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How We Met at PKU: Roommates to Best Friends

Views:832 Time:8/25/2021 12:00:00 AM

Siti Nur Aqilah Binti Anuar (left) and Beatriz Isabel Contreras Navia (right)

Beatriz Isabel Contreras Navia (巴利), from Chile and Siti Nur Aqilah Binti Anuar (阿琦拉) from Malaysia are currently undergraduate students at the Peking University School of International Studies.

Roommates to Best Friends

4 years ago, Beatriz arrived in Beijing, at Peking University Global Village and checked in to her room all set to begin her Pre-University Program. However, it would be a whole two weeks before Beatriz would finally meet her roommate, Aqilah, who checked in only after Beatriz left for a trip to Inner Mongolia. New to the country and checked-in to a half-occupied room, Aqilah was left curious about her roommate. They share that they only met each other few days before the registration day.

Photo of Aqilah and Beatriz in their dorm

Aqilah confessed that Beatriz initially gave her a serious and unapproachable impression. However, the first impression doesn't mean the last impression. Aqilah was quick to admit that once she got to know Beatriz better, she didn't realize how and when her perspective changed. Whereas, Aqilah had already impressed Beatriz. She shares that she found Aqilah small and cute and gave her a very humble impression. 4 years down the line, they have become classmates from roommates and bonded from friends to sisters.

Aqilah and Beatriz on campus

Making Memories

The welcoming and warm Boya Pagoda lights shine under the moonlight as the lake glistens with the breeze. The Weiming Lake on campus has witnessed many friendships throughout the academic years.

Aqilah and Beatriz at Weiming Lake

For them, it was long walks around Weiming Lake that sparked their friendship. Beatriz and Aqilah also found solace in peaceful walks around the lake and heart-to-heart conversations. They even stopped by at sites to capture the moment into saved memories. For them, this particular picture out of the many pictures that day was "not just a simple picture" but a reflection of their friendship. The walks not only helped them learn more about each other but also helped them take a refreshing break from assignments. 

Aqilah and Beatriz poses after snowfall in front of their dorm building

Most often, the best memories are made during the most difficult times. For Aqilah and Beatriz, the biggest challenges they overcame together was the one-year Pre-University Program and successfully enrolling into Peking University undergraduate program at the same school, the School of International Studies.  

Aqilah and Beatriz with friends

Unfinished Plans

4 years ago, Aqilah and Beatriz started as strangers and now they consider each other one of the closest people. Aqilah admits that Beatriz's bubbly and sometimes crazy attitude really brightens up her day. Beatriz shares that they are similar in certain ways which makes it easier for them to understand each other.

Although miles apart, Beatriz and Aqilah stay connected and updated. They recall the wonderful times spent on campus and also a class trip to Inner Mongolia. Their Inner Mongolia trip with their friends was refreshing and eye opening for them. They not only learned about Chinese culture but also realized the essence of travelling and exploring China.

Aqilah (middle) and Beatriz (right) during their class trip to Inner Mongolia

They hope to travel inside China and tick off all the places they have on their bucket list. However, since the pandemic their plans have yet to resume.

Aqilah and Beatriz travelling in Beijing

Once the pandemic ends, they look forward to late-night chats and deep and emotional tête-à-tête while eating mid-night snacks and takeaways on their favorite fluffy carpet in their room.

Aqilah and Beatriz skyping each other amid the pandemic