BTO

Yesterday, BTO applications were out and we (or rather I) flipped flopped between Kallang and Bedok. YES! For all those who I have yet tell (including my parents), we are bto-ing!

I’ve always said that wanted a proposal before BTO-ing, but sigh, practical life took over ): because Pee was the one that suggested BTO-ing since boyfriend didn’t want to suggest in fear of stressing me out. When Rach heard that her reaction was,”Can you be more girl and give him chance to ask?!”. Aye, good bto > dreams > social norms. We live in practical Singapore, it’s not every 4 months we get a good bto. WHO SAYS GIRLS CANT BE MORE PROACTIVE (Go for it all the girls out there, but don’t fight with me for bto space pls).

SO ANYWAY. The thing is, the BTOs for this round were really good with all sites being NEXT to the MRTs. On top of that, we had the 2km advantage for both Kallang and Bedok. You see, how to choose like that.

After countless flip-flopping and consultation with people, I finally decided to go with Bedok. He had wanted Bedok right from the start, partially because he had grown up there all his life, but I was adamant about Kallang. Over the past few weeks/months, I started giving Bedok a chance and yesterday I had a change of heart. I’m fortunate that I have a boyfriend, who doesn’t insist on his way and knows I’ll be all stressed out over these kind of things. Being the maximiser in this relationship, it’s difficult for me to come to a decision.

In logic, Kallang was the better choice, value-wise. However, something in my heart told me Bedok was the right choice. After we had decided firmly on Bedok, he told me he’s never felt so confident about doing something with someone before. *heartmelts*

But knowing I was the more cautious one, he asked me to think it through and make sure I was sure I wanted to go with this BTO with him. I like that he knows me this well. I would love to say, YES I AM CONFIDENT ABOUT YOU in a heartbeat, like him, but he knows I’m not that kind. I’m a worrywart and I’ve seen cases of people close to be not going through with their BTO even after putting down their deposits. So, naturally, I was worried and he knew.

This is what I love about him. I’m blessed with a boyfriend that gives me the space to panic and gives me the space to flip flop my decisions. He never tries to force his agenda on me. He’s that constant in my life that I know will always still be there whatever I choose and whenever I choose. I did have a mini panic moment yesterday. I started to get scared. What if he wasn’t the one? What if we get into this irreconcilable quarrel one day? What if we decided we wanted different things in life? How do I know this is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with?

Then I realise the reason why I was panicking was the same as why I didn’t give Bedok a chance initially. I was scared of the unknown. I grew up in the west, moved to the central and now I had to move to the east. The east has always been this confusing and foreign place to me. Marriage life, life as a couple, having my own family was unknown to me as well (as to him).

But then I thought about why I gave Bedok a chance in the end. Apart from what Rach said about it being more neighbourhood (The NSK in me never dies), I could imagine raising a family there. I knew however confusing or scary or foreign that place was, he’ll be there with me to figure this whole thing out.

I thought about that and realised that this is the man I wanted to be with the rest of my life. I thought about every moment in our relationship, the very good and the very bad. At every point of our relationship, every trial and triumph, there was never a time he let go of my hand. There was never a time either of us genuinely wanted out. He has always inspired confidence. He’s the man who I know will do anything for me. I want to journey through life with him. I thought about the times when we had to carry each other through tough times and the times when we shared breakthroughs and wins. The times when our heart ached for each other, the times when our hearts burst with pride for each other and all those other times in between when life was just mundane.

I cannot imagine going through them with anyone else other than this best teammate.

So am I still scared? Yea, of course. But I think I’m more excited.

Even if this bto doesnt go through, I think I’ve gained something. I know what, or who, I want.

Thanks for making this step with me ❤

To remember

It’s one day before my final undergraduate exam and I’ve come a really long way. Year 5. Not even PHDs (at least in NUS) are that long. I keep telling myself it doesn’t matter. At year 5, at my last module, my cap cant move. Even if I fail this, my degree classification doesn’t move. But then there’s still this innate hope to do well.

On the eve on my last exam, I had a conversation with someone. Quite a frustrating one, but still a conversation and I guess you can always learn something about yourself from any conversations. There are a few people who can get me agitated and frustrated and this person happens to be one of them.

We were talking about jobs and arrogance just permeated the entire conversation. Well, he did have a right to be arrogant (if it is even a right) considering he’s rather successful.

I’ve come to realise different people in life will tell you about what is the most important asset or trait or ability to have. More often than not, the “most important” thing is usually what they have.

Smart people will tell you intelligence is what you need to succeed in the workforce. People with good results will tell you grades are important. Social people will tell you it’s all about friends and the networks you have. Religious people will tell you to prioritise religion.

I think that’s because of 2 reasons. 1) If you think results are important, you will chase after grades and 2) If you work hard chasing grades, you need to protect your self-esteem and tell yourself grades are important because you need to assure yourself that you have all you need to survive and thrive.

Well, they’re not wrong and they could all be right as well. Everyone has their own viewpoint. What gets me is that when they think their viewpoint should be the ONLY viewpoint. That bigotry and arrogance.

The refusal to see that other people could value other things other than money in life. That other people have other challenges in life. That other jobs are good jobs too. That different people have different aspirations.

And although he tried to make me feel small, I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of myself for not falling into the trap of trying to prove myself to him. I’m proud that he didn’t succeed in making me feel bad. I’m proud of myself to realise at that moment that my accomplishments are mine and God’s and they arent meant to be brandished like a trophy for others to see. I’m not ashamed of them and I won’t hide it, but they’re not a tool to brag, they’re a tool to be more productive in what I do.

I still do feel like I have a lot to be proud for. I’m not a top student, I’m not first class (even though many people think I am for whatever reasons, I’m not), I’m not famous and I’ve never done anything big. But I feel like I’m the person I want to be at this moment. I’ve achieved what I wanted with integrity. Sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight and people can make you discontented. There’s always more you can achieve. But I’m glad it was only momentarily and I took a step back and think and appreciate and be grateful. I’m glad I remember what I really want in life.

