sofa in Copeland Hall. The sofa and I have this long-running relationship—almost one year now—and it has been extremely difficult to part ways with such a solid companion! You might think this is strange, a love affair between a college student and a sofa; however, I conducted at least 90 percent of my studies on that sofa and have written some of my best work to date. I will always hold fond memories of that spot.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?
What I love most about Portland is the welcoming attitude the city seems to exude. The built environment is very concise and cleancut, which makes walking around the downtown area a fabulous experience both day and night. Portland has also been able to incorporate the natural environment extremely well, with places like Tryon Creek State Park such a pleasure to walk within. However, what I have valued above all else is the kindness and generosity that Portlanders naturally radiate on a day-to-day basis. If one were to combine all these factors that I have discussed, the result is not only a city that is welcoming but a city that makes anyone, regardless of where you are from, feel at home.
How do you manage stress?
I go by the mantra “stress is good for you because it shows you care.” Whenever I’m feeling the pressure and sense anxiety creeping up on me while working, I try and think about why I am feeling this way, and this usually converts the negative into positive energy. The trick is to believe in what you tell yourself. However, an eight-hour night’s sleep coupled with good homework management tends to bring out the best in you, regardless of how you manage negative energy.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
I would advise prospective students to embrace differences and engage with the unknown. I have been exposed, in my brief time at Lewis & Clark, to countless cultures, traditions, political views, religious beliefs, etc., that have helped me modify and reflect on who I am and what I stand for. The college environment is the place where you discover yourself and make the monumental personal changes that are, thankfully, unfettered by home chores, high school gossip, or just about any other casual distraction. In sum, I would recommend seeking out opportunities and being proactive in your college life, not reactive.