Friday, December 30, 2011

The Year that was

It was a year that welcomed new stages in life as some things had to be left in the past.

The one major component of this year was college, and more specifically, the people of PM4. It was a new environment for us all as we fresh out of high school. I remember the first day of class where we had our "orientation", everything seemed so awkward still. I think the one who really spurred the craziness of our class was John, the weirdest assistant class rep you could ever get. A guy who leans in so close to your face during random times it's claustrophobic, who can do splits, wakes you up by going "HARK!" when you least expect it and who likes almost every comment and post on our class group page. According to him,the class was so quiet initially, he figured he had to do something crazy to lighten things up. And thank god he did! We've gone through so much together now, there was our epic oreo prank on Ms Lim during April Fool's day, class parties, farewells, sleepovers, badminton sessions,movie and karaoke sessions and the class trip to Singapore!Ok, I shall stop going into detailed on the class as I think PM4 deserves a post on its own when we graduate next year. So, it's been a year of ups and downs with the Pre-MAD people but I'm looking forward to another 6 months of mayhem!

Another big chunk of college was CALEB. Ok I know most of my readers would fall under this group (Hi Yunny! Hi Shufy! =3) so I shal try to keep this short too haha. Well, joining CALEB has introduced to people who I think have clicked better with me than some classmates. Maybe we share more common interests( like the love of manga/anime XD) or somehow it's just much more easier talking to them. Things never got off to a great start and are still pretty rough now. Conflicts seem to keep arising from certain parties but what organisation doesn't have it's share of politics? Just that sometimes I really feel like bitch-slapping someone and telling them to quit living in their own delusional bubble or to acquire some sense of self-respect. Geez. Well, our tenure has yet to end to, so I stop here. Let's hope the yearbook doesn't turn out a disaster. *shuffles feet and moves on*

From this year onwards, I won't be directly involved with the Girl Guides of CHS anymore, only a senior who visits occasionally to dish out advice(whether it helps is another thing) or just to observe. After going through so much with an organisation that taught you so much, and possibly changed you for the better, it is hard to fully detach yourself from it. I've managed to return for most of the major events- Junior Camp, Night Gathering, and most recently, the Permit Camp (and it was during AS!). Nevertheless,it isn't the same when you're not the one building gadgets under the hot sun all the long, fretting over the goings of your camp, or losing sleep to finish more gadgets and rush logbooks. Haha it doesn't sound as bad as it does, seriously. All these activities are what bring you and your groupmates together.Camping really does bring out the best and worst of you. When I returned for Permit, Ms Margaret even asked me to help her be the tester by checking on their campsite. Sigh. Glad to still be part of all this. Looking forward for more events in the future.

I guess, as a result of not fully being part of the girl guides anymore, I joined Raleigh. It was actually something I knew of for quite a long time. I read articles on it in the paper years ago, about how they traveled rural areas to help the communities there. So, I finally got the chance to join one of their Introduction Weekends(IW) March this year. I think,besides the activities they do, one of the factors that make you stick to Raleigh would be their people. Never have seen such dedicated and passionate youths. These are really people with hopes of bringing change for our community. They come from all walks of life, but have all gathered under Raleigh( and for some, other youth organisation of their own) to channel their beliefs and knowledge to future eager young participants. Unfortunately, I couldn't be as active as I would like to be. Due to other events clashing or exams looming, I missed out on most of the Monthly Meets and couldn't be a facilitator for the other two IWs held after mine. Hopefully, next year allows me more time to be involved with more simpler pleasures such as this.

Now for some more possibly life-changing events. One was how I had gotten a scholarship from JPA, which entails a chosen Pre-U course and then a degree course in medicine in IMU. Let me digress a bit here, I recently finish that Steve Jobs' Biography by Walter Isaacson. One thing I can relate with Steve is how he has this urge to control every aspect of his company. For me, I would say it's more of an urge to want to have control of my choices in life,to have everything pre-planned in my head and to be played out like how I wanted it. Sure for more trivial matters, like whether I should go out tomorrow or when I do my work, I leave to chance. But for those major ones, I would like to have the decision made in advance. So, I had already set in mind that I wanted to apply to UCAS and to at least, get an offer from a UK uni, probably the moment I decided on A-Levels. So, when the scholarship offer arrived, I knew I would not relent so easily. In the end, a compromise was worked out( Eternal Gratitude to my mum for all her effort in making this work) and I'm still in Taylor's,the scholarship is sort of suspended until I go to IMU and I'm nervously awaiting the results of my university applications. Would things have been different if I has gone to INTEC(which was the Pre-U institution I got offered), who knows, but I don't regret not leaving TCSJ and even if I am to take a Gap Year, it would be way more beneficial than studying A-Levels again for two years.

Now this is the most shattering event of the year, which was my grandmother's passing in June. She was with me us our whole lives as she stayed nearby and come over every day and after she got very ill, stayed at our home. I really did wish there was more of her time here to be with us, to see me and brothers grow up but it would only be selfish upon that. We could see that she was already in a lot of suffering during those final months and at least now, she is finally at ease.

That's all of the more significant events of 2011. I would say this is more of a record than it is a reflection. I don't know what next year has in store for me, but I'm sure it will be one full of stress(A2!) and maybe heartbreak(Uni apps!)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Another Silent Night

I am currently facing this..somewhat minor dilemma, and maybe writing it will help it be more organised.