At the end of the day, I know what I’ve accomplished, I know what challenges I had to overcome. I know what I can be proud of. I know what my goals are and where I want to be. I know what my definition of success is. I know I shouldn’t let someone else tell me otherwise.

And so, I hope I never forget what I learnt today. I hope I never let someone else convince me that I want more than what I genuinely want. I hope that I’ll never impose what’s important, what’s priority and what way to take on others. I hope I’ll never be too arrogant to take someone else’s viewpoint. And whatever I may accomplish, I hope I never be too insecure to have to brag or put others down. I hope I never think that I know best and not listen to others. There’s a big difference on being certain of knowing what’s best for yourself and knowing what’s best.

I went back and thought about things. And my wonderful man of a boyfriend chatted with me on telegram. I thought about that and realise that that’s was something that person will never get. This sense of belongingness, this sense of contentment, this sense of joy and hope and support. That I had my life ahead of me to do whatever I chose to. That autonomy. That person to celebrate life’s successes, big or small. Isn’t that what it’s all about. What’s the point of having success there’s no one to share it with. Maybe that’s something he’ll never understand, and that’s okay.

I may or may not get there someday. I may or may not be more successful than him someday, but that doesnt matter. He’s not my yardstick anymore. I have learnt to define life myself. And until then, I’ll keep a life full of love and laughter with the people I love and who loves me.

He walked away today from our conversation, with his ego temporally boosted. I guess that’s his reality and since he never does let anyone else get a word in edgewise or take anyone else’s perspective, it’ll always be his mentality. That mentality serves him and I respect him for his accomplishments, but I know that’s not what I am about.

 

A hectic life

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Life has been pretty hectic recently and there haven’t really been a time for me to sit down and recollect my thoughts. That day during counselling psych, I suddenly remembered about something that I had written many years ago. During one of my darkest moments in my life, I thought to myself, “What if I die one day and all that I’ve ever experienced or known is sadness and fear?”

Sometimes I’ve gotten so used to this comfortableness that I’ve forgotten how it was like before. I was talking to the bestie the other day and then suddenly I felt silly for ever being afraid to be in a relationship. But then again, I guess it’s the right person that makes all the difference.

Life definitely looks different when you got someone who wants to be there (sometimes, very literally) through the tough moments. Nothing looks too bleak when you’ve got someone holding your face up with his two hands and forcing you to look into his eyes (his very small eyes hahaha) so that he can remind you that things aren’t all that bad. So I thank God for him everyday. I thank God for that pair of arms that can bury me in an embrace and make me feel safe. I thank God that there’s someone who always knows the right words to say.

The little thing he does like waiting for me after class every friday night, wanting to accompany to every small or big appointment, turning up with little surprises, squeezing every time out possible to spend time with me or choosing all my favourite flavours when we eat ice-cream… these little things mean so much to me. They mean more than grand gestures because these are the everyday things. These things require constant effort. It requires thoughtfulness.

There’s nothing like knowing you always got someone standing on your side and rooting for you. I honestly have never thought that I will find someone who would do anything within his power just to see me smile. I also never thought I’ll find someone who I would do anything within my power to see happy. We’re so gonna be resilient sunflowers together. The next few weeks will be crazy, but I think there’s nothing we can’t do together.

It’s been close to 11 months. Thanks for making this the best 11 months of my life 😀

Immigration

Following the US presidential debates has made me think quite a bit. I think everyone has a Donald trump in their lives. Almost everyone I speak to can point me to one person in their lives that remind them of him. But that’s not what I was thinking about lately.

I’ve been thinking about the issue of immigrants. It’s my thesis topic, but it’s also become a topic I’ve come to take interest in (maybe because it’s my thesis topic haha). A few week back, Jet and I were eating dinner with his friends. One of his friends brought up the issue of having lack of food stalls in their campus because there isn’t enough business. As a result, they try to promote the food stalls to the public instead of just to the students there.

I thought about that because sometimes at NUS, I get irritated when I see the science park bus. Hoards of science park employees flooding our canteen during lunch time for cheap (and relatively good) food. But then now after hearing what Jet’s friend said, it kind of made me look at things in perspective. If there weren’t members of the public “flooding” our canteens and utown, there will be less food options for nus students (at a cheap price too). So, we complain that these people crowd us out so much that we don’t get to enjoy our food in a less crowded area, when in actual fact, we may not even get to enjoy these food if not for these people.

It’s kind of like the immigration situation. If we are just 2.5 million people, will we have the same variety of food, clothing, malls…stuff? Will people want to open shop in Singapore with such a small market? Can people survive if they do? No Krispy Kremes, no famous tokyo ramen would want to come and open shop.

We want to keep the variety, but we don’t want the crowd.

So I guess it’s not such an easy thing to balance.

Home we’ll go

Sometimes stress can make people forget about the big picture. Stress and other negative emotions have a narrowing effect while positive emotions have a broadening effect. I’m not too well-versed on the literature on this. The main idea is when we experience negative emotions like fear/anxiety/anger, we tend to narrow our focus. It’s adaptive. It makes sense. If you fear a threat, you need to concentrate on the threat to ensure your survival (in caveman times). When you’re feeling positive, you can afford to broaden your focus.

These few days, stress/anxiety/fear has narrowed my perspective on things. It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when deadlines and responsibilities are looming. For me, it’s easy to obsess over something once I get fixated on it. It’s easy to just focus on the little things to the extent that you forget that they aren’t all that important in the grand scheme of things.

It’s difficult to shift perspective, but there’s this one person that manages to gently make me look away for a while. Once in a while, I look at Jet and he reminds me of all these things. He reminds me that there are other things in life that matters. He reminds me that the things I worry about now will matter very little in 5 years time and even lesser in 10. He reminds me that there are other greater things to look forward to and be excited about. He broadens my perspective. I think it’s fair to say that, in short, he gives me hope.

