Alumni Voice


“Becoming a Better Me”

Chheu Seav Houy

University student (Nursing)

I think life is beyond self. Therefore, I dream to be someone who can positively impact the lives of those around me regardless of where I am. I want to be of help whenever and however I can. As a result of that mentality and aspiration, I chose to study Nursing at the National University of Singapore without hesitation. Nowadays, I have been focusing on 4 ‘tasks’ daily to get me to be a good nurse in the future. These ‘tasks’ are continuous learning, self-love, giving back, and staying hopeful. 

Continuous learning

I continue to educate myself in different aspects of life, be it in medical knowledge for my future nursing career, financial planning, climate change or technology. I strongly believe that lifelong learning will not only benefit myself, but others as well. I aspire to be the first person whom my friends can look for when they need help or a listening ear. And to be one, I shall first try to understand how the world works as much as possible. Some of the things I did during this pandemic include attending online sharing by healthcare professionals to learn more about the healthcare challenges that Singapore is facing, online financial literacy talks that focus on investments and savings for the future, and I even attended a Basic Cardiac Life Support and AED Provider course. I realised that the pandemic has given so much time to try out things I have always wanted to do, but seemingly had no time for. 

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you never cease to grow” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

With that in mind, I can be the best version of myself; not just for myself, but for those around me too.


Aside from learning things, I also begin to love myself too because this is another step to becoming a good nurse who can care for others. I start taking better care of my physical and mental health.

Because of the partial lockdown, residents of Singapore are encouraged to dine at home and in small groups. As such, in February, my roommate and I began to pick up an important skill – cooking. From that, we learned how much ingredients and flavourings go into our food, and thus used in moderation. We tried to ration in more potions of vegetables and fruits into our meals to achieve a more balanced diet. Sometimes, we went for short walks at night around the neighbourhood and did home work-outs to stay active. As a future nurse, it is important to take good care of my own physical health first.

When the first semester of university started in August, I also managed to pick up new sports to calm my mind from stress. Taking sufficient breaks is necessary to achieve any dreams. Recently, I enjoy spending time with myself more. From watching anime to making handicrafts to occasionally meeting up with friends, I learn to juggle between making time for others and for myself. These are the things I do now to care for myself, and I am certain that they will make me a better helper next time. 

“Self-love is not only necessary and good, it is a prerequisite for loving others” – Rollo May

Giving back

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank

Apart from what I mentioned above, I also try to give back to Singapore and Cambodia as much as I can. There is much more that I could have done, but I am content that I am able to offer a helping hand to those around me during this dire period. I believe that our giving inspires others to give too although we do not mention it enough. 

After coming to college, I became involved in my hostel community. As a Cambodian who was offered the ASEAN Scholarship to study in Singapore, I am forever grateful for this opportunity to broaden my horizons in such a modern society. Hence, it was without doubt that I became part of a student-led interest group which works to help students in a non-governmental organization in Cambodia. We managed to conduct a university education and career guidance workshop and weekly engagement sessions to teach some high school students about various discussion topics such as cultures, the environments, professions and so on. I often shared with them my experience abroad and how I managed to get my scholarship, in hope that my story would inspire them to work hard towards their goals too. 

Other than that, I was also part of my hostel student committee which organised small events to help the boarders cope with the stress from school and have an eventful boarding experience despite the pandemic situation. One of my mottos in life is to be of service to others, these experiences help shape who I am today and in the future.

Staying hopeful 

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Andy Dufresne (The Shawshank Redemption)

Lastly, I try to stay hopeful for the future. The pandemic has made me realise so many things I take for granted, and I am not sure whether our daily life will revert back to normal anytime soon. Nonetheless, I have trust in healthcare professionals around the world, and in every concerned individual to make it happen. When all this is over, I do hope that people pay more respect for healthcare professionals, especially nurses who spend tireless hours in the wards doing the impossible. I hope to be able to work hand-in-hand with them in the near future once I graduate. In fact, I am currently under a two-week attachment at a community hospital. I want to learn from my patients, remember their stories and help them ease their pain and discomfort. I want to care for others regardless of who and where I am. That is who I aspire to be. I would like to thank the TYCA programme for helping many young minds learn more about the world and the impact we have on the society and those around us. Thank you for being a wonderful part of my life journey.










自己愛は必要と良いだけではなく、それは他の人を愛するための前提条件である – Rollo May


与えることで貧しくなった人はいない – アンネ・フランク





希望は良いものであり、最高のものかもしれない。 “良いものが死ぬことはない。” アンディ・デュフレスヌ(『ショーシャンクの償い』より)



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