“Life is tough and tiring, but you learn and grow from your experiences –
and you find happiness within yourself.”
I remember the first time I stepped into the HSBC Prosperity Hall when I was a freshman. The warm greetings from the hallmates overwhelmed me with love. After joining a variety of hall activities, such as the orientation camp, Chinese New Year gathering, high table dinner, carnival and etc., I started to grow interest in joining the Residents’ Association (RA). In the following year, I was extremely lucky – not only that I have become one of the members of the executive committee, but I also got a group of good teammates. We organized numerous events and activities, and those I can say, gave me a huge sense of accomplishment.
Some people would say that joining the committee is tough, and that you won’t be able to handle your academic work and many other things. But the truth is, being a committee member is like living your life. Life is tough and tiring, but you learn and grow from your experiences – and you find happiness within yourself. After joining the committee, my Cantonese improved tremendously; I learned how to communicate and connect with local people; to cooperate with people; better time management; and most importantly, to think in other’s point of view. Since you always have to organize events mostly for local Hong Kong people, you have to understand their likes and dislikes in order to make the activities more enjoyable for them – and from that, you can truly experience and learn the local culture.
In regards to the saying about the drop in your academic achievements – it was just a saying. There are people who can balance both their committee and school work, and even get into the dean’s list. Even if you don’t join any committee, it doesn’t guarantee your grades will be better – it is up to you, your personality and your will. For me, being an RA urges me to have better time management, and this benefited me a lot in whatever work I do.
In this coming year, I have the chance to see things from a new point of view — as a Residence Tutor (RT). I believe that not only I can learn more from handling more hall activities, but also to be able to spread the hall culture that I love a lot.
For the incoming residents, here is a humble list of suggestions for you. If you ever find yourself clueless about studying and living in Hong Kong, here are five suggestions that may help you enjoy your stay here.
1. Take initiatives, and open up to strangers
Do not worry about the language barrier! If you want to truly understand and enjoy the local culture here, take the courage and try to speak to both local and foreign students. Always take initiatives and be positive. People will accept you the way you are.
2. Be objective and open about cultural differences and seek for common grounds
We all grew up in a different environment, with different educational and social background and social. It is normal if you find yourself alienated from the local culture and in the interactions with others. However, if you spot a discrepancy or find yourself situated in a conflict, be calm, do not fight or do anything that could worsen the situation.
3. Find a way to express yourself
Sometimes, challenges in life or stress is inevitable, especially when you are a newbie. However, don’t let that negative vibe and energy overwhelm you. Find and learn the right way for you to express your emotions and frustrations. You can always talk to a friend, or go for a jog. If necessary, you may even seek help or advice from counselling services available at school.
4. Experience with your heart
Hong Kong has a very unique and interesting culture. The best way for you to experience it is to be passionate about learning it. Always spare some time to participate in hall activities, and chat with your roommate, floormates and hallmates.
5. Think responsibly, rationally and sensibly
No matter what adversities you are situated in, do not get too overwhelmed with your emotions into doing something extreme. Learn to think responsibly and do things rationally and sensibly. If necessary, your friends, your Residence Tutor, Residence Master and SRO will be there for you.
Writer: Caesar TANG (HSBC Prosperity Hall)
Translator: Michelle CHIANG (Hall 10)
Images: Caesar TANG (HSBC Prosperity Hall)
無論面對什麼樣的事情，都不要意氣用事，甚至產生極端的想法，要冷靜下來，學會獨自思考，理性處理，必要時求助於朋友，舍堂導師(Residence Tutor, RT)，或是舍監(Residence Master , RM) 和學生宿舍處(SRO)。