It’s nearing the end of the year, as well as the semester in NTU and I have had so many inspiring and thankful moments recently. While there are always many things to be grateful for in life, some new and impressionable ones have popped up in the last two months. They are particularly memorable because these happen in situations I don’t often find myself in in Singapore.

In no particular order:

  1. Helping a classmate you’ve never talked to

Weeks ago, I met who I would regard as the friendliest and most helpful Taiwanese person I know here!

It started with her offering to answer my question while I was queuing to clarify some doubts with the professor. After which, she told me that I could contact her anytime if I had questions. I was really surprised at that moment and given how difficult the two homework are, I am really glad there was someone to discuss with. She was also a very positive and understanding girl. She told me that she is only as good as she is because she is no longer an undergraduate, but someone studying for her doctorate. She is re-taking this difficult course she took in her undergraduate days so she can better understand the materials taught.

2. Actively extending help

One of the courses I have the most gripes about must be the Deep Learning for CV course at Master’s level. It is rather difficult helping someone debug for their homework because it can be very different and there are many components in play, and the TAs have said they would not offer any debugging help. I could shed tears from relief and being moved when my Mexican friend offered to help. Being in a situation where I knew so little about what I was doing at a time and place I was supposed to know more (since it was a Master’s course and I had no foundations in ML) renewed my knowledge of how it feels to be helplessly lost. Plus, it reminded me once again that the pre-requisite to helping others, is to be capable of helping others.

There are more, but these two have been the more inspiring ones in my exchange at NTU, and I will remember these stories for a long time to come.

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