• Question: What was the hardest thing you ever faced in life in your studies or your path of life to continue your dream

    Asked by maheenejaz to Yee Whye, Valerie, Nick, Mackenzie, Lin, Jun, Jacob, Brian, Anna on 12 Nov 2019.
    • Photo: Jun Zhao

      Jun Zhao answered on 12 Nov 2019:

      A level was hard, for the 18-year old me.
      PhD thesis write-up was hard, for the 26-year old me.
      But they all turned out to be all right.
      We all learn to develop more resilience as we meet and overcome new challenges, like training/running for a marathon. There is always a stage in a long jog I feel I would like to stop and give up, but the joy of the end journey is just unbeatable, and the pain 😉

    • Photo: Valerie Bradley

      Valerie Bradley answered on 13 Nov 2019:

      I had bone cancer when I was 14 – right as I was starting high school. I spent the year in and out of the hospital having surgery to remove the tumor in my tibia and then getting chemo. I started high school bald and in a wheelchair, and often hooked up to IV fluids while in class. It was a horrible year. Because of the surgery, I had to stop playing soccer, which was a huge part of my life at the time. Instead, I spent more time studying and doing school work. It took me a really long time (and going away for uni) to feel like I’d moved on, even though life has never been the same. Although I don’t play soccer anymore, I now love swimming and cycling. And I’m not sure that I’d be at Oxford, doing what I’m doing and living a life that I LOVE if I hadn’t been through that. I think that having cancer made me appreciate all of the opportunities I’ve been given and motivates me to work hard not to waste them. However, it also taught me that it’s important to not just work hard, but to also make time for the the things and people you love. It’s all about balance!

    • Photo: Mackenzie Graham

      Mackenzie Graham answered on 13 Nov 2019:

      Moving from Canada to the UK for my current job was difficult, because it meant leaving friends and family, and a place that was very familiar. But I like the UK, and have met lots of new people, so that has worked out just fine.