Dana Gan Zi Ying


Growing up, whenever people asked me the age-old question, "What is your dream?" my answer would always be the same. I want to stand prominently in front of a gigantic crowd on a large stage, delivering a motivational TED talk. Yes, it may seem like a grandiose ambition, but it's one that I strive to work towards.

Hey everyone! I'm Dana Gan, a psychology undergraduate here at Sunway University. I grew up in a supportive family of four. And I consider myself an ambitious, adventurous, and extroverted person who's constantly exploring new interests. However, I am also a perfectionist, which has been a double-edged sword for me. On one hand, my perfectionism drives me to work harder in everything I do. However, on the other, it puts me under such pressure that if I fail to meet my expectations, it completely crushes my spirit. Consequently, it assembles up to the point that I would quit.

#MySunwayStory began in my penultimate year of high school when I became cognizant that my lack of resilience could potentially be a major barrier to my ambitions. As a result, I was compelled to learn how to deal with my perfectionism. Through some deep introspection, I came to view setbacks as more of an opportunity for growth. I also needed to reevaluate my goals and recalibrate my steps to be a better learner. This paradigm shift would prompt me to work harder on my studies with renewed vigour, eventually landing straight A's in IGCSE. As a result, I was offered the Jeffrey Cheah Entrance Scholarship for my foundation studies. Then subsequently, I was able to nab the Jeffrey Cheah ACE Scholarship for my degree as well.

Of course, I was not on this journey alone. My family, mentors, teachers, and peers' constant support, encouragement, and advice have continually shaped my character. As a Sunway student, I had the chance to join the Sunway Foundation Programme Student Council and Sunway Ambassador Leadership Trek (SALT) Committee as Content Team Leader. This opportunity allowed me to work with diverse teams of enthusiastic and talented people from various backgrounds and beliefs. I am forever grateful for their patience with me and my shortcomings. Their endless faith and support encouraged me to look at the journey more than the destination.

As a scholarship recipient, I have had many opportunities presented to me — to grow, lead, network, and chase my dreams. Sunway has deeply enthralled me, from the facilities, convenience, and resources to the many amazing people I have encountered. I had always thought that academic success was a solo effort. But, the dedication, professionalism, and commitment that the lecturers exhibit in guiding us along the way is really empowering to me; they are our north stars in our journey towards our dreams.

Truly, the people around me and those I meet along the journey actively encourage me to take baby steps toward my dream and explore new possibilities. Through them, I have come to appreciate the journey and cease harboring such dichotomous thinking about success. So remember, never let anyone scoff at your dreams, no matter how grand they are, and make the most out of every opportunity to achieve them.

Dana Gan Zi Ying
BSc (Hons) Psychology
Jeffrey Cheah ACE Scholarship