One of the most important lessons my mother taught me was to never forget where I come from. I can see where she comes from. After all, having strong, healthy roots naturally aid personal growth.
I am now sitting my laptop reminiscing about the times I walked through those familiar halls of Shrewsbury Bangkok, incredulous at the fact that I have graduated nearly three years ago.
I now attend the University of Warwick and am reading Law. It is coming towards the end of my degree, and I sat in my last ever university lecture only a few weeks ago. Nostalgia has been permeating my thoughts as of late, especially after the events of the term that has just gone past. I think it is safe to say this for any alumni of Shrewsbury; we like to keep ourselves busy.
I had never been afraid to take on new projects and lead teams, and a lot of the confidence I now have stemmed from my time at Shrewsbury, especially from my role as Head of School from 2010/2011. It is a belief of mine that passion and perseverance are the two things you need in life, and I tried to apply the lessons I learnt from being Head of School to my time here at Warwick. In my second year at Warwick I was elected to be President of Warwick Glee. (Yes, a show choir like the television show!) I had definitely caught the bug from my time at Shrewsbury and wanted to pursue a new and scary leadership position. We were then considered the ‘underdog’ of Warwick’s music scene; in fact, a lot of the time people would be quite derogatory towards us. In my election speech I emphasized my desire to boost Warwick Glee’s reputation. There was only one way to do this – win the title of Best Show Choir at the Masters of Show Choir Competition. (Yes, exactly like Glee.)
I took a few things I learnt from my time at Shrewsbury and applied it to my Presidency. Firstly, if you are passionate at something, put your whole heart and soul into it. I worked tirelessly for the competition and to complete the administrative tasks that were part of my duties as President. These responsibilities were not unlike theatre productions in the Memorial Hall, or rehearsing to perform a chorale for choir. Blood sweat and tears will pay off. Having said that, my second point is health is a priority. With highly pressurised situations like elections, it is highly important to take care of your physical well being. No endeavour is worth sacrificing your health. Eat well and make sure you get enough sleep. (I personally did not do the latter, and suffered for it!) Thirdly, to be a good leader you have to empathise and communicate with the people on your team. I was a shoulder to cry on, a dance teacher, a cheerleader and a tough-love coach. It is important to get to know people and what they need, and bonding as a team is incredibly important for something like a competition.
We won the competition and became Masters of Show Choir for the year 2013, and it remains one of my proudest achievements to date.
Ultimately, the most important lesson I took from my time at Shrewsbury was to be brave enough to chase my dreams. Dare to disturb the universe, shake it to its very core! Who knows what might come of it.