The Shared Freshman Voyage between a Parent and Child

By Lim Zhi Ying, Undergraduate, SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business

A ruthless storm can jerk a ship causing it to sink, but as long as it keeps its bow pointing straight into the waves, it can slice through them safely. Just like a ship on a voyage, I have to ensure that my bow remains unshaken to stay afloat. Many times, this bow would have faltered in the strong winds. With the relentless support from my parents, however, I could stay afloat through them anchoring me in ways I will always be grateful for.

Like most Singaporean parents, mine adopt a comfortable mix between both Eastern and Western parenting styles. Growing up, they always highlighted the importance of growth and self-improvement. In spite of their emphasis on prioritising academic grades, they grant me the freedom to immerse myself in an abundance of school activities. They encourage me to embark on a journey of self-discovery and continually try new things beyond my academic curriculum. Thus, when they heard about my decision to join Singapore Management University (SMU), they were delighted as they knew that the school’s vibrant culture would provide many avenues for me to grow. While there were times where I find myself compromising family time for my school commitments, my parents never failed to render their unconditional support to me.

When stress mounts up during the school term, my parents show their support in different ways. Every day after school, my father would offer to pick me up from school when he knocks off from work, while my mother would often check in on me to see how I am coping in both my academic and social life. Their constant involvement in my school life has definitely helped to create a healthy support system for me, even during my years of receiving tertiary education.

This summer, I took on the role of Beneficiary Head in SMU Business School’s annual philanthropic event, Slightly Scarlet. During one of our public awareness campaigns, I recall the delight I experienced when my parents made time to visit me to learn about our beneficiary. Their little act of support really spurred me on to work harder for the success of my event, as it illustrated their genuine interest to involve themselves in my school life beyond academics.

Throughout my SMU journey thus far, they have witnessed my growth by trusting me to face my own challenges, while continually providing their unwavering support. Without their support, my SMU journey would have been duller and far more arduous. Just yesterday, I sat down with my mother to talk about how entering SMU has changed me. In her words, she is happy that I am enjoying university life through the many activities that I have participated in, organised and led thus far. In the process, she noticed how I grew to become a more confident, independent and sociable individual. We both discussed about how we were looking forward to exploring the rest of my journey ahead together and how she was excited to watch me mature along the way.

For my parents, their unwavering support through actively involving themselves in my university life consistently pushes me to do my best in various school commitments. This could be afforded to their decision to attend SMU Parents’ Day when I first became a freshman, which helped them to better understand what to expect out of my SMU journey, and how they could potentially be a big part of it as well. It provided them with insightful information about the school curriculum, as well as the non-academic growth opportunities available. They particularly enjoyed the campus tour as it allowed them to get a glimpse of our school’s pedagogy and how our lessons are being conducted. They were also excited for me to experience the school’s interactive seminar-style teaching as they knew that it will shape me to become a more vocal and eloquent individual. Till today, I am deeply grateful for their continual understanding and love that they have showered me with throughout my time at SMU and I am glad that SMU Parents’ Day was one of the first platforms for such an understanding to be fostered.

Ultimately, I believe that each parent has their own unique way of showing care and support for their children. Regardless of how each parent hopes to support their child on their journey, every action stems from the profound love they possess for their children.


You can find out more about SMU Parents’ Day 2019 and register your interest here.