Saturday, 31 January 2015

JANUARY IN REVIEW


The first chapter of 2015 is over!

It has been quite a busy month since school has started, but there's also the whole 'let's catch up before school gets busy' mood going on, so I'm getting used to being back in school plus meeting up with friends. Still, with the social exhaustion that I am feeling in Tembusu, I am more than happy to meet and catch up with all my other friends :)

Back to school

I am proud to say that I MANAGED TO WAKE UP FOR 8AM BREAKFAST EVERY SINGLE WEEKDAY FOR ALL THREE WEEKS OF SCHOOL! YAYYYY!

Buuuut, I am still falling behind for certain modules. I haven't even gotten my textbook for Psychology in Everyday Life yet. I am a terrible student.

Turning 21

There isn't actually much of a difference between how I was before 16 Jan and how I am after 16 Jan. I still feel like the same person. I guess freedom and growing up comes gradually (at least for me), so a change in age is not exactly a threshold to cross and I do not feel much of an impact.

Still, I really appreciate all my friends who bothered to meet up and celebrate! Much love for all of you ^_^

Send-offs

So 3 of our T4 people flew off for their student exchange on the very same night. 'Twas a fun night of Changi Village dinner and rushing around the airport!

First up, Vernon flying off to Copenhagen! 

Next up, Hwee Tze flying off the Copenhagen too!

Finally, Ziyang flying off to Switzerland!

Student Leader Retreat

Me and Winter represented CNM Society at the FASS Club Student Leader Retreat thingythingy. I was dreading it at first since I had to wake up early on a Saturday and travel to the other end of the island.

The retreat turned out to be quite useful actually! We broke into small groups and discussed the problems each department or society faced, possible solutions, etc. It was more than just talking nonsense or making small talk, so overall a rather fruitful session!

Met up with Mabel!

Always happy to catch up with (relatively) old friends. Old is gold, really. I don't know why it is getting harder for me to make friends with people in uni, but I am glad that the friends I made before university are still there for me :)

I finally got to satisfy my Nam Nam Noodle Bar cravings!

Lunch set meal! $9.90 for noodles, salad and iced Viet drip coffee with condensed milk.

I used to think that the food at Nam Nam was overpriced because it just looks like kway teow soup to me, which you can get at the hawker centre for less than half this price. Trying it for the first time has enlightened me because pho and kway teow really do taste different. I SEE THE LIGHT NOW.

The noodles are more springy and chewy, and the soup is tastier in my opinion. Is there lemongrass in the soup? If yes then I guess that's what makes it taste special. It tastes really light and subtly sweet, so I guess I will never get sick of eating it all day.

Oh, the coffee came with a bamboo straw but since Mabel and I were unsure and thought maybe it was just a stirrer, we decided not to use it for fear of being ridiculed, ha ha.

CNNY exco reunion

Finally met up with the CNNY exco! We totally had this Korean theme going on, with all the korean food we had that day.

First of all, Chicken Up! There's this early bird discount where you get 20% off your bill if you leave before 730pm, so yay for us early birdies who arrived at 520pm!

We had the much raved-about Watermelon Soju! It turned out to be a major disappointment though. It pretty much tastes like watermelon juice that is slightly bitter (cos of the alcohol), that's all. Not really worth the hype, apart from the presentation.

 Order it for Instagram-worthy pictures but the appeal ends there.

Next was the Cheese Toppoki with Seafood! Never had toppoki before, so this was quite a good first try. Rice cakes, glass noodles and mussels in this cheesy spicy sauce, not bad!

Looks really spicy but it's so shiok to eat!

 The chicken tasted pretty normal but still good!


We went in search of some bingsu after that! Tried the ones at Tom n Toms Coffee.

We got Milk Tea, Yogurt Cheesecake and Matcha bingsu! I think we each had a favourite and mine was definitely the Milk Tea one. Tasted like legit milk tea! The yogurt one was too sour for me, my sweet tooth objects.