And I hope I remember that. I hope that when deadlines draw near and stress build up, I always remember that there are far greater things ahead. I hope that I will always remember that nothing is too great that Love can’t conquer.

Nein!

Recess week has come and gone and I have spent it rolling around basically. There have been exciting things happening because having the time to reconnect with friends means updates hehehe.

Met up with the T04 and we’re really getting old and broke because we’ve progressed from eating at restaurants to eating at coffee shops. It’s been quite a while since I’ve met Heleyna, but she haven’t really changed much in terms of still being super sweet. The funniest part was when she was just angsting over accidentally liking a facebook post without fully reading it and not being able to unlike it after realising what it really was because it’s gone. It’s kind of exciting but sad that she and Christine will most probably migrate in the future. But that means more reasons to travel to meet them. hehehe.

Nam updated me on more things. Some interesting, some interesting but regret hearing because forever cannot unhear that kind of gross things (like the coming up of the idea for a stupid fury rug of revenge). Then the mental image in your head like for a very long time. Haha I think it’s worth mentioning that I had a newfound respect for Pek that day too and his beansprouts.

I think the best part was realising we had grown up together and how everyone has sort of found their place. Like how xtine pointed out that XT has become so much more confident and how others have mellowed. Nam reminded me of the times I’ll get so pissed with her for being late 5 years ago, but we still remained friends. And I’m glad we did. Actually talking to her, Gary and XT did make me realise that some friends are worth sticking through the growing pains with and some just aren’t. I think that’s something I’ve come to learn these few weeks.

Christine used to ask me why do I (and a few others) even entertain some people and I think I only recently got the answer. There are some friends who can be quite irritating and unlovable, but they change over the years or they mature and become more self-aware. And I think I’m lucky because I’ve encountered a lot of those. I’m sure I have my irritating and unlovable moments. I’m appreciative for the friends who stuck through all that. So I always thought that we all just needed to be a little bit more patient and tolerating because that’s how others have treated me. And I mean, that’s how I found my best friend anyway. I hated him to the core when I first met him, but over the years he matured and became my best friend.

Then something ____ said made me change the way I thought. He told me how whenever he spent time with a certain person, he’ll feel very down for a few days. I also remember how he once told me that he wanted to pursue a certain something, but this same person kept discouraging him and telling him all sorts of bad things to scare him. He asked for my opinion and I gave it without thinking much. 6 months later, he messaged me and thanked me for encouraging him because he felt like it was one of the best things he ever did.

I think from these conversations/days of thinking, I’ve learnt a few things:

1.To get rid of/avoid toxic people in your life. I think I have a couple of them in my life and it felt good identifying them and then mentally letting them go. It’s quite a liberating experience actually. To come to a conclusion that they’re not worth your time nor your energy trying to help them or care about them. I feel silly sometimes when I wonder why did I even bother in the past when clearly they don’t appreciate it. But the past is the past and I think I should focus more on the people who actually matter/appreciate.

I think counselling classes kind of put a lot of things in perspective for me. You can’t help people who don’t really want to be help. After all, it’s really their own lives and the way they choose to live it is their choice. It must be uncomfortable though – always getting into the same shit over and over again. But at some point you also kind of realise they don’t want to change to get themselves out of this cycle. They just want to whine about it. So no point you trying harder than them.

2. To not become the toxic person. I think it’s easy to be negative in life. I worry one day I become that person that brings negativity into everything. It’s exhausting and draining to be with one of those people and I hope I never become that bitter in life. I don’t ever want to become that person that makes someone feel sian for 3 days after meeting me.

3. It’s a blessing to have friends who will be happy and excited for you. I think I neednt say more. I think I felt that that day when I met up with the class and was discussing some stuff. The way they made plans for me and offered their beansprout growing services. No matter how much of an “anything” person you are, you have to make a choice. The choice of what kind of people you want close to you because who your closest friends are defines you.

I wanted to record more the “catch-up” I had with sec school friends, but I realise there are so many things that can’t be public yet. So I’ll wait hehehe. 😉

And And And just for the sake of recording -> QUEUE NUMBER: NINE.

 

September is hereee

So much I wanted to say about so many things, but I didn’t have time. I feel like I’m always playing the catch-up game with my blog. But hey, it’s best to live in the moment right. Just wanted to say I stepped out of my comfort zone yesterday and made decisions that I never thought I would. So yesterday was a significant day for me, I guess? Just wanted to pen it down.

Today morning and afternoon, it felt very odd because suddenly, very coincidentally a lot of my secondary school friends spoke to me. Oh yes and I spoke to Jian Ming today morning too. So it was very weird feeling because we’ve all grown up and we’re all doing different things now. It’s been a long time since we were in secondary school and speaking to them about the future is just exciting.

I’m excited for the future because there’s so many things up ahead. Long term and short term wise. There’s so many things to be happy and excited about. There’s so many things to worry and dread too, but the excitement still trumps all.

I thought about how different things were just less than 10 years back and I realised that at every turn around in my life, there’s always someone who sparked that change. All these people are people I am thankful for. And right now, I’m more than just a stupid secondary school kid. I’ll remember the ones who stuck by me and believed in me even when I showed no promise whatsoever.

I will also remember those who didn’t because back then I believed them as well. Now I’m a little older, I see that they don’t know me. They just saw what I could do then and I couldn’t do much. So they chose not to believe in me. That’s only normal I guess. But that’s why I think those that chose to believe in me, even though I had gave them no reason to, are exceptionally extraordinary.

While typing this, I realise this is probably how God sees us. He don’t see us for now and our achievements. He sees us for who we can be and who He has made us to be. “…The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – Samuel 16:7. Haha, I’m glad I have an eternal cheerleader that knows me.

