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Of NUS Year 1 Sem 1: Academia

When it comes to NUS, its academic standard is what most people fear, or to those who like challenges (like me), embrace. I was so flabbergasted both when I'm offered a scholarship to read Pharmacy (My first pick) and not being offered the same course in Malaysia, despite being one of the top students in Malaysia. Anyway, I've chosen this route that lead me to this foreign land and I'm proud to say that I LOVE IT!!!!

Speaking about academia, there will be expectations - from oneself, from family, from friends. One of my aims that I set before I came to NUS, as I could recall, was to graduate with First Class Honours. Even though I have been advised by my seniors here not to put on high hopes as the environment here in NUS is very competitive, I've still decided strive for the highest. To me, I feel that it's not worth all my effort (and my parents money) if I couldn't achieve that.

However, with my current CAP of 3.9 (over 5.0), my dream is pretty much far-fetched!!! Whether I could succeed in achieving my dream by the time I graduate is still an unknown. But, I do believe the low CAP was due to the fact that I'm adapting to the new and stressful environment here. I have a history of slow adaptation back in Secondary School and Form Six. Hopefully after going through Sem 1, hopefully I'll do better in Sem 2.

As I said before, there will be expectations from people around you as well. Being labeled as one of the top students in Malaysia, a scholar and a Pharmacy Undergraduate, it simply means higher expectations on me. People look onto me as if I'm some genius of some sort.... That what I achieved was not what any mortal could... But to me, I'm just a simple human and everyone else... 

A question and a statement statement stroke me quite hard early in Sem 2 (sorry I have to incorporate Sem 2, but it's connected):
1) As I revealed my CAP to Jason Kong (Business Year 2 senior, very nice person), he told me that he expected me to get more than that, around 4.3. 
2) In another occasion, as someone revealed that I am a scholar, Jin (Chemical Engineering Year 1 friend, hard-to-describe personality) asked me what made me different from him and entitled me for a scholarship.

Sometimes, it's pretty hard to keep up with expectations, especially when there are tonnes of them from others. To meet every single one of the expectations may be impossible, and it'll be a very intense and tiring process. But all that I could do is to give in my all, then pray that all my effort is enough in return for what I deserve, and not regret any of it. 

Mark 11:24 
You can pray for anything, 
and if you believe you've received it, 
it will be yours.


Well... This would probably be the first post that has nothing to do with my experience from last sem... And would also be the first thing I post on about this sem..

It was a great day to kickstart the ACTUAL beginning of the semester by having a field trip of our own (MSL) to MatRitchie, for KAYAKING (and for some, jungle trekking)!!!! Tutorial and lab sessions will start to take place from tomorrow onwards, and for those studying in NUS, you know how a LIVING HELL it can turn out to be!!!!

MacRitchie Reservoir Park is like the total opposite of NUS, or Singapore in general. You can never imagine such tranquility to exist in such a city of stone and steel. My first impression there, HOME!!!! Blue sky, calm waters, gentle winds... Everything adds up to an overwhelming feeling of belonging. Though the bus ride there was kinda long, it was all worthwhile to actually (and finally) escape from the fast moving pace in NUS!!!

Damn N-A-I-C-E!!!!
It was my first time kayaking (don't remind me of the incident back in Sec 1), and it was none other than fun. PURE FUN!!! Although I did get splashed a lot by the others for my lack of defense and of course offense to fight back, I wasn't the least happy to get wet. Perhaps what the others say was true. "Getting wet is part of KAYAKING!!!"

Lunch at Carl's Jr. (VivoCity) was another satisfaction of the day. The burger was worth every cent I paid for it... Not forgetting the best fries that I've ever had, and free-flow drinks!! The entire set actually suppressed my sense of hunger until now!!!!!


So far for my day out... It was full of fun and laughter... But nothing is as perfect as it seems... Someone actually told me this today... "You don't have a market, what gives you the right to say whether someone is beautiful or not?"