Glorious, glorious shaved ice.
Aaaaand, we were coincidentally dressed in stripes that day! TELEPATHIC MUCH.
Kangzhi isn't in the photo because he was the only one not in stripes + he was the photographer, oops.

So cute like zebras.

Andrea's birthday

Princess Andy turns twenty! (It rhymes!!!)

We had this mini princessy tea party planned, so tea and cakes and macarons! Plus a Princess Ariel balloon for the birthday princess!

Birthday song complete with a Ukelele and Guitar!
Also, that is toilet paper cascading down from her party hat, ha ha ha ha ha.

A rather weird and awkward suite photo, heh.

TGIF

Today (31 Jan) was like some HTHT day. Lunched at the Deck for 2 hours while talking nonsense with some T4 people, had a great talk with Xingxing after dinner all the way till 11pm, then met Machiavelli for drinks + King's Cup + talking and catching up till 340am! 

I am supposed to wake up early tomorrow to study, but it's 4am and my head is pounding from the drinking... sheesh. 

Still, a really great way to end the month! It's been awhile, so today was filled with much-needed catching up sessions! :)

***

Three weeks into Tembusu and I am too socially exhausted to sustain any form of superficial social interaction. Sigh. I think I need lots of alone time/time with old friends to recharge. May February be a more productive month.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

INSTANT HAPPINESS: JUST ADD WATER

happiness is not something ready made it comes from your own actions

Every now and then, I find myself feeling unhappy and wallowing in self-pity - that is when I feel this urge to slap myself for being pathetic and whiny because a lot of times, I am being unhappy by choice. Of course, sadness is an inevitable part of our lives, but doesn't that just make it even more vital to do away with the unnecessary and avoidable ones?

Sometimes I think about the past and regret, which is utterly useless because what good will looking back do when moving forward is obviously the more beneficial and productive option for me? Sometimes I feel lonely and invisible, but a lot of times all I need to do is be less passive and reach out to my friends instead of always waiting for them to take the initiative.

Recently, I feel like the need to take control of my life is getting more pressing. I get overwhelmed by all the schoolwork that keeps piling up higher and higher, I feel invisible and ignored around some of my friends, I keep procrastinating my internship applications, and my mind tends to drift off to the past with regrets abound. Instead of letting my irrational feelings determine how my day turns out, perhaps I should be the one taking control over how my feelings play out.

I guess these things do not guarantee happiness for extended periods of time, but doing things that make you happy in the short-term is a good start. Fake it till you make it, yeah?

Trampoline park

This would be a more pricey option plus you might require company, but I think if you ever need to take your mind off things, this is a great way to get those endorphins going (am I getting my psych facts right?)

Just look at Rachel jumping away here, haha!

How can you feel sad while jumping on trampolines? I think it is physically impossible to feel sad while jumping on trampolines.

If jumping on trampolines does not work then maybe try jumping on some tramps.

Get some exercise

A more convenient option would be to get some exercise the normal cost-free way. I find that jogging takes my mind off things pretty well, especially if the weather is perfect for a run (i.e. lots of breeze). Isn't it scientifically proven that exercise makes people feel good? So get your lazy ass out of misery and get some fresh air!

Clean your room 

Whenever I feel like sluggish and loathe myself for being such an unproductive lazy bum, I do a bit of cleaning or tidying up. It doesn't even have to be a big deal, just cleaning my desk would do. Removing clutter, rearranging my things so it is neater and wiping the desk top can be all it takes to make me feel more productive and get me geared up to do some work. If you simply have no time to spare, just sweeping the floor might work as well. I get a slight sense of accomplishment plus I feel more productive, which makes me feel better about myself in general, if that makes any sense.

Happy playlist

I did the dumbest thing of listening to sad songs about heartbreak/lost love/etc (see: 龙卷风 and 安静 by Jay Chou) and got myself into an unnecessary pensive and broody mood that night. Stupid how I do this to myself when I could just as easily do the opposite by listening to happy songs that can lift my mood instead.