But anyway, I hope if I read this in the future, I’ll always remember to appreciate and thank those who have loved me, invested in me and believed in me when I gave them no reason to. At the same time, it’s difficult, but I hope I’ll always remember to not listen to those who put me down, especially if they don’t know me or have a stake in my life. Grateful for those who journey with me, especially when the road gets tough.

Of being in love

Last Saturday, Jax came over to chat with Jet and I. He jokingly told me that he and Boo were talking about me (it seems like they’re always talking about me these days haha) and they were talking about how much of an “actor” I was. He suaned me on how I used to cry after exams during Os and As because I thought I was going to do badly, but then I’ll eventually do fine. He suaned me saying that I used to say I wasn’t going to do well, but ended up doing my masters. Then he suaned me about how I used to say I was never going to get married, but now am the first one out of them to be in a relationship.

I thought about that. When I was younger, I never really imagined myself being in a relationship because I knew I wasn’t prepared for one. I didn’t have the time nor the energy to get involved in a relationship. On top of that, I didn’t really see how I could like someone enough for myself to want to be in a relationship.

When I grew a little older, maybe some time before I went for exchange, I began being able to see myself in a relationship. I didn’t have anyone in mind, but I thought that was something I might be able to do. I thought to myself, I knew what to do in a relationship. I could do this this this for my boyfriend. I could make him feel happy and loved. After all, I learnt so much from my guy friends what guys like and don’t like. I knew how to make others feel happy. I was a good friend (I hope so), I just had to do a little more for my boyfriend. At the same time, I had a little bit more time now. I mean, I could sacrifice one day of my weekends right? I could spend time with him when I’m not studying. I thought I’ll just do everything the same as what I was doing, just with an extra person now.

I was all set. I was ready for a relationship, but what I didn’t expect was to fall in love.

I didn’t expect all the things that came with falling love. I didn’t expect caring about the other person enough to worry about him. I never imagined being so genuinely happy for the success of someone. I never imagined wanting the best so much for someone else, even if it’s at the expense of myself. I never expected sacrificing my time to be with someone else. He isn’t just part of a schedule, he is the schedule. I never expected having to learn being vulnerable or learning how to trust another person. I never expected that what came along falling love was also this truckload of mix emotions. Emotions like feeling this deep worry, anxiety, indignation for the other person.

I never thought that someone would matter to me enough for me to want to trash things out, voice my opinions or share my insecurities with. I never thought that I would ever care enough to express my expectations or my disappointments. Or that I would find someone who will make me see the worth in working through everything that’s tough.

I also didn’t count on him being able to make me feel so safe, belonged, hopeful and make me feel this sense of joy -this intense joy. I never thought someone else could make me laugh so hard. Someone who will make me unselfish when it came to him. I never thought that I would miss anyone this much when I’m not with them.

Whenever I thought about relationships in the past, I always thought of just finding someone whom I can stand to at least be around. I never thought I would find someone whom I might enjoy or crave to be around.

It’s an odd feeling. It’s one that I didn’t foresee. I planned to be in a relationship, but I didn’t plan to fall in love until I met him.

If you had asked me a year ago, or even at the start of this relationship, whether I am ready to be in a relationship, I guess I would’ve said yes. But I guess that one year ago Pee wouldn’t know what she was getting herself into falling in love.

August

August seems to be a month full of exciting dates (for me at least). I realised a few weeks back that this year is my blog’s 10th year anniversary! That’s freaking amazeballs to me because I’ve consistently written in this blog. Not as often as I would like to, but still try to. That means I’ve got blog posts from every season of my life for the past 10 years! Woah!

So my dearest recently celebrated his birthday and I was so excited because I had prepared for him a birthday surprise! hahaha. You have to understand how hard it is to keep a surprise from him. We spend almost everyday together, so doing things without him knowing is super difficult. On top of that, he’s my best friend whom I want to tell everything to. So it’s so difficult to keep my excitement to myself.

I made an exploding box for him which I had been planning to do for a few months now. I was so pleased with every detail that went into every page of that box (talk about bhb). So I was very glad when I saw him opening it and liking it. :’) Hahaha.

The day when we celebrated his birthday was also the day of pokemon go release! So we stood by the singapore river catching all the magikarps. Haha talk about the perfect birthday present.

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Dont know why you’re still trying to catch’em all when you’re already the very best to me. hahaha. 

We also ate his favourite lobster ramen that we’ve been dying to try for so long. It was goose. Totally worth it. Drank the beer too since everything goes on your birthday!

Last last week, I had an exceptionally good day. Nothing exceptional really happened, but I guess that’s why it was a good day. The best thing was when I told Jet that I was having a good day, he decided to meet me because he wanted my good day to be better. Even if it were just for less than an hour or so. It made the day perfect. I love how he takes my “good days” seriously and shows me it’s important to him too ❤

Well, this week school has started and we’re already up to our shoulders with readings and whatnots. The best thing is I have a reading buddeh now. And he’s totally great at putting on masks. I’m ashamed to call myself a girl, but hey, let’s break down gender stereotypes right? Haha, he’s so gentle when he puts the mask on my face and rubs the excess on my hands, while I just lie on my bed like a princess. On the other hand, there’s me that just slaps it on chor lor-ly

It’s great going to school with Jet. Haha a little odd, but still great. Year 5. So jaded, but it’s the last sprint! I got a hitmonlee in the shuttle bus on the first day of school with my lucky charm sitting next to me. Looks like it’s gonna be a great semester. Look at me trying to find all ways to motivate myself and be excited about school. Okay, I need to get my excitement on this sem. Woohoo here we go!

weitheblur

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Yesterday, after yoga (btw I finished my entire package of yoga #proud), my mother handed me this letter when she got home. It was an NUS marked letter and I was thinking like “Tian ah, nowadays IRB send to home one ah? Or expulsion letter?! What did I do?!” Haha, well it wasnt and it wasnt a dean’s list letter, which is what people will always expect from a dean’s letter.

