Episode 13 – LEELA SAENG, ROYAL HOLLOWAY, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON – I AM SO HAPPY WHERE I AM TODAY
Leela Saeng is currently studying Digital Media Culture and Technology at Royal Holloway, University of London . This was not always the plan. When Leela was a 15 year old student at Bangkok Patana School, she decided that she wanted to pursue musical theatre.
After a conversation with her supportive parents, she enrolled at the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. As time passed, she started to realize that she wanted to continue with a more traditional university degree. At a place where everyone was preparing for their performing arts future, Leela now needed to navigate the university application process relatively unguided. She decided to return to Bangkok and be tutored extensively for her Maths, Physics, and Chemistry A-Levels, daunting subjects even for top students. Yet, with each roadblock encountered, Leela became more and more confident. She has a growing understanding of how to handle adversity, and knows her dreams don’t have to be set in stone.
Being one of the two only Asian students in her grade introduced her to new cultural experiences and life outside of the ‘Bangkok bubble’. Furthermore, Leela recounts how she would come back to Thailand and lament its state of chaos. However, as time has passed Leela has come to see the beauty of Bangkok as a dynamic, fascinating metropolis. Michael says it is always a question of perspective.
At Royal Holloway, she is confident she had made the right choice. Her course spans the intersection of technology and digital media, combining programming modules with media theory. Her projects have allowed her to apply her knowledge in the real world like live-reporting on a musical society event via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. She has also participated in a project to raise awareness of hate speech which garnered more than 70,000 views on a marketing budget of £700.
Leela and I had a super conversation. We both believe there is more discuss about the growing impact of media and our potential places in it. I look forward to having her back on the show.