I have this 'Happy Vibes' playlist in my iPod that is filled with happy and upbeat songs, which comes in handy whenever I need some cheering up. Anything melancholic like Jay Chou and Death Cab for Cutie is a no-no in your happy playlist!

A random happy playlist from 8tracks:


Karaoke

Karaoke is awesomeTeoheng is the best. Cheap karaoke + you can bring in your own food and drinks + they provide you with a tambourine and some shaking percussion thingy to create even more noise = BEST PLACE EVER. 

Seriously, I feel like everyone should learn to lose their inhibition and sing karaoke because it is just so much fun. This is the one place you can sing as loudly or terribly as you want and avoid getting judged. Just sing your heart out.

Getting over a heartbreak? Pour out your feelings by singing sad Jay Chou songs. Want to lift your mood? Sing something chill like The Lazy Song or do something crazy like rap along to Super Bass (a must in every of my Teoheng sessions, hee). There is always a song for every mood.

Alternatively, you can sing anywhere you want as long as you do not care about being judged or complained about. The world is your karaoke.

Watch a sitcom

My favourite way to cheer myself up! I love watching shows of varying genres but sitcoms are my favourite because they never fail to take my mind off things. Friends, The Mindy Project, Modern Family or The Big Bang Theory are my favourites.

Friends is my absolute #1 choice because it is just so... comforting. I am re-watching it for the fifth or sixth time already, and I am still not sick of it. Each time I watch it, I catch a new joke that I missed the previous time. Also, the group of friends being there for each other despite all their shitty moments in life just makes me feel more reassured about my own life and uncertain future. 


Modern Family is great because each episode has a lesson behind it, and there is always a happy ending. It reminds you how your family will be there for you no matter what. Also, Phil, Gloria and Luke are the most adorable characters ever!!

Aww Phil


Read a book

Mindless chick lit are the best! When I have so many things to read for school already, all I want is something relatively shallow to take my mind off things. Anything by Sophie Kinsella works for me. Basically, nothing by John Green (love of your life dying of cancer) or Jodi Picoult (murder and cancer and high school shootings, oh my). I love their books but when it comes to cheering up, I try to steer clear of them.

Manage your expectations

This is not an activity per se, but it is something I realised is important to do. I think it is about time I constantly remember that many things in life will not turn out exactly how I want them to be. As much as we can strive for perfection, it is only something to work towards but never achieve, much like an asymptote.

A lot of times, I get upset because I expect too much of others and they end up letting me down. I tend to project the expectations I have for myself on others as well, whether as a friend or as a group member, but that is just setting myself up for disappointment. 

***

I feel like life just keeps getting harder and reality keeps smacking me in the face. Ignorance is bliss and the privilege of seeing the world through a rose-tinted glass is long gone. It is inevitable - with every day you experience, something happens (to yourself or to others) that makes you realise how life is actually like. Each day, I am reminded of more and more reasons why the future might seem bleak, which makes it more crucial than ever befor to keep my emotions and expectations in check.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

RANDOM READS #2


In case of boredom - more random things I read recently:

01. The Nectar Collective | A guest post about why bad breakups are the best, which spoke to me because I could relate to it so well :\ And this post is just plain funny.

02. Anna and the French Kiss | Finished this book in two days because it was quite addictive! It's a young adult book, so it was a really fun and easy read; great way to take your mind off things and occupy yourself for a few hours! I wanted to read something more light-hearted after I was done with May We Be Forgiven. It has the usual things you find in a girly YA novel: friendship issues, boy crushes and school. But this was a boarding school, and I love stories set in boarding schools (I think it started with Enid Blyton's books, which made me wish I got to experience life in boarding school as well back when I was young)!

03. The College Prepster | This post that I could really relate to about social anxiety and the self-consciousness I feel at the thought of being alone at a remotely social event, even if it is just dinner in the dining hall.

