Reflections of the Year 2020 (Chen Qi)

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In a blink of an eye, we’ve come to the last day of 2020. In retrospect, it seems much of life has come to a standstill in 2020. For me, I’m glad that 2020 was the year I began my learning journey with TUM Asia.

When cherry blossom trees are blooming  at Wuhan University

Looking back at this time last year, I was still savouring the euphoric moment when I just completed my postgraduate entrance exams and was preparing to enjoy my hard-earned holiday. It was also the onset of the COVID-19 virus in Wuhan city and no one in their wildest dream would have imagined the virus to have developed and evolved to an outbreak. In the ensuing months, the outbreak slowly creeped into our lives and various media were reporting worrying numbers of infections. At that point in time, I was still oblivious to the severity of the situation and continued my commute without any mask nor protection back to hometown, which was a 100km away from Wuhan. When I came back, I’ve unwittingly become the centre of attention. Every day, there would be a nurse to check on my temperature and condition – part of national efforts in curbing the outbreak. Not long after, the city was sealed, and my hometown was sealed. It was not what I expected my holiday would pan out. Thankfully, things have come to a turn with the city and province slowly opening back up. Finally, it felt almost normal.

The view outside of our classroom at TUM Asia’s campus 

It was also at this time I applied for Master of Science Programme in Rail, Transport and Logistics at TUM Asia. The application process was difficult. With most restrictions still in place, obtaining the relevant documents was a challenge. In addition, everyone was worried about my move to study abroad, especially in the thick of the pandemic. Many advised to shelve my plans till the situation stabilised. Yet, clouds of doubt that I had before were swept away when I received my admission letter from TUM Asia! Studying abroad was perhaps a move I made to tell myself that life is still going on.

It was definitely strange when I first arrived in Singapore as classes were conducted online and everyone on the streets wore a mask. The everyday things that were so common before seemed like a luxury today. Although it was a pity that I did not have the opportunity to sit in the classroom and interact with my classmates and professors, I did not regret my decision in coming to Singapore.

What an emotional rollercoaster ride it had been! In 2020, we went through lockdowns, witnessed chaos but found glimmers of hope. I wish the pandemic stayed in 2020 and we could finally resume more forms of normalcy in our lives in 2021. 2021, we are so looking forward to welcoming you!




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