It’s been one year since I’ve been here – A year full of struggle and adventure. Just go and ask an international student what they think about HKUST and the Academics here, and more often than not, you’ll get “Struggle” and “Stress” as the two most recurring replies. Yes, more often than not, the university will engulf you in its academic fold because the pressure to perform here is extremely high, as is the amount of hard work required to get an “A.”
You might have noticed however that I mentioned both struggle and adventure. The University has its own kind of adventure, one that I grew to love slowly. I would rate the campus here as one of the world’s best college campuses, without a doubt. Imagine the kind of beauty that surrounds you when you see that the campus is built on a hill, overlooking the sea. In my very first week here, I remember feeling like I was holidaying in a resort, soaking in the fresh air with that slightly moist smell and that “View.” Most days are average but sometimes, you get days when the weather is almost perfect (if there even is such a thing as perfect weather) and on those days, you forget that you’re at a full-fledged university. Seemingly ironic is the fact that on occasions, this can be a serious problem because that perfect day of weather may fall right on the day before you have your term final paper on “Multivariable Calculus.” If that is the case, you are well and truly stuck. A dilemma I can attest to because that’s what happened to me, or so I’d like to think. I’m guessing that countless others too, probably got bad grades because of the weather. I was too busy admiring the sailboats, across in the sea every Saturday and Sunday, to study. I know better now.
In fact, the meandering roads that warp the campus have an uncanny resemblance with the majestic Yangtze River in China, as it starts off in the Kunlun Mountains. It’s a perfect piece of road for skateboarders and long boarders. One of the things on my to-do list, while I’m here is to ride a unicycle down the entire road and finish up at the pier.
The adventure in this campus can only be topped off with something as brilliant as a typhoon. Hong Kong is a place prone to typhoons. One such typhoon occurred on September 29th 2012. The University’s perfect location at the edge of the sea, brought about a mixture of rain and wind so strong that day that it almost blew away, one of my friends. Yes, that actually happened. Stuff like this is a once in a lifetime experience and not to be missed. So, don’t sit at home next time there’s a typhoon on campus.
Incoming freshmen, you have been forewarned. Enjoy the campus but beware of the perfect weather.