It was a commendation letter. It came as a surprise and I was like all AWWW. I’m not sure whose parent wrote the letter to the dean, but AWWW thanks. ❤ It’s really nice, knowing that my efforts are acknowledged. I’m not sure how the dean found me either, but I really appreciate the effort taken to even bother writing this letter, especially when NUS is getting bad press and the acad year is starting etc.

I wrote that particular post for freshies 3 years ago, mainly for my friends and their friends. I was in Norway at that time and had lotsa time to do something like that. A year later, that post suddenly gain popularity and it hit more than 15k views. I was all whut whut.

I got scared because it felt too public. I shut down my blog for a day. The thing is, this blog of mine has been mine since I was a secondary school kid. Since I was in the cringe-worthy years of sec 1 to sec 4. It contains more than half of my life. I was not always this restrained with my words. And so when it got “viral”, I was worried. Worried that people who knew me in real life would find out that I have a blog or that my blog was still alive. Although my blog is public, very few people know that I got a blog.

But then I saw the benefits to making my blog public. I remember being a blur junior who was quite uncertain about university. I read up on everything and had no one to turn to. I found a senior’s blog whom I emailed once to ask for opinion on modules and he was so helpful. We’ve all been that uncertain and blur junior once and I guess I figured that since the post was already helping people, it didnt require any additional effort on my part to make it public. It did require effort to reply to comments and email, but most questions were asked so politely and genuinely. I acknowledge the courage needed, especially by freshies and sometimes overseas students, to approach a stranger for help. So I try my best, limited by my abilities, to reward that leap of faith.

I also realised that the human struggle is real and is something that everyone goes through. In a world where everyone put up their best side in social media (me included sometimes), I wanted my blog to be somewhere I showed a more raw side of my life. That juniors can read and see that people struggle with uni too and not everyone has got everything figured out. I remember being a freshie and I was so stressed out because everyone seemed to be having fun. Everyone’s facebook was about the latest bash or the new CCA they joined. Then there was me, struggling to find my place, struggling to cope and not entirely having fun. I chanced upon this blog written by someone when he was in university (10 years ago, mind you).

It was vulnerable. He was questioning about life, God, education. He was uncertain and directionless. I read his journey and how he got to where he is today (of course I know him in real life, but he doesn’t know I read his old blog, creepy me) and it helped me a lot to know I wasn’t the only one with these questions and thoughts. It helps to know it’s okay being less than instagram/facebook-perfect.

So, yesterday when I got the letter, I thought to myself, I’m glad that I had chosen to do that. More than just helping people, to me it was significant because weitheblur used to be somewhere for me to rant, to vent, to emo and at times, to shame people whom I didnt like (in secondary school). It then became a daily reader for some of my secondary school friends in sec school and one day one of my church leaders told me to always remember to speak life when you get the chance to influence. I had a small influence, but I soon realise that my words, written or spoken, had the power of life and death. So I started to slowly by slowly write more positive things. I lapsed sometimes, but I tried. And it was comforting to know that after so many years, I’ve got to this point where what I write helps others.

Definitely a great start to my year 5 (:

Worries

I spent a good half an hour ploughing through my old posts. I do this once in a while and today just happens to be one of those days.

I see the phases of life I go through. The JC times seem so far away, but so close at the same time.

Today I woke up with a barrage of worries. I was shocked because I had forgotten it was bidding today (which is rare). Then I messaged the pishi and asked her about grant and started worrying about that too because I had applied for it too late and the next grant approval will be in November. Then I was feeling sian that I couldnt attend a friend’s wedding because the exam of the ONLY module I happen to be taking happened to fall on that friend’s wedding date (on a saturday summore). And then of course the stress of thesis and of data collection.

So reading through the old post brought a bit of perspective. I’ve changed a lot. More than I realise. But is it more than I like? I’m not sure. I’m still going through the same kind of problems, but this time with someone else on the journey with me. And because it’s my first time having someone with me, it’s so odd. I can’t explain it. It’s like more worries (because you naturally worry for people you love, I think?), but one more person to share your worries with. And being someone who worry alone for a good 23 years of my life, it’s a very odd feeling.

I think it’s also good time for me to remind myself, as the sem starts again, that God has proven to be faithful to me time and time again. I’ve been doing this for 9 sems and sometimes it gets tiring, but I have to keep reminding myself of things God have promised me. I look back on my life (as recorded by my blog) and I see how God have never failed me. And yet, I still find myself struggling to trust that everything will be alright. Maybe it’s a struggle that I’ll have to keep fighting for the rest of my life. But for now, I have to keep reminding to keep my heart right and trust God to bring me at least to the next step. The distance is daunting, but I think if I break it down into days, months, semesters, seasons, it’ll be so much easier. So for today, I shall have enough faith to believe that today will be great.

Conferences

I realised I havent been updating my blog much life is too hectic (excuses excuses). I admit the only reason why I’m updating my blog now is because I’ve finally gotten to the lit review part of my thesis and I’m procrastinating (yet again). Not every thing I had set out to do this summer has been successful. hahaha

Anyhoo, recently more administrative part of research have taken up a lot of my time. And everything always seem to be “urgent” because of deadlines here and there that important work gets sidelined (7 habits for effective teens anyone?).

There was that deadline for my award application presentation for grant for my thesis. So I had to buckle down and do the presentation slides and etc. Then it was the doing up for the poster presentation of a conference I was attending. So I had to buckle down and do that. Then it came for the application for another conference in January. So I had to buckle down and do that. It may seem all small things, but analysis and research needs to be done before you can send out applications (something that I do not have full data of). Then there was also data collection from the general population of Singapore, which required a lot of admin and heartache and stress.

