No Matter Rainy or Sunny, Always Live Student Life at University to the Fullest

The season between spring and summer, which is also the season of graduation, witnesses Macao of different weathers, sunny, cloudy and rainy. A group of youngsters were reluctant to part with their peers and teachers, but they bid farewell to the University of Macau (UM) with their apprehensions about their future and ambitions to turn a new page in their lives. Sonia Hoi Cheng LEONG wandered around the campus, which triggered all her memories of bitterness and happiness during her four years in UM.

When feeling gloomy, never forget why you started

Sonia, born and raised in Macao, participated in the Biomedical Sciences Summer Camp organized by the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) of UM when she was in high school. It kindled her interest in biomedical sciences and inspired her to further her studies in biomedical sciences at UM. She said that the undergraduate courses were much more challenging than she expected.  She recalled that she encountered many problems and setbacks in the laboratory course on genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. As the analysis of the experimental results relied heavily on computing calculations of genomics data, she had to fully understand the different methods of calculation and interpretation of the analyzed data. There is no shortcut to success, so she consulted the teaching assistants and the supervisors almost every time after class. Finally, she mastered the skills of computing and interpreting data. Whenever she thinks of giving up, she always thinks of the reason why she started. With her constant efforts, she has been on the Dean’s Honor List in FHS for four consecutive years. She was also a student in the Honours College due to her outstanding academic performance.

Always be grateful to those who shelter you in storm

Sonia said that she was fortunate to have joined Prof. Kathy Qian LUO’s laboratory during the summer break of her third year of undergraduate study to conduct in-depth research in the impact of hydrogen peroxide on the non-small cell lung cancer line A549 and its underlying mechanism. During her research, she was frustrated by the constant failures in her experiments. She said with a bitter smile, “when you just recover from the latest failure, you may be beaten again by next try. Maybe only those who have experienced scientific work can understand the torment of research work.” Sonia also sincerely thanked Prof. Luo and her team for their dedicated guidance, and they oriented her to understand that experiments never fail. Every experiment has its own value, and the right analysis of negative results is the key to success. Without the instructions of Prof. Luo and her team members, I would not have been able to learn from the negative results.”  She also developed a strong commitment to persevere in her quest for biomedical research and decided to continue her studies after receiving her bachelor’s degree.

Enjoy the sunny days at university

Apart from coping with the heavy academic load, Sonia is also active in various student societies, including Student Public Relations Ambassadors Programme, UM Student Union, College Student Association and FHS Student Association, as well as participating in various events such as UM Open Day and FHS Summer Camps. “Not only I have improved my personal communication skills in these clubs and after-class activities within my expectation, but I have also enhanced my knowledge integration, teamwork and leadership skills, and most importantly enriched my university life. I enjoyed them so much!” She has unleashed her potential in these unions and activities, and has been selected as one of the UM’s Top 10 Outstanding Student Public Relations Ambassadors.

“Four years ago, I entered the campus with a dream. Now, after four years, I step out with confidence and bravery,” said Sonia with a confident smile. Looking back on the past four years, no matter what she faced, Sonia always lived every day to the fullest. Only after weathering the storms, she has been able to reach her full potential and become a better person. She is looking forward to a bright future as she will go to the National University of Singapore to pursue a Master’s degree in Forensic Science, hoping to learn more about bioscience and technology to uncover mysteries for the benefit of the well being of mankind and the society.

Sonia Hoi Cheng LEONG (middle) sincerely thanks Prof. Kathy Qian LUO (first from left) and her team for their dedicated guidance

Sonia Hoi Cheng LEONG (first from left) enjoy taking part in various student societies and activities

Sonia Hoi Cheng LEONG has been on the Dean’s Honor List in FHS for four consecutive years