« Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever »
– Mahatma Gandhi
Whilst I often find inspirational quotes more clichéd than motivational, Gandhi captivated my attention with this short, antithetical verse. I find significant value in this quote, exemplifying it as my general approach to life, but also using it as a datum for the life which I would like to lead. One may say that my perception of the value of education is biased, being a student almost full-time, but all perceptions are biased anyway, are they not?
I take pride in having been raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. Johannesburg characterises the effectuation of opportunity, having sprung from the ground on the premise of gold to become one of the largest metropolises in the world. Much like those of my hometown, my ambitions drive me to grasp with aspirations to build significant results from them.
I attended high school at St John’s College, Houghton, where my most prominent involvement was in academics, public speaking, music and rowing. Notable highlights during this time include my being selected for an international exchange programme to Abingdon School, United Kingdom, and my conducting an experiment at CERN, which consequently led me to the opportunity of being a guest speaker at the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP) Conference at the University of Cape Town in my matric year. I also graduated as the top achiever at St John’s in 2016.
Despite the exciting opportunities that I was afforded during high school, it was not altogether an easy, nor a smooth, ride. During my first year of high school, I was diagnosed with rare a heart condition which effectuated my immediate discontinuance of all sport, and affected the general routine of my family’s life. Multiple surgeries have been unsuccessful in their outcomes, so I continue to live with this condition today.
I am passionate about many aspects of my life. Although my degree is scientifically oriented, I really enjoy languages. I am a French, Afrikaans and English student, and I am particularly interested in etymological connections within and between languages. Because of my love for languages, I also find myself indulging in literature during my free time. Apart from this, I am a keen observer of South African history. Whilst my main focus is on academia, I do spend a large amount of time on more personalised hobbies. My involvement in music is primarily for personal fulfillment, as a means of expressing myself. I am a double bass player and a pianist, and I have also been a chorister. Composition is a large part of my musicality. I am also a railway enthusiast, and enjoy spending time working on railway modeling. I attribute this to my fascination with the operation of integrated systems.
Whilst my wide array of interests does not lean me towards a specific career path, I can see myself working in an environment where both problem solving and innovation are required. This could range from robotics design to public transport coordination.
Challenges inspire me and I work well under pressure. I am resourceful in finding a solution where none seems obvious and I aspire to outstanding levels in everything I do, whilst being mindful to balance work with an active sport and social life. My approach to life is generally optimistic, enthusiastic and confident but not arrogant. There is always something more to learn, which drives me.