20040111 Commonwealth Essay: What do you think you will be doing in ten years’ time?

(Wow, when I read this today, I didn’t know what to think, I actually predicted Medicine??)

Question: What do you think you will be doing in ten years’ time?

To ask what someone would think he or she would be doing ten long years down the road is of course, not an easy task. To me, that is. For some of my contemporaries, it comes almost naturally because they are certainly much more focused and not as fickle-minded as me. Those will be the future leaders of Singapore or pioneers to new technologies. Way to go, comrades! So here I am thinking about what I will be doing when I am twenty-three (because I am 13 years of age at this point in time.)

If nothing goes wrong or there aren’t any major changes in my life, I think I will be in America finishing my last school year at the top Harvard University studying the field of medicine. Well, the medical field is so exciting and challenging. I want to know all about the various areas of it and perhaps, even create my own medicine to help all those sick people. Secondly, the current education system of Singapore does not look like the ideal education system for me. I am hyperactive by nature and cannot sit still for long periods of time. What I like is to have hands-on activities all the time, to experience the feel of all the different kinds of chemicals; and most importantly, to have lessons of human dissection, to see the internal human body in three-dimensional form right before me. Think, how lovely it is to have the whole world of medicine open up to me, to breathe in all the knowledge as if it were air! However, I will make sure that I do not become a nerd but an all-rounder, which is what Harvard University will provide for me.

Everyday, I will be studying very hard for the final year exams because these exams will determine whether I will get my degree with first-class or second-class honours. I want my medical career to have a good start, so anything below a first-class honour is not enough for me. I want to be a famous surgeon, although I have not thought of what I should specialize in.  Neurology would be best.

Every day after school, I obediently walk back to the apartment I share with my younger sister who is studying in high school. The three-room apartment is bought by our parents as they think staying in a hostel is too tiring for us. In school, I am in the bridge club training intensively to participate in international competitions against other top universities all around the world. I might even have to compete with a team from Singapore. I wonder what I will do if that day really comes. Should I fight for my American university, let my homeland win, or not take part at all so that I will be spared from all the trouble? Never mind, let tomorrow worry about its troubles.

Since having more than one co-curriculum activities is common, I have decided that I will join the Girl Guides in addition to Bridge club. I grew up in a high-income family and beggars are a common sight along the pavements of the bungalows of my estate. (You don’t really see beggars at the Housing Development Board flats’ pavements because the residents there do not give money freely like my family when they themselves have to struggle to make ends meet with their meager monthly salary.) Seeing all those beggars on their knees, some without a limb or vision have softened my heart so that I enjoy the time when the teachers of girl guides club organize some community service project in which we go to hospitals to help make the bed sheets or feed the weak patients.

Besides these occasional community service projects, I will be self-volunteering my services to organizations like the old folks’ home, the orphanage and etcetera once a week. I have decided to devote my free time to social work. To see a smile on the faces of the elderly and innocent orphans makes me feel that I have not lived a meaningless life, but one in which I have helped made the world happier. These orphans did not choose to lose their parents, or to face this world alone. Neither did the elderly at the home choose to be abandoned by their precious children whom they have spent their prime time of their lives showering so much love and care on. Their poor state have reminded me of what a fortunate life I have led.

This is also why I want to study medicine and become a doctor (surgeon). I want to help all those terminally ill people, to give them another chance to live. I want to do my part as a human, to reach out a helping hand to my ‘brothers and sisters of the world’. This is what life is about.

Of course, besides school life, I have a social life too. I will most probably be meeting up with some guys for dinner from the same university. However, I will try to hang out with Chinese guys, perhaps because I feel more comfortable with them. I am more old-fashioned compared to my peers and personally believe that when people from two walks of life come together in union, there will always be a difference in ideas and perception (especially in religion or faith) concerning living life and raising a family together. Naturally for couples who are from different races, they will often face greater conflicts as different races have different cultural practices and beliefs; and I am one person who does not like conflicts. So this explains that I am NOT a racist. I do have friends of different races and we get along very well.

What you have read above is what I think I will be doing, what my life should be in ten years’ time. Pretty interesting for a twenty-three-year-old, don’t you think?

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