Part of the ANU family

Khairul Arif Razali (BA '15)
29 Nov 2022

After reconnecting with The Australian National University (ANU) at the 75 Cities: Malaysia alumni event, I felt grateful to be part of the ANU family.

To be honest, without the 75 Cities event, I might not have ever seen my ANU friends again, because after graduation we basically went our own ways. So reconnecting with old friends and making new ones was an amazing experience. It also reminded me of people I am no longer in touch with, but who made an important impact in my life.
One of my most meaningful friendships at ANU developed in my final year. I was volunteering as an Orientation Week leader and was paired up with a first-year student named Paul to help him adjust to university life. What struck me first was that Paul was a mature aged student - probably in his 50s or 60s.
The courage or the determination it took for him to start studying at ANU was something that I learned a lot from. I was still very young in my final year and being paired with someone like Paul, who was so driven to continue learning, taught me that age has no boundaries. I think as an international student back then, it was really important for me to have this kind of connection - I looked up to Paul and he helped me feel less lonely.
I think Paul looked up to me too, even though I was a lot younger than him. I helped him with all the 'insider knowledge' on campus, like where the best places were for food or for studying. We kept in contact throughout that year, but when I graduated, I wasn't able to stay in touch. I think of Paul still, and I sincerely hope he flourished with regards to his future and studies.
While I might never know what happened to Paul, I am so grateful I got to connect with so many wonderful people at 75 Cities: Malaysia. I hope this encourages more alumni to stay connected with ANU.
I certainly feel blessed to be part of the ANU family and consider the label of being an ANU alumnus a great privilege.

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