04. Reddit | Ah, my go-to solution to curing boredom (especially in boring lectures)! I can get lost in Reddit for hours since there are constantly new and interesting topics to read in the forums. This comment might be useful for studying (and just in time for school too). And since I love creeping myself out, this one totally sucked me in.

***

Currently re-reading The Doomsday Conspiracy by Sidney Sheldon because I was bored at home. Aliens and conspiracies, just the cup of tea for the cynic in me!

I have decided that Fridays and Saturdays will be declared no-work day, unless exams and assignments are due. Back to studying tomorrow (I hope!)

Thursday, 22 January 2015

MID-WEEK RAMBLINGS

MONDAY: REUNITED WITH ZE BESTIE ♥

Amidst our long-distance bestfriendship (lol so cheesy), WE FINALLY REUNITED!!!

The last time we met in person was two years ago when she came to Singapore for half a day.
This time round, we met from 12mn till 9am the next morning. Just a quarter of a day, but better than nothing!

YAY TO FINALLY MEETING UP! ♥

Went to the airport to fetch her, and I was super duper excited also because I love Changi Airport
One of my favourite places to visit! I love how spacious it is, how well-furbished it is, how it is lively no matter what time of the day, how there are washrooms and bins everywhere you go. There's just this vibe or atmosphere that appeals to me. I can't quite think of the right word to describe it for now.

Sitting at the arrival hall waiting for Yaxue.
Just by sitting there, you get to eavesdrop on all the conversations, in so many different languages. It's like I am traveling the world without having to leave the seat. Am I making any sense here?
Went to Niqqi's The Cheese Prata Shop for supper, but the food was rather disappointing. You would think that an eatery with a name like that would have pratas that live up to its literal name, but nope, just below-average prata.

Mee Rebus and prata!
Walked all the way back to Tembusu and spent the rest of our time chilling in my room, walking to Cheers, sitting by Town Green to talk, walking to Sheng Shiong (at 5am lol), and getting some Starbucks to keep ourselves awake since we had absolutely no sleep at all (not even exaggerating here).

UTown at night is so peaceful and lovely.
After chilling at Starbucks till it was daylight.
Yaxue is the one person I can truly talk to about anything and everything without feeling like I would get judged, while knowing that she would have my best interest at heart and tell me what I need to hear, not just what I would want to hear.

It is nice to finally be able to talk to her in person. Facetime/Skype is just not the same - it is less personal when we are separated by a screen (and 3000-over miles), which is not the most ideal means of communication (but the best we can get, considering our situation).

Quite sad that I couldn't send her off at the airport because of school :(

Back to Facetiming again, I guess! Better than nothing :)

TUESDAY: KARAOKE WITH MOOMOOS

Our overdue outing to Teoheng!

Karaoke with this bunch of people is the best. Everyone gets all enthusiastic and loses all inhibition and just sings along. Usually when I pick Barbie Girl, I sing (in that Barbie voice, no less) and everyone judges me but this time, everyone just joins in with my craziness. Awwww :')

I am glad that this OG is still pretty bonded! When I was the OGL for several camps, my goal was to make them bonded even beyond the camp. Things are working out pretty well so far!

MOOMOOS!

WEDNESDAY: DINNER WITH MACHIAVELLI

First dinner of the sem! Yet another OG that I really hoped would remain bonded even after orientation is over. I am glad we still meet up, although not as much as it would ideally be if you consider how we are actually all living in the same building together.

Had a good time catching up and talking nonsense over good 'ol Tembusu Dining Hall dinner!

***

Week 2 of school started off really well!

I am trying to improve my study habits: 8am breakfast every day, attempt to do my readings in advance, go for lectures prepared and minimise the amount of last-minute work. Week 1 went rather smoothly, let's hope this can continue! YAY TO PRODUCTIVITY!

Here is a buzzfeed article to calm you down if the stress is getting to you already! ;)

Sunday, 18 January 2015

TWENTYONE

Week 1 of school happened to be my birthday week as well, which was a great way to start the semester :)

Decided not to hold a party although it was my 21st because I found it too extravagant and am too shy to request that people attend an event celebrating me. It felt like more attention than I would be comfortable with. 

