Saturday, May 6

Musings: The transitional stage


Today is one of those days where my mind decides to chain me down and distract me from life, gravitating my thoughts towards the "what if's, why not's and how else's"of these past few weeks in transitioning from secondary education to university.


The change was daunting for me, to say the very least. I know there are individuals who get excited by such a drastic change because you are presented with a crisp, fresh sheet. No one knows you, no one knew you, no one can base ANYTHING off you. It's the best time to apply the "fake it till you make it" regime since you are literally your own person once you step into an institution 400 kilometres away from where you reside.

This blank canvas I am presented with, scares me. No one here knows I was the top student in school for 2 consecutive years since apparently only my SPM results reflects my intellect. One major exam - a few hours of writing, a rigid marking scheme and bam!! 2 years of securing the 1st position out of 300 students went down the drain.

No one here knows my love and (hopefully) flair in language. No one here understands that deep down in my artistic heart, my true passion is embedded in the art of poetry and writing. In fact, in one of my introductory tutorial classes, everyone was asked to introduce themselves with the basic name, age, hobby. (side note, considering that this happened 4 weeks ago and that I am still holding a small grudge in my heart must prove how ardent I am about this) . If you know me well, you know that I am an introverted person by ALL MEANS. Yes, I can get fiery when I'm put on the spot (coughs)(debates)(coughs) but generally, I'm a girl in her own thoughts. Hence, volunteering for stuff like this is not my forte. So, the other students went first and everyone's hobby seemed to impress and excite the lecturer.  When it came to my turn and all I said was that I simply enjoy reading and writing, I can still hear her laughter as she announced how boring I am. It hurt, it truly did. Don't get me wrong, the lecturer is lovely; albeit, a little ignorant I would say. What I treasure may not be as fancy as figure skating or playing an instrument, it may not be glamorous but to "boring old me", words are akin to musical notes and when strung together, it composes a harmonious melody. Ironically, I have some of those considerably "glamorous" hobbies too - grade 7 skill in piano, videography...too bad they didn't instantly come to mind then maybe I wouldn't have been regarded as the boring student.

In these first few weeks of school, I have met so many people. Judgement towards people is the most important thing. It is so fucking important, please let me stress this. By judgement, I am not saying be shallow. I mean judge their personalities. When you step into a new environment, the basic human instinct is to sniff out as many friends as possible - gather a bunch of them, make yourself look like you're not a loner. The advice from all and I literally mean all of my friends who were in college during my orientation week was to "say hi to EVERYONE". While that helped me get the numbers of around 50+ people into my phone, I barely knew any one of them. The "say hi to everyone" method is great for finding surface-deep friends. However, establishing a close-knit bond with anyone takes lots of effort and great trust.

One of my ultimate goals in life is to constantly stay positive. I did not want to make any enemies nor did I want to conjure up any feelings of negativity towards people. However idealistic that may sound, my goal is not realistic whatsoever. I want to believe that everyone is nice and I genuinely want to trust the good side of people. That is, unfortunately and very sadly, not the case at all. There are some people in university or well, my current foundation batch at least, who seem to have a great sense of entitlement. They are the kids who walk around believing they rule the corridors i.e. people who still possess the immature mentality of a schooling system with the "populars", "mediocres" and "unpopulars".

There will also be segregation of people according to race, no matter how sad that sounds - in 2017, its still true. I am thankful to say the least that my group of friends are extremely diverse, and they are great people (I'll elaborate on this later). A handful of people are aware that I can understand Mandarin, one of the most spoken languages in my university placing close second after the English language. However, no one actually knows the degree of my understanding. Albeit I still struggle in typing pinyin, I can understand very fluently. And the things I pick up on unknowingly sometimes makes me loose hope in the world. Language is used as a weapon here, to include and exclude people. This reminds me of my old English lit text written my Minfong Ho called turning thirty where the Ah-Ma is treated like a television due to the language barrier between her son and his wife and her. I can actually feel the stabs Ah-Ma must have felt because it hurts when you can't understand what other people are saying. Also frankly, its rude. Imagine how it must be for Ah-Ma to receive such treatment from her own flesh and blood if I take offence from random people or classmates who are acquaintances across university.

Coming from an all girls' school for the past 17 years of my life, I faced way more changes in my life than the average student. Not only did I have to juggle the switch from a 100% exam based system to an average percentile one, I was socially struggling to relate with everyone - especially the guys. Sadly, I'm gradually evoking some bad impressions towards them. Don't get me wrong, there are some really nice dudes whom I've met (Ok real talk, some = 3) but (sorry to generalize), they come off as ridiculously immature, ridiculously cocky or ridiculously ridiculous to me. I hope my perception shifts over the course of 3 semesters, though.

There also the people I met who give me bad vibes. side story: I enjoy complimenting people because I know that everyone puts a lot of effort every day to look their best and I don't know if this is because I have grown up surrounded by girl friends but I like to let people know that they look good. However there was one occurence where I was trying to establish a friendship with (lets call them A and B). As per usual, I complimented them because honestly, they're really gorgeous people. Too bad it's not reflected in their personality. I tried making conversation with the two of them but both A and B kept looking at their phones and giggling. they were texting each other while I was right there, trying to initiate a chat. I don't know about you but I was really pissed. This is another illustration as to where the sense of entitlement comes in. I want to get into so much detail but I think this is really getting too real for a public blogpost so I shall stop here.

conclusion: don't trust people so easily based off appearance; take judgement seriously and only string along the good ones.

I am grateful at least for the small group of friends I have managed to acquire in these 4 weeks.

also here's a tip for anyone who is going to be having a roommate in uni: make him/her your best friend. You will be reading all sorts of crap on the internet that warns you about the misconception of your roommate being your bff and that it won't happen and bla bla bla. Don't trust the internet. Forge your own bond, gain each other's trust, find common ground, have lunch together, cook dinner for each other. Make an effort. Once you guys have reached a certain level in that friendship, you'll have a blast because he/she will be your guardian and you, a guardian to them. You're sharing a personal space after all.

I would apologize for my long-ass rantings which no one will read (thankfully)but this is my safe space and sorry, but I'm not sorry. I actually have mid-term tests coming up in a week but I sat here for an hour because my mind was whizzing with so many thoughts. I will probably continue this rant in my journal, in a far more specific and savage manner. I am apologizing though, for all my negativity that shines through here. There was just a lot in my mind last night and this morning and I just felt a need to sit down and pour my heart out.

Also, this is my REAL reflective log of being a foundation student in uni, not the crappy, cringe-worthy one I submitted for my english assignment. Here you go world, a small piece of my raw feelings.

allow me to adorn this rant with a few pics of the people who have helped me through these past few weeks












thanks guys!