I know it's absurd... But, I did take this statement quite hard... Reason?? Perhaps self-conscience?? Or maybe it came from an important individual??? I don't really know... I wasn't pissed off that I was regarded as someone which others are not fond of, because I know that very well... I'm not tall, slim, fit, hunky, intelligent, smart, or what-so-ever a prince charming would look like... Neither am I sad for being single for the last 20 years of my life, as not all are blessed by the gift of marriage (or not being single in this case)...

I took it hard, because I realised that I've been teasing some of my friends since last sem.. I don't really know whether did they take those words that I've told them as light as I did.. Although they did seem to be the right things to say in those moments, and they did bring an abundance of laughter into the conversation, it all felt so wrong now... Maybe finally, I was able to feel what it would be like to be teased... IN PERSON!!!

Having said this, I'm not sure of whether to change or not... A less talkative me would sure make my presence less felt, but once I start talking, I will just be out of control.... Suddenly, everything feels like back in kindergarten: If I talk, I'll get taped on my mouth, if I don't, it's just not me anymore....

Of NUS Year 1 Sem 1: An Overview

As promised, I'm gonna post an overview of my first semester in NUS. It's kinda hard to put everything into one post, since so much have happened. Many aspects of my life have changed - academics, co-curricular activities, relationships, ME, just to name a few. I'll break everything up and spill them bit by bit so that you readers get a better view on my life.

As a whole, though, life in NUS Year 1 Sem 1, for me, is an enlightenment - a wake-up call!!! Why?? Basically, I took everything with ease. I tried to ignore the high expectations from seniors and fellow coursemates... I tried not to stress myself too much... I tried to be as involved in co-curricular activities as I possibly could... I tried to help others as much as my personal capabilities could cater to.. I tried to do everything MY WAY!!!

But, at one point, I broke!!! I simply couldn't stand the pressure!!! I felt that what I'm striving for will never be achievable!!! I have sacrificed so much, just to reach the point of no return!!! I felt utterly helpless!! I broke out in tears, isolated myself from the outside world for the entire night, trying to figure things out, by myself.

"Was it worth it?? Being so far apart from my family and friends back home which I have grew so fond of?? I could have chosen to read Medic in Malaysia, become a doctor, surgeon or a professor. Why did I get myself into deep shit???!!! What was that that had driven me to choose this path???"

ME!!! It was my determination that had me going all this while.... The determination to strive for excellence.. The determination to challenge myself.. The determination to achieve whatever goal I set.. The determination to do everything my way... The determination to not regret any path that I've chosen on my own!!!

And knowing that changed everything once again. Since that day, I've decided to use Year 1 Sem 1 to set a baseline for the next 7 sems, knowing that each sem I'll put in more effort just to be better!!! Well, being average isn't such a bad thing at all right??? At least I know that I have plenty of space for improvements in the future...

I hope I didn't bore all of you~~~ Anyway, next to come: "OF NUS YEAR 1 SEM 1: ACADEMIA"... Most probably the main thing to talk about in NUS life....

A Fresh Start - A New Beginning

It's been a while since I've last blogged, and to be honest, I kinda miss blogging for a while back then. I miss being able to write all my feelings out without being confronted by anyone in person. Maybe I'm just those timid guys that are not verbally expressive and hard to find a sense of belonging in any social circle.

Unfortunately, I couldn't commit to blogging last semester as it was crucial for me to adapt to the hectic lifestyle, both in and out of school, here in NUS. Having said so, I've pretty settled here in NUS, so comfortable that I feel a slight sense of reluctance to leave NUS for home back in Malaysia. 

Anyhow, it's a good thing that since I'm pretty much comfortable here, maybe I could resume my habit of blogging. Furthermore, with a less hectic timetable this sem (due to the fact that I cram everything on Mondays and Thursdays), I could probably make time for blogging after all. It's gonna be a long sem ahead!!

Yup!! This is how my Sem 2 timetable looks like (without choir practice!!!)...

So much for the long explanation, but I won't be blogging much today though since I have Terrible Thursday (T.T) tomorrow. This Friday, though, marks the beginning of a long series of my Year 1 Sem 1 life in NUS. Stay tuned for "Of NUS Year 1 Sem 1: An Overview".

But as for now, it's time for me to get rested and recharged... 

みんなおやすみなさい 。。。(Good night, everyone...)