The Last Lecture (Chem Camp 2013) – “This is REAL LIFE!”

It’s been a week now since Chem Camp ended but everything I learned still remains in my heart and soul.

Something that I’d like to share with the rest of the world are a few lessons that I learned from the thought provoking “last lecture” in Chem Camp by our professor, Sir Henson Yu. IMG_2534

1. Be Curious. Ask Questions. Sometimes, the questions you ask are more important than the answers you find. 

In a world where everything is so easily available and where almost everything is “google-able”, we have become complacent and our imagination has been stunted. Gone are the days where in we would be curious, go out of our way to ask questions, interview people, or even experiment to find out.

Today, everything is handed to us on a silver platter but in order for us to continue progressing and in order to succeed in life, we must go back to the basics. Life itself is a question and it’s up to us to explore it ourselves and find our own answers for that’s what living life is all about!

2. Look for something you will want to tirelessly know more about….be it Chemistry or not.

We only have so little time in this world. We don’t have enough time to master every single thing. This is why we have to follow our hearts and pursue what we love and are passionate about. When you are passionate about something, even the hardest of tasks and what may seem like tedious work to others is FUN for you.

Reaching master level in anything takes time, hard work, dedication, perseverance and most of all heart. Nothing in life is easy and mastering just one thing can take a lifetime. Don’t let this discourage you though from living your dream for anything is possible as long as you give it your all.

3. School is not about getting a good job. It’s a perspective. A world view. 

This statement really hit home for me and really encapsulated what Chem Camp was about. Throughout my high school life, I’ve always questioned as to why I even go to school for I couldn’t see even half the lessons being applicable in real life.

I always asked myself, “How do I apply this in my real life?” I never really found out the answer up until last Friday during the last lecture of Sir Henson.

His response to that question, “This is the REAL LIFE!” Going to school and learning about these things are the real life. It’s more than just about memorizing all those facts; it’s about being cultured, being humane.

If you think education is all about getting a good job, then just go to a vocational school. It’s really a matter of perspective and seeing things from a different perspective.

One of my favorite quotes from Sir Henson that reemphasizes this is: “A pessimist sees a glass half empty, an optimist sees it half full, while a Chemist sees it always full, half in the vapor phase, half in the liquid phase.”

Chem Camp helped me see learning from a different light. I realized that learning can and should be fun. It truly depends on how you approach it for “Life is what you make it.”


4. Using knowledge is power

The more things you know, the more powerful you are. There are so many ways how you can use knowledge and it’s incredible how unique and complex the world is. There are a million things out there that we don’t know and are just waiting to be learned. Obviously, the more you know, the better of you are.

Life is unpredictable. Right now, you may think that what you just learned won’t help you or benefit you whatsoever but a year from now, 5 years from now, or even 10 years from now, you never know, that simple piece of knowledge that you thought was useless could just save your life or better yet, save the life of others.

5. With great power comes great responsibility

This line has been repeated thousands of times for it simply states the truth. We are the youth, the future of the world. The knowledge we gain from school and from our everyday experiences empower us and equip us to be able to make a difference in the world in the near future.

How we use this knowledge, however, is in our hands. We can choose to sit about and do nothing, or we can choose to make the most out of our lives and what we have learned by starting a change, making an impact and quite possibly, leaving an everlasting legacy.


After 3 surreal weeks in Chem Camp, the last lecture of Sir Henson was the icing on the cake.

Thank you again Sir for everything you’ve taught us during the 3 weeks in Chem Camp but most especially, thank you for making a difference in our lives! You’ve definitely left your mark in us Chem Campers!

CHEM CAMP 2013 ❤




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