“This is for Mom and Dad. It sounds tired, but they have always been my rock.”


“Like each of the graduates who are here today, I didn’t get here the easy way. Maybe that’s the thing about something so valuable – you don’t get to have it easily.”


“I once got very sick during my junior year. I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse. It occurs when the valve between your heart’sleft upper chamber and the left lower chamber doesn’t close properly. Anyway, the doctors said it wasn’t severe. I had to stop school for some time. When I returned to school, I lost my Dean’s list spot. But it was probably for the better. I learned to loosen up a bit, although that meant being bumped off from the roster of academic achievers.”


“Before the diagnosis, I was too hard on myself. I rarely slept. I was too consumed with getting everything ‘perfect’ – my projects, tests, assignments. I was fixated on my academic performance. I think I pushed it too far, and it took its toll. After what happened, I tried to slow down and look at life in a more relaxed perspective. I guess I’m getting there.”


What’s the biggest lesson you learned from college?

“That failure doesn’t define you.”






 Interview & Text by RONA LIN









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