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Entering an internationalised College culture with distinct local features was completely eye-opening. I am especially grateful that St John’s encourages not only sports and culture, but also personal-development in various formats. 

 

I came to St. John’s College in 2018, being the only fresher from a Gao-kao background. St John’s was quite different then, and so was I. A mere two years later, St John’s has evolved into an open and vibrant community, dedicatedly supporting each and every of its members. I have also set off to pursue a career in academia, surrounded by some of the closest friends I have ever made.

At St. John’s, life never solely revolves around inter-hall games. As a history student, I devoted most of my time to the College Archives. The archives’ extensive collection, some dating back to 1911, enabled me to conserve and study primary sources inaccessible to other undergraduates. The College’s connections with British colonialism and global Anglicanism also prompted me to delve into imperial history and church history. In the past couple of years, I have written on 19th-century British missionaries, the Tractarian Movement, as well as Anglicanism in Hong Kong. I plan to further my research in these areas with archival resources not only in College, but also from Hong Kong, London, and Oxford.

Unlike some other University hostels, St. John’s always puts academics at the forefront. At the College’s Academic Colloquium in 2019, my essay was questioned by a diverse panel of political scientists, classicists, medics, and even engineers. Every month, I spend an evening with the College’s Socratic Club, where the Master leads discussions on philosophy over a bottle of fine wine. Equally enjoyable is a quiet afternoon in the College Library – sinking in a couch with a book in hand, sunlight pouring through the lush leaves outside, reading and thinking are no longer the laborious ordeals they usually are.

Cicero once wrote, ‘Patria est ubicumque bene’ (Home is wherever is good). When one is lone and lost amidst Hong Kong’s bustling concrete jungles, it is always reassuring to know that somewhere under the Lung Fu Hill, there is a College where one may call “a place of comfort”.

Duanran FENG
BSocSc (History & Politics), Archives Curator

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