I am, however, extremely thankful to have amazing friends who not only remembered my birthday but bothered to celebrate with me. Whether it was through meeting up for a meal, cards, presents or just a whatsapp message, I appreciate it a lot! Especially since I removed my birthday from Facebook 10 minutes before it hit 00:00 16/01/2015 (because too many birthday comments from Facebook friends that I barely know was too much to deal with), which means anyone who wished me on the actual day remembered my birthday without the help of Facebook :)

***

Monday

Dinner @ Supply & Demand with the Arts Camp '13 batch mates! ♥ 

Yay to my first friends in NUS!

Carbonara was super cheesy and creamy!
Too jelat so I couldn't finish it.
The sauce dries up quite quickly and turns into this lumpy paste... had to get them to heat it up again after awhile :\

The Morning After! (lol at the pizza name)
This has mushrooms, bacon and most importantly, a RUNNY EGG!
It was quite a soggy pizza but I like it cuz I love eggs ^v^

Superga Buddies

Aww, much love to this bunch of people!
Forever blessed to have met you guys way back when I was a blur freshman, heehee.

Wednesday

Met up with Sam and Jiarui to have McSpicy, ha ha! He's the one that convinced me to try my very first McSpicy, and I am honoured to witness his first McSpicy after being back from exchange, LOL.

Birthday card from Sam!

Thursday

Dinner @ 49 Seats with the lovelies!

Klar's Cheesy Chicken Chop, Joanne's Classic Carbonara and my Tom Yam Pasta!
The Tom Yam Pasta was not bad! Creamy pasta usually gets sickening after awhile, so the tangy Tom Yam taste adds an interesting twist.

Cheese fries with LOTS OF CHEESE.
I love how generous they were with the nacho cheese sauce! 

Twelve Cupcakes from them ^v^

Aaaaand they got me my second pair of Supergas!
I was seriously considering getting another pair in black, so yay now I have both!
I am turning into a Superga hoarder, oh no :O
The very lovely bunch of friends, awww *hugs*
Love our expressions here!

Friday (aka the actual day) 

Morning picnic @ Town Green!

Oh my gosh, this was such a cute surprise!

At midnight, I heard this bump against my door so I went out of my room, only to be greeted by my suite mates wishing me Happy Birthday. Then I realised Dawn slipped this under my door:

So cute!!!
We already made plans for breakfast at 8am anyway, so I thought 'oh how cute, they made an invitation card for breakfast cos it happens to be my birthday'.

Next morning, nobody was around in the suite until around 830am when Andrea came and made small talk in my room before suggesting that we go for breakfast first.

Entered the lift at Level 7. The lift stopped at Level 5 and a few of them entered the lift holding plates of sandwiches. At first I thought "omg how did Andrea know to enter the same lift that they were taking???" then I realised they were awkwardly ignoring me and pretending not to see me... so... yep, I was not supposed to notice them with the sandwiches, let alone be in the same lift as them.

Finally got out of the awkward lift and Andrea suggested that we "take a walk", so I followed her to Town Green... and saw a group of people sitting in a circle on a white plastic sheet right in the middle of the grass patch. Hahahaha.

Soooo, everything turned out to be a surprise morning picnic @ Town Green!

SO SUPER DUPER CUTE. Imagine a huge patch of grass and a group of people sitting right smack in the middle of it, wearing party hats while having a picnic when it's 9 in the morning.

Really yummy sandwiches and a failed fruit salad (because the yogurt turned bad).

LOL Liana (and a very glam Esther)

*awwwwww* the people that make my Tembusu life amazing :)
I am really so very very touched by all their efforts!!!
They probably had to wake up really early to prepare everything. Slicing the bread and toasting it, cutting the fruits, getting all those utensils from the dining hall, etc.
Most of them wouldn't have to wake up this early if not for the picnic!