Now that everything is more or less settled, I am finally trying to get my lit review for my thesis done so I won’t be scrambling next semester when thesis is due. But alas, this has no deadline -> less stress -> Procrastination.

So last week, I took part in this conference called ACCOP. I presented the paper I had done in my internship last year:

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I guess the best part was also seeing my adorable boyfriend presenting in the same conference. He was doing a seminar instead though and proud girlfriend was watching him on stage looking all smart in his suit and tie. I didn’t catch his entire piece because I thought it would’ve been awkward since people there still don’t know we’re together, but proud nonetheless.

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I think it’s kind of awesome that we’re both in the same field and doing the same kind of things. Is this what geeky couples do? hahahaha.

And these are my bosses and supervisors:

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I think I’m really fortunate to have them always believe in me. Idk what I’ve done, but they seem to believe in me a whole lot. So yea, always grateful of the guidance and teachings they’ve given me during the internship and after.

And yaye we won the excellent poster award because of awesome people who put stickers for me:

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I’m not sure if research is the path I want to take, but I enjoy explaining the project to people who ask. I guess the process is always gruelling and sometimes unenjoyable, but the discussing and thinking about ideas is always interesting to me. It’s fun for me to imagine what we could do, but to actually get down to do it then it’s pretty bleah. I guess I might become that kind of researcher that hire RAs to do collection for me and then sit behind my screen and think about the data. hahaha. Well, until I reach that level, I’ll be doing data collection and sitting behind my screen.

Apart from that, my prof encouraged us to apply for this conference taking place in US in January next year. So I went on data analysis and met a lot of roadblocks, I’m putting it aside for now and I’ll revisit it again when I have more data. But then, Pee being Pee, she got more excited about travelling after the conferences. Even before her abstract gets accepted and even before FASS grants her the travel grant. hahaha, so yea, been researching into disneyland and harry potter world even before anything is confirmed. I think I know more about disneyland than my thesis now. Will I be disappointed if I don’t get accepted? I guess there will be some sort of disappointment that’s 2k in travel grant gone, but I think I’ll be fine too haha. Just take things as it comes.

The best thing is the best boyfriend in the whole world is planning to take the trip with me and present in the conference as well. The perks of being a geek couple.

On another note, yaye I got the grant! 😀 2.5k towards my research. It isn’t much, compared to what my Prof has poured in, but I’m glad to be contributing at least a little and not be a free loader hahaha.

Much to stress and worry about, but right now, I’m kind of still enjoying summer (:

Haha, feeling very blessed recently because many things have fallen into place. There’s still a sense of fear and dread for the new semester. It’s kind of tiring after doing this for 4 years, 8 semesters, and having to go back and do it all again. But I think it’s time to refresh myself and remind myself that God has been and will be with me (and us) every step of the way 😀

NUS MODULE REVIEW FOR AY2015/2016

Semester I:

PL4201: Psychometrics and Psychological Testing.
PUBLIC IVLE link for the module
I took this because it was compulsory for my CDP course. It is usually taken by a particular prof (for the past 5 years?), but it changed during my semester, so it was very difficult to ask for opinions and tips from seniors. The prof took a lab class and most of his students followed him to this module, so I think he’s a good prof. The downside to that is, you’ll be at a little disadvantage if you havent taken his lab module before (just a little).
Workload: 18 % assignment, 32% Mid-terms, Final exam
Course material: One textbook
What I liked about the module: It was useful. You are being taught things that would be useful to know in the future (if you’re dealing with scales and pscyh assessments). The assignment helps you to understand the content a lot more.  It helps that the prof is friendly and helpful too. I also liked that you’re graded on effort for assignments rather than correct answers.
What I didnt like about the module: The content can be dry at times, especially if you’re not into stats and things like that. Being a H1 math person, the proving part of the module was a torture to me. I ended up memorising.
Good idea to take it?/advice: It really depends. The module was painful for me at times, but I recommend it to those who are on the path of being a researcher. Even if you’re not, these are things that are good to know as a psych major. Painful, but useful (for me). There’s also the satisfaction of understanding concepts when you actually do, so that’s awesome too.
Grade I got: B+, which is really decent considering I was at the bottom of the class for mid terms (2 marks from failing). Managed to pull it up with finals I guess!

PL5221 Analysis of Psychological Data Using GLM.
This was another module that was compulsory for my CDProgramme. It’s a level 5k module that psych honours student can also take if they want. It’s quite tough to follow sometimes because of a combination of reasons: 1. The prof speaks fast and with an accent 2. the content by itself is tough. The mid terms were horrible for me. There was a SPSS component for mid terms and my computer crashed. ): In the end, the entire class did so badly they had a redo for it.
Workload: 30 % assignment, cant remember the percentage, but it may have been 35% mids and 35% finals or 30-40, respectively.
Course material: One textbook that you do not have to buy. You do not refer to it at all.
What I liked about the module: Again, it was useful. It was open book (not that it really helped a lot).
What I didnt like about the module: The content is quite tough. It was hard to follow at times. The assignments are trickier than it needs to be. Even after taking 3 modules under this prof, her accent still gets me.
Good idea to take it?/advice: It really depends again if you’re planning to go on the researcher route. If you’re not, then you can save yourself the trouble. This is more advanced than what you typically would need just to read journal papers. It’s definitely not an easy A class. I hated the exam, up till now, we still have no idea how to solve on entire question and the prof wouldnt answer us ):
Grade I got: B+, I really feel like this one is a close shave. Not sure how I got B+, but I’m not complaining.