Well, for some A-Levels students, now would be the time where they eagerly check their email inboxes, hoping for a reply, or even an offer from the universities that they have applied to. I too, have been offers, but only offers that invite me for interviews. So, just for your knowledge, I've applied to Cambridge, Dundee, Edinburgh and Imperial. Cambridge and Dundee interviews have been done with and Edinburgh requires no interview. The offer/rejection letters should come in by January hopefully. So, Imperial also just recently gave me an interview offer. Thing is, it requires me flying all the way to London.

I have consulted some friends on the matter but opinions have been divided. Some say to go for it but others say not to risk it. Now that one thinks of it, those who were against it are those who are also in the UCAS applications phases. Anyway, the main obstacle that is making this decision so hard is the money. Flying to London just to have an interview would cost about 5k already (air tickets + other expenses). Then, it's not like going all the way means I'm certain of an offer. Heck, even if all 4 unis gave me offers, I may not even end up picking one =/ with me already have one scholarship. My poor cousin flew all the way for his Oxford interview and ended up rejected, as well as my other friends who applied. Sigh.

But, me, being myself, wouldn't want to let this go without trying. I would not want to regret leaving this hanging. Even if this uni isn't my top choice ( Imperial being in London,isss pricey), I would still want to know if I'm capable of a place. See how my stubbornness and foolishness leads me to situations not unlike this.

Maybe I'll just continue waiting. See whether something happens to make this easier. For some reason, the email did not say by when I should reply. And they are on Christmas break now.

Or maybe, I shall go flip a coin.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Dying Breed

After two trips I had overseas where contact I had with the people involved was exceedingly more than the usual,I have come to find that members of the male population (not all though,this is just what I have observed) are becoming increasingly.. invalid.

The first trip, was my class trip to Singapore. Guys in PM(Pre-Medical) are more rare,thus only had a total of 8 guys in the class but only 6 went for the trip(and 1 only showed up for USS). Even if you guys were little in numbers, you could at least have shown a weeee bit more concern for your female classmates. I don't deny that you all can still be gentleman,with I remember at least 2 of you still willing to carry some of the girl's stuff and one of you occasionally made sure everyone was walking ahead and not too far behind the group. Yet, we all made a deal to meet up at Clarke Quay for dinner, and only 3 of us showed up. The guys had all decided to have a Japanese buffet instead. You said you did send an sms but it's either it didn't get through or it was an excuse. Never mind, the fault of technology then. I was not really mad about this, but someone was. Thankfully, this has been resolved the night itself. Then, there was the issue of clubbing. The people who wanted to go changed from "everyone" to noone then back to everyone and then in the end, it was just six girls. Sure you guys are tired and you have no interest but should have at least volunteered to see the girls to the MRT? And pick the two of us stranded at Clarke Quay from the station. (Our hostel was still quite a walk away from the nearest MRT station and it was nearing midnight when we got back). And then, the guys tried to seem more superior by taking the MRT to our bus pickup while the girls all took taxis. Made us all worry you guys wouldn't arrive in time. Sigh.

And the next trip was with my family. The men in my family either all seem oblivious to the fact that my mum and aunt were doing all the heavywork or they just took it for granted. Even after asking my bro to carry the groceries for my mum, he turned a blind eye. My mum, in exasperation, turned a blind eye. I feel so bad to my aunt and mum because they did most of the washing up and cooking. At least the rest of us managed to redeem ourselves by cooking dinner the last night,as mum and aunt went to meet a friend. Found out how lost the guys would be if mum wasn't around, or maybe even me.

I know how times are changing where women have risen up the social pyramid, becoming more independent and slowly overruling males but this isn't really a gender issue,more of one of morals and courtesy. Why wouldn't you not even bother to help a family member/friend carry heavy items or offer to accompany your friend who has to travel alone in the dark?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Loose Cannon

It has been quite a while since I was as depressed as I was yesterday. I don't know whether it was because of one major cause or the accumulation of many things happening at once.

One thing of course was the supposed rejection from Jardine. Sure, there may still be hope of going straight to Round 3 if I secure a place in one of the four chosen Cambridge colleges (snorts). But what saddens me more is that I wasn't even capable enough to make it through a screening round. Now how will I face my coming interview this Saturday? At least this setback shoved in my face the fact that I have to work on some kinks during interviews.

Then, some slightly not so major things. How my friend views her part-time job as an assistant at an eye specialist clinic as more crucial than just relinquishing one day from her whole month of work to hang out. Yet, I don't think it would a problem if it were with her boyfriend. Sigh. How being apart physically has seemed to throw us mentally and spiritually apart. And you got an interview offer from Oxford. Kinda fired another blow at me, but since I only told you about Jardine afterwards, not you to blame,and I'm happy for you nevertheless.

I kept losing at Tetris consecutively until the extent that I was pretty pissed off when someone initiated a conversation with me. Sorry. Due to tetris, I started Math homework. Shouldn't have underestimated it,ended up wanting to kill myself in the middle of the night.

Oh yes,back to Jardine. Being rejected by Jardine seems to give me the feeling that my Cambridge application will go along the same path. Thus all the negative feelings.