Multi Story Edinburgh

Amelea - Class of 2020 - Support networks, coping with adversity and the best apple pie.

December 15, 2020 The University of Edinburgh Season 1 Episode 14
Multi Story Edinburgh
Amelea - Class of 2020 - Support networks, coping with adversity and the best apple pie.
Show Notes Transcript

Each episode is a snapshop, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. Season one talks to our 2020 graduates about how things are going, or not going, for them.  In episode fourteen, we meet International Relations graduate Amelea.

Each month we meet five more graduates. Subscribe now and find out what everyone is up to and how they feel about this weird and unpredictable time.

All opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Edinburgh. 

Multi Story Edinburgh has been created and produced by the Alumni Relations team at the University of Edinburgh. If you are interested in telling your story, please get in touch and let's talk.

Music: Since When by Mise Darling. 

Sonia Mullineux (host):

This is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. This is Season One, Class of 2020.

Amelea:

Greetings everyone my name is Chua Huey Uven Amelia and I come from a Southeast Asian country named Malaysia. During my four years at the University of Edinburgh, I studied International Relations, with a focus on global security, peace and conflict studies. When I first got back in August, which is four months ago, everyone entering the country will have to go through two weeks of quarantine at a hotel. And to be fair, it was alright. Although it can be quite lonely being in a hotel room all by yourself, all alone in a big room that's for two person and it was just huge. Tried to occupy my time with all the fan fictions that people write. A mix of romance, comedy, action, thriller. My returned to Malaysia in August was previously pre planned. So because my dissertation was due in May, my mom said it might, I might as well be stay there and complete the whole thing and then only come back because you know, there's a time difference between the UK and Malaysia and you might miss the deadline if you you're not too careful. During the first three months, I was mainly focusing on my dissertation and getting all my other assignments out of the way. So while I was feeling anxious as to what might happen later on, I kept myself calm and tried to assess the situation, collectively. Where I live for, from second to fourth year. There is this accommodation manager who is like a godfather figure for me. He will always get pastries and scones from Mimi's Bakehouse, before dropping it off, outside of my door, and then I'll go and collect it. At first during my first year, I felt isolated. It was only until recent years I that I got allocated with a mental health mentor so to cope with my anxiety and depression and since young have always been a worrywart. So I always think about things in my various directions. And as someone with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), mixed anxiety-depressive disorder (MADD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amongst all other mental health issues and learning disability, I've always felt I was being treated and perceived as a failure, an outcast. All of these led me to develop abandonment and trust issues. I was sent to an international boarding school when I was 13, and I studied in that international boarding school for five years, which helped build my independence and personal skills. So I wasn't as nervous when I arrived in the UK. During my first two years, to be honest, I was worried that if I were to register with a Student Disability Service and get myself an assigned mental health mentor then all the information I told that person would be leaked out and relayed to my parents, which was a huge concern at the time. I then realised halfway through my second year that I desperately needed help, coping with anxiety and depression as well as my workflow. So yes, just by speaking to someone, it puts me at ease. During my time at Edinburgh, I managed to endure those hardships including the first series of industrial action, followed by the Beast of the East in year two, and then two more industrial actions again in both semesters, followed by COVID-19 in fourth year. Fortunately, I have my personal tutors, the PIR student support officers, my GP, my mental health mentors, my dissertation advisor and everyone else around me has been giving me tremendous support and reassurance, which I'm forever grateful for. If not for them, I would have gone through several mental breakdowns. I'm currently doing my utmost best to secure like the best possible outcomes, such as networking with other professionals in the field of diplomatic studies, social entrepreneurs, diplomats, international lawyers; trying to work up a plan for my social venture; and doing my postgraduate studies research. I decided that until the whole ordeal is over, it wouldn't be wise to go into the job market or do my postgraduate studies. Like, even before entering university, I actually planned my electives in advance, so as to maximise my experience, all for the sake of achieving my dreams. To the extent that my best friends would tell me - oh, you're so on top of the world, on top of everything. But it all goes down to the fact that I'm such a worrywart. So I like to keep everything planned in case something goes wrong, and I have other plans to back up. I just wanted to say to everyone who's going to be listening to this podcast later on that you should always be brave, be strong and be yourself. As long as you know you have done your utmost best, that is all that matters. I also have a quote here from Eleanor Roosevelt, whom most people may know, as the first lady of the US. She once said, yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is God's gift, that's why it's called the present. I, in my opinion, feel that it doesn't matter whether it is the past or future, there is always new wishes, new ideas, new strategies and new directions each day. So we should always learn from the past, plan for the future and live in today.

MULLINEUX Sonia:

We also ask our graduates to share a place somewhere special, somewhere we can get together when all this is finished.

Amelea:

I know that each guest has to share a place, but to be honest I had a hard time deciding my options. There's just so many memorable places that carry significant value to me and it took me the whole weekend, plus the past two-three days to make a final decision. I finally decided to focus on my home country Malaysia. Personally, I'm the type of person who very much prefers mountains, waterfalls and hot springs over sandy beaches because I don't like the sticky feel of sand on my feet. The place I'll be recommending would be the waterfall, that is located in my home state, called Selangor. And the name of the place is Templer Park Falls. It is located in a small valley two kilometres long and it's just north of the capital city boundary. My mom would always bring me and my friends to the site and we will all catch tadpoles in the stream while relaxing beside the waterfall. I remember very fondly that on the way to the waterfall, we would go to KFC and order like those family buckets. In addition to homemade sandwiches, my mom would also make desserts, such as cheese tarts and apple pies. Yeah, my mom likes to boast that her apple pie is the best in the world.

Sonia Mullineux (host):

Thank you for listening. Join us next time for another graduate and another story.

Kirsten Roche:

If this conversation has raised more questions than answers, then you might find it helpful to speak to someone. Speaking with a careers consultant can be a great way to get some answers. Simply log on to MyCareerHub to make an appointment. And don't forget that you can still use everything on offer from the Careers Service as a recent graduate.