Reflections from a Graduate who Found her Silver Lining in Uncertain Times

By Han Ai Leen, SMU School of Accountancy

COVID-19 has brought about many challenges and uncertainties, especially for the young graduates who are just about to enter the workforce. Yet one School of Accountancy graduate demonstrates that there is always a silver lining behind every challenge and shows us how a little positivity can go a long way in times of crisis.



Hello, my name is Ai Leen and I am from the graduating class of 2020.

As 2020 unfolds, we have experienced many uncertainties and ambivalences. Everyone’s lives have been affected to a certain extent, big or small. As a graduating student, I had to embrace the unprecedented changes of having classes online, taking exams at home and the harsher-than-ever employment scene.


Dark clouds might be looming but that does not get Ai Leen down


But, to me, 2020 is more than just fear-grappling headlines.

It is a season of reset. The way I spend my day, connecting with family and friends at home, is re-established in novel ways that I have never imagined.

It is a season of appreciation. I am reminded to cherish and not take the smallest things—like being able to return to my home in Malaysia—for granted.

It is a season of practicing patience. I have to patiently wait for many things that were expected to take place, like the graduation ceremony and physical gatherings with friends, till the time is right.

Above all, I see 2020 as a season of vitality, growth and hope. As the saying goes: in every crisis lies an opportunity. Let’s remain strong and hopeful as the world slowly recovers. Circuit breaker measures can be distressing, but keep in mind that this adversity is momentary, whereas the lessons learnt during this season are for life.


Making the most of the situation—home-based graduation shoot!


Now that I have a lot of time on my hands, I have been making use of it wisely so that my every day at home is fulfilling. From making my own bread from scratch to holding a home graduation photoshoot, I find joy in experimenting with new ideas at home. Even though our graduation ceremony is delayed, I was motivated to do a casual graduation photoshoot at home as I thought it would be a nice way to mark my new milestone in life during this season.

Wondering how I got the graduation outfit? If you haven’t guessed it already, I actually used my Harry Potter cloak and ordered the cap online. Hopefully, this would encourage you to unleash your creativity and have fun even when you are at home 24/7. Even though we are not in control of the Covid-19 situation, we ought to be grateful because we possess the most precious gift in life—and that is time.


Finding her silver lining!


Last but not least, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to my fellow graduates on graduating during this exceptional time! All the best to everyone and thank you for taking the time to read my story.