We’ve all met Sin Seanne, Adelyn and Jung Kian from the core committee. Now it’s time to meet the facilitators that run the show! First up we have Jing Min who is a rising senior at Sarah Lawrence.
Introduction: Hey all, I’m Jing Min, a true-bred Penang-nite! I currently attend Sarah Lawrence College, studying Economics and International Relations and graduating in May 2013 (eeps!). For Pre-U, I did the International Baccalaureate Diploma program at Uplands International School in Penang. Before that, it was Penang Chinese Girls High School for me! I’m in my third year with USAPPS and it’s been fabulous.
What do you like to do for fun/outside USAPPS?
I love everything about food and reading. Wandering about cities and towns on your own is also fun. I also love having great and epic conversations with people. And talking about (U.S.) education. Come talk to me!
What did you do in high school?
Sports (Badminton, Track and Football), debate and Board of Prefects. And watched a LOT of TV. =)
It was quite ridiculous. I don’t think I knew much about the U.S. system initially and was definitely stuck on my applications essays. I was never (and still not) very good at selling my personality on paper, so that was tough. There was a lot of confused moments, especially since I had terrible SPM scores and had to find ways to prove that those scores did not define me. But ultimately it was really fun, because some of the essay questions were just fun! Word of advice: Always do your research. And don’t over-do your college admissions process.
How do you think you stand out?
I’m the kid that sits in the corner quietly but once I get talking I can’t really stop. So I suppose its the shock factor. But I also really enjoy talking to different people, and building bridges across different fields and minds. I also have a very unpredictable iPod songlist.
Why did you choose to apply to the US?
The intellectual versatility was a big draw. I wanted an education where grades was not the central focus. My high school experience pretty much proved that I was not suited to grade-intensive systems. I also wanted an education system where I could bring in different subjects and disciplines without being boxed into one field or the other. I wanted to be able to learn everything and do everything! So I guess I’ll sleep when I die.
What colleges did you apply to?
Smith, Bates, American University, Hofstra, Cornell, Sarah Lawrence College.
Give three areas you feel you’ll be able to give advice on:
Liberal Arts College, Undergraduate Research, IB. And how to survive bad high school (SPM) grades.
Tell us about your favourite application essay:
One of the LACs I was accepted to wanted an essay on an ethical dilemma. My essay was rather depressing as I wrote about watching someone die. It was neither a personal event nor a particularly melancholic one. Instead, the essay made me think about why people around me reacted the way they did, and how it affected their (in)actions. Somewhere in all that impersonality I managed to tie in my experience of being a high school prefect, which was extremely personal to me at that time. I suppose it was the old-new, personal-impersonal contrast that drew me to the essay.
Best thing about your college?
The professors and classes. If the professors think you’re ready/you request, they will give you really advance material and are more than happy to help you work through it. I’ve never been pushed so hard academically and professionally in my short life.
Did you take the SAT or ACT?
SAT. And I only achieved slightly above average. So an average SAT score is not the end of the world.
Why did you decide to be a part of USAPPS?
I have the great privilege of having a great education, why shouldn’t I share it? With a few workshops a year and motley crew of Malaysian students, USAPPS continuously inspired and pushed students to achieve their greatest potential (and more). Being part of USAPPS gives me comfort that I’m doing my small part in building Malaysia. Plus, everyone here is awesome!
Tell us about your favourite college class?
So many to choose from! In my second year, I took a class on International Development and Human Geography. It was meant to be an intermediate – advance class and the professor tried his very best to scare everyone away. At first we all thought he was insane, but when I was faced with graduate level material and work, I finally understood why he did that. That class has made me a better researcher, student, listener and person, I think. The professor was so enthusiastic, he could capture our attention for over 4 hours. One of the best things I took away from the class (and utilise on a daily basis) was the ability to read landscapes and situations. Now, when I see a building or a city, I don’t see just a city, but a whole network of people, things, materials, histories, cultures, laws etc. My research for the class wasn’t the best I’ve done, but it never ceases to blow my mind how much I learnt from that class. The professor was Dr. Joshua Muldavin.
Favorite country? Favorite Malaysian food? Favorite bands/music/books?
Favourite country would be a tie between England and Iceland. Both countries are so full of contradictions and quirks. I have to be true to my Penang roots – Char Koay Teow! I’m a big fan of A Fine Frenzy, but will listen to everything from classical instrumentals to dub-step. Favourite book has got to be Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”.