Semester II:

PL4228: Criminal Forensic Psychology
I’ve sort of always wanted to do this since I entered uni in year 1 because it’s kinda cool, no? After I did my internship that involved some forensic work, I was even more keen. Well, it wasn’t anything I expected. I think Forensic Psych has got many branches, but I feel like this one focuses more on the forensic mental health… rehabilitation and assessments. I guess it’s probably because the profs are for MSF so they bring that kind of focus. Is it a bad module though? Definitely not. Still think I learnt a lot, even if it wasnt what I planned on learning in the first place. It kind of made me have a little more confidence in what our ministries are doing and it got me a little excited about research in this area as well. According to what I hear from my coursemates, everyone felt like it was too overrated. But I think it’s not horrible, just not what everyone expected.
Workload: 40% Essay, 10% Class Part, 5% Presentation, 45% Finals.
Course material: Readings and powerpoint slides
What I liked about the module: It made me interested about threat assessments and research in this area. The profs were interesting and approachable.
What I didnt like about the module: The content and examples focuses a lot on sexual offenders, so I feel like it was quite limited. It wasn’t what I expecting with very little forensic psych from the police perspective. I didn’t quite like that the essay was so damn long too (4000 words essay, whut?!). THE FINALS. Although it was 50 MCQs. There were some MCQ questions that took up almost an entire page. Also, I felt like it was really really difficult. It was like things I would never have thought of even studying in the first place (or have no recollection of it ever appearing in readings, and I’m quite the kiasu person who reads things like 3 times)
Good idea to take it?/advice: Well, do you like learning about rehab and threat assessments? I feel like this is more of an “abnormal psych” kind of track, so it really depends on you. If you’re deciding between this and another module, then just know that this isn’t what is hyped up to be. You’re not gonna be the next criminal minds, but you’ll learn things. so what I’m saying is, be realistic about expectations. If you do take it though, the readings feel like they’re more important than the lectures.
Grade I got: overall B+,  (B for my 40% essay, A+ for presentation)

PL5222/PL5222R: Multivariate Statistics in Psychology
This was my prescribed module for CDP, so we had to take it since it was compulsory. We used R instead of SPSS and learnt things like MANOVA, latent growth model, discriminant analysis etc etc.
Workload: 50% Assignments, 50% Finals (open book)
Course material: Powerpoint slides and Readings (Do not really have to do it unless you dont get the lectures)
What I liked about the module: It was the mixed classroom approach thing. Means lecture was before you came to class via webcast, then you come in to discuss what you don’t understand. I also liked that there were many useful assignments. The assignments were straightforward and focused on teaching you how to apply what you have learnt. It’s also pretty chill so the prof will help you if you have problems with your assignment. It’s not so much assessment as it is homework for your own learning. The prof is super patient and super knowledgeable. He explains things well and clearly. He answers your questions, even if he had already answered the same question 10 times already, with a lot of patience.
What I didnt like about the module: There are few things I disliked about the modules, so I wouldnt say I didnt like the following things, but more of sian. The mixed classroom approach thing. Took up super a lot of time. Though I think it’s useful, it takes up much time. Assignments almost every week. Again, I find them very useful and necessary, but it sucks having to do assignments every week, especially if you have other modules too. Overall, nothing to hate about the module.
Good idea to take it?/advice: Are you doing research? If you are, good module to take. If you’re not, I’m not sure if you’ll enjoy it. It’s not the most exciting module, but it’s useful. Do the assignments BEFORE class. It helps heaps. Just try to keep up with the webcast lecture and assignments. Ask the moment you catch no ball. If you know what’s going on, you’ll do fine. The exam is not tricky, it’s straightforward, so you just have to know your stuff. It’s reasonable.
Grade I got: A

PL5225/PL5225R: Structural Equation Modelling
This module was taught by the same prof as PL5222. I had intended to take this on an S/U basis because my prof said that it was useful for my thesis and told me to take it. Prof Mike (the module prof) told me to just take it as a graded mod. So in the end, I took it as a graded module to clear my honours requirement. Didn’t regret it because I would’ve needed to put in the same amount of effort anyway.
Workload: 50% Assignments, 50% Finals (open book)
Course material: Powerpoint slides and Readings (Do not really have to do it unless you dont get the lectures)
What I liked about the module: Everything I said for PL5222 under this section applies here too. On top of that, I like how useful SEM is. In fact if you have to choose between PL5222 and this, choose this. It allows you to make your experiment more complex and all.
What I didnt like about the module: Everything I said for PL5222 under this section applies here too. What I didn’t like initially was that the learning curve was super steep. It’s difficult to understand things in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes a little bit more intuitive.
Good idea to take it?/advice: It’s a very useful module and you get to learn how to use R, which is a useful program to learn (same for PL5222). The prof is good and helpful. Assignments are manageable and finals are open book, what’s there not to like? haha. The exam is not tricky and it’s reasonable. It requires you to think, yes, but it’s not unreasonable.
Grade I got: A

 

Fine tuning

So much has gone on since the last time I blogged. A lot of meet-ups with people (crazy people), presentations, new CG and whatnots.

Midway through summer, I realise I havent done much of what I had set out to do. But then I still think I’m having a rather productive summer.

I guess what has been the most salient to me the past few weeks is the disagreements with Jet. They say honeymoon phase ends when you have your first quarrel or when you start disagreeing with your boyfriend.

We’ve had a few arguments the past few weeks, but it wasn’t what I thought it might be. At first, I had wanted to say we’ve had “heated arguments”, but then I realised, it wasnt that heated. It wasnt how I envisioned arguing to be.

I think this is probably because we are both (he more so) generally calm people. I think he also taught me in a way to “fight right”. I’ve always observed people quarrelling and I’ve always felt like quarrelling was not something I want to invest my time and energy. That’s because whenever I witness quarrelling, it’s more of people shouting at each other, nobody listening, no one really wanting to solve anything, dragging out old things, immature name-calling and then having a cool down period and then (maybe) being amicable again without working anything out. And then this cycle repeats again.

It seems rather fruitless and a waste of time. So I’m not one who likes to get into an argument because I feel like it’s pointless. I rather “let people go” and convince myself they’re not worth it than to fight it out with them. And the few times I was involved in an argument, nothing got resolved and I ended up disliking the person more.

