Nord Anglia Education
St Andrews Bangkok
26 February, 2021

Meet the Alumni - Pavini - Class of 2016

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Take advantage of CAS and engage in activities that allow you to build skills or knowledge in different areas of interest, and spend time building meaningful bonds and memories with your friends as school is the best time to do so.
Meet the Alumni - Pavini - Class of 2016 Pavini answers all our questions about life at St Andrews, her fondest memories, the IB Diploma and life after school. To learn more about Pavini and her current endeavours, read on... Alumni page link01

Pavini answers all our questions about life at St Andrews, her fondest memories, the IB Diploma and life after school. To learn more about Pavini and her current endeavours, read on... 

Memorable moments from School

I think some of the most memorable moments I had during my time at St. Andrews were the Fobisia and residential trips. Anyone who knows me will know that I love playing sports - basketball, soccer, badminton, athletics, you name it. So it is not hard to imagine why I absolutely loved the Fobisia trips. I got to travel to a different country, meet other like-minded people who enjoy playing sports and compete against strong teams. The feeling of competing till your body can take it no more and then indulging in food at the dinner buffet after is one that is not replicable. Other than playing sports, I thoroughly enjoy travelling and doing activities in nature which is why I loved the residentials a lot. Having dance parties in our resort rooms, going zip-lining, and playing football with rural tribal children are moments that I will never forget. 

How did you find the International Baccalaureate?

While I was doing IB, I was too flooded with school work and pressured by deadlines to understand the value of it but now I do. The rigorous nature of the program repeatedly pushed me to my limits until those limits no longer existed. By overcoming the challenges I faced during IB, I became more confident and prepared to face challenges in any other area of my life including university. Through TOK and other classes, I also developed critical thinking skills which has made me question and verify a lot of the information I am exposed to, a very useful skill given that we are living in the age of over-information where a lot of BS is out there. Lastly, the CAS activities I was involved in allowed me to develop leadership skills that I have used to start my own clubs and initiatives in university.

What advice would you give yourself looking back?

Honestly, I would tell myself: “pav, don’t stress too much, take it easy and enjoy the journey.” As a perfectionist who aims to get grades in the top percentile, I burnt myself out during IB. I sacrificed sleep, my social life, and health in the hopes of achieving an exceptional IB grade. While I ended up getting the final grade that I wanted, the exhilaration of getting it lasted for one day or two days at most. After that, it was just a letter on a sheet of paper that really did not matter. In hindsight, I wish I would have stressed less about my grades - something that gives you short-lasting returns - and focused more on enjoying the learning process and making meaningful memories and relationships with my friends - things that will benefit you in the long run.  

What advice would you give to current St Andrews IB students? 

Describe your journey after St Andrews

I am currently studying Environment Conservation and Resource Studies, or in other words sustainable development, at UC Berkeley. The path to choose my major was a rollercoaster ride for me - I started with psychology, transitioned to Cognitive Science, and ended up with Environmental Science. Clearly, I have decision-making problems haha but also I have multiple interests and that is something I only later realised is okay. Many people feel pressured to stick with one field of study from start to end even though they end up disliking the major they started with or know that there is another area of interest that they have grown to become more interested in. I encourage everyone to explore and find their calling. For me, seeing the terrible air pollution in Thailand when I came to visit in December was my calling. I realised that I needed to be part of the solution to environmental problems from that point onwards which made me switch my major for the final time. I now feel excited and eager to learn about this field every day so I think I made a good decision. 

What was the best thing about university? And what advice do you have for students thinking about studying abroad?

I was born and raised in Bangkok my whole life so going to another country for higher education was frightening and exciting at the same time. However, I think it happened to be one of the best decisions I made. The freedom I received to plan my schedule, meals, hangouts without having to ask for permission made me build the skills of time management, cooking, and setting boundaries - all of which I am still not adept at but better at than I was before I left. It was very helpful that my university had many international students as I found that I could relate and connect with them best. I ended up developing genuine and heartfelt friendships in the US as we grew as individuals and academically together. The time I spent with these friends make up most of the memorable moments that I will cherish forever. Other than that, the number of resources, opportunities, and support I was given in university was immense and invaluable. My advice to students thinking of studying abroad is to:

  1. Go for it! Choose a place that you see yourself being happy living in (do your research) and it can be a great experience that will make you grow a lot.
  2. Choose a university with a lot of international students so you do not have too much of a culture shock.
  3. Take advantage of the resources you have access to in university. It is up to you to make the most out of your university experience. 

I have been trying to make the most out of my university experience by engaging in many interesting courses, extracurricular activities, leadership positions, internships, and more. I think a lot of learning happens inside a classroom but just as much or even more happens outside the classroom, so I always make it a point to balance both in-class and out-of-class activities. Some activities that I have been involved with during my time in university is starting Wisdom Club to spread teachings of mindfulness to college students; becoming president of Enactus, a social entrepreneurship club, and managing an international service trip for them; becoming a math and english tutor; doing research with labs at Stanford and UC Berkeley; and doing internships at CALPIRG, US Green Chamber of Commerce, and Ecolotech.

What are your aspirations for the future?

The future is hard to predict or foresee which is what 2020 has clearly taught us, so I do not like to spend too much time stressing out about the future but rather like to take things step by step. My short term goal is to finish my final year of university so that is what I am focused on now. What’s in store for me after that? Who knows...maybe getting a job, completing a master’s degree, or taking a gap year. I will see when the time comes and believe that I will end up where I am meant to be. 

Pavini recently visited us! 

This was our account.

Taking a break from her studies at Berkeley in the states, Pavini came to talk about a new machine that generates water from the air around it. Pavini gave a presentation to selected classes from years 4, 5 and 6 about a new machine, as well as our Eco Beasts. 

Pavini brought in an invention that aims to tackle environmental problems. The machine takes in the air around it and then condenses it to produce water, filtered multiple times to make it safe to drink. It provides drinking water in areas where the supply is polluted, and reducing single-use plastic use bottles allows users to refill their own. 

The children were very interested and asked some great questions. Pavini rounded her talk off with the chance to taste the very special “water made from air.” We’d like to thank Pavini for her time; it was great to see a familiar face so enthusiastic about building a more sustainable world.