So when Jet and I quarrelled, it was sort of a new experience to me. I didnt know what to do, to be honest. But I’m glad that I’ve got a good boyfriend who helps me understand what I’m feeling and trying to patiently listen to me get my words right. It’s funny because I dont think people actually help the other person find words to quarrel with them during an argument. But I’ve come to realise that that’s one of the qualities Jet have.

I’ll admit that I took the easy approach in the beginning. I always feel that quarrelling is senseless and useless, so I was more avoidant and unwilling to trash it out. But I think Jet has helped me see the value in arguing. I’m glad that he’s the kind that rather have me say everything I think, even if it disagrees with him, than let it fester in me. I’m glad he’s the kind that forces the conversation even when it isn’t easy. He made it easy to respond to him.

I remember during positive psych, there were like the big no-nos when you quarrel and the “how should you phrase things when you quarrel” chapter. Easier said than done. It really is.

But through these few weeks, I’ve learnt that I’m okay with disagreements now. I’m okay with confrontations now. Maybe with the condition that I’m okay if it’s with him. It’s very different when you’re fighting with someone who you know is motivated to really understand what’s going on and fix it. It’s also different when it’s someone whom you think is worth fighting with.

So that’s how my first fight that got resolved went. Haha it’s very odd actually, recording my first fight, but I think that’s life right? the ups and the downs. And I feel like it’s part of learning how to love other more. It’s part of understanding what gets on each other’s nerve and then using that information to love each other more, not to use it against each other. It’s also understanding the flaws, so we can cover each other’s back in the future. It’s learning how to work things out and knowing fighting doesnt mean not loving each other.

On another level, I guess it also kind of reassures me that Jet is someone who always wants to work things out. It makes me sort of a little bit more confident that we can handle disagreements in the future. And I guess he makes it all worth it too because he works at things we talk about. He puts in the effort to try be better and I’m always very appreciative of that.

On another note, we bought chip and dale plushies for our half a year anniversary. Hahaha, after long deliberation, we decided to get these ones. And I think it’s apt. Because he’s my partner in crime. Plus we kinda both look like chipmunks with our chipmunk cheeks and chipmunk teeth (Of course he’s the one with the smaller eyes)

So, here’s introducing you to QQ and TT (For qiqi and titi – chip and dale’s chinese names), who will be living apart until we get married. Please contribute to the cause of reuniting them. 1 like, 1 cm closer. (I’m kidding guyzxz, tho who am I to stop you from throwing money at them)

Results for the semester

Today, I woke up at 5am because I was nervous about the sms of doom. Little did I know wahehe was up since 3am, more nervous about her results. Well, it figures since this is her graduating semester and she’s on the borderline of getting a second upper (or distinction as they call it now).

So I rolled around my bed and blogged a little in my more private blog. The boyfriend, knowing I was nervous, woke up early too to accompany me. It was sweet. Finally was hungry enough to go get some bread and watch some youtube videos. Was watching some north korea nonsense and I missed the sms. Finally, decided to check and there the sms was.

I opened it and stared at the results and stared at it some more. Took a screenshot and sent it to my boyfriend.

I was happy like nothing. Relieved like everything. Grateful like anything (notice how much my english fails me at this point).

My CAP had risen by quite a substantial bit (by the standards of a y4).

It took me by surprise because yesterday I told Jet that I felt like I was just waiting for bad news. For one of my modules, 40% of my module didnt do as well as I hoped it would, so I was anticipating a b- or even a c+. But it came up to a B+.

The other two modules were master level statistics. I’m not sure if I blogged about this, but at the beginning of the semester, I was contemplating on whether I should take 2 master level stats in the same semester. In the end, I prayed about it and decided to have faith and do it. It felt like a shitty decision in the beginning because the learning curve was steep and I felt like an idiot every session.

On top of that, I joked with my boyfriend that I had an “extra” module this semester – him. It’s my first time in a relationship and it’s the first time I have to really plan my time to make sure I get things done. It’s also my first time that I felt less than disciplined at times. I felt like at the beginning, I was still getting the hang of juggling things and we had to make changes and comprises here and there, but we worked it out together. Discipline meant something new altogether. It meant doing my work in the day during the weekdays so that I could spend the weekend and weekdays nights with him. I’m proud to say that other than exam period, I really committed weekends to not doing work at all.

I did sort of question myself if I was adequate enough to take on a relationship as well as studies. I also sort of gave in to the idea that one had to suffer. But as it turns out, it neednt. In fact, my semester CAP is the highest it has ever been in my 4 years.

I really thank God for guiding me all these time. I’ve always said that studies is the area of my life that I completely surrender to God. Doesnt mean I dont study, but it means I stop worrying about it and focus on studying. This semester, halfway through the semester when I got a little discouraged, I told God that I was ready to surrender another part of my life completely to Him. And that’s my relationship. That’s another blogpost for another time, but I truly believe that God’s in control.

Yesterday, I told Jet that regardless of the results, I will still trust God. He reminded me that God always have something good in store for us. So I want to thank God for always being faithful to me, especially when I’m not. For guiding me and reassuring me at different points in the semester.

And I want to thank Jet. For being my constant pillar of adorbs and support. The days are so much easier and better with you. I know in my heart, how much your support and encouragement give me confidence and the ability to do things. How they make me a more resilient person to bounce back and get back on track, especially this semester when things got bad. How they shield and protect me this semester, so that I can continue to do what I set out to do. Sometimes, just knowing I have you to fall back on just makes me less stressed out. I dont think it’s any coincidence that this semester was my highest CAP ever in NUS. You really give me strength and faith to take risks and do things.

We always joke you’re my extra module, but you’re not. You’re my pillar of support, my secret weapon, my motivation and my biggest cheerleader.