I am terrible at expressing my emotions, so whatever emotions I showed on my face is probably just a tiny fraction of what I actually felt (maybe it's partly my small eyes making my face less expressive).
AAAHHH REALLY VERY VERY TOUCHED! :')

Zhenying was not feeling well and couldn't make it for the picnic but she got me a present anyway!
I WAS EYE-ING THIS LAST TIME BUT DIDN'T GET IT COS $$$
OMG SO HAPPY WHEN I SAW THIS!
Next up, lunch @ The Sushi Bar with Chris!

My favourite Japanese restaurant ever, because I looooove their Scallop Mentaiyaki and Salmon Aburi Roll!

Salmon Aburi Roll: better than Shiok Maki (in my opinion).
Birthday card from Chris!
Looks very nice right? But HE WROTE THE WRONG AGE on the inside.
He had no idea I was 21, not 22, until I clarified him during lunch.
Hahahahaha!
***

I am honestly so very thankful to have friends that bothered making my birthday memorable :)

Chocolate cake on Monday, 6 cupcakes on Thursday, chocolate cake again on Friday. Pasta and pizza on Monday, pasta and cheese fries on Thursday, sushi on Friday. OH MY GOD ALL THAT FOOD. Ate so much that I really need to start exercising and watching my diet soon, but that really is just #firstworldproblems.

I am supposedly an "adult" now but I feel as childish as ever. I don't want to grow up :(

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

WHY YOU SHOULD SAY YES TO NYJC

/edit - this was posted 2 years ago and the information might be outdated. 

It's been two years since I graduated from NYJC but seeing the recent flood of #sayyestoNYJC tweets recently, I realised just how much I am still brimming with pride for my school :)

I was and still am amazed by how students voluntarily promote the school on social media when it's that time of the year again (i.e. release of O Level results). I think it says a lot when students promote their school on their own accord. Take a look at the #sayyestoNYJC tweets and you can just sense the pride they have for the school. The students love the school so much that they willingly and happily spread the word on social media because good things must share, ha ha. That hashtag was even trending for several days.

4 years ago, I was that kid deciding if I should choose NYJC and being completely swayed by all the good things people had to say about that school. One year later, as an NYJCian, I was proudly promoting it on Twitter and on forums as well. It goes to show that all the hype you hear about NY? It is true. It is not just propaganda or publicity that occurs during the Open House period - the pride and love you have for NYJC stays with you beyond Open House publicity and even after you have graduated.

So, why was Nanyang Junior College the best choice I could have ever made?


01. Conducive learning/study environment.

NYJC teachers are definitely a dedicated bunch, and you will realise this especially when it's nearing A Levels and you see teachers sacrificing their free time just so you can have consultations with them. Some of them can sit there from morning till night (ok, maybe evening) with only a short lunch break, just so you get to seek help with your revision and prepare better for your exams. You try sitting at the same spot for hours on end to see how tiring it can be, and you will understand just how dedicated the teachers can be.

The thing about NYJC is that the efforts to improve your learning environment do not just stop there; apart from having dedicated teachers, the school itself is made conducive. Students request for more study benches? The school gets more benches so now the students have even more space to study. Need a conducive place for study sessions? The school is open even during the weekends and public holidays, and you get to book a classroom to study in if you want to.

This was so helpful during my A Level days. Instead of fighting for a spot in the library (have you seen the hoards of people waiting for the library to open? It is scary) or hogging seats at McDonald's since I cannot study at home without falling asleep, I just study in school. There is no need to fight for a seat since there is a whole canteen full of benches, on top of the many many benches scattered around the school for you to use. It is rather quiet and peaceful during the weekends or holidays, sometimes even more so than a library. I see this as an effort made to cater to the students' needs, and it is something I really appreciated when I was a student there.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. Even the lecture theatres have tables catered to left-handers. They really see to every tiny detail that can be improved for our welfare and learning.


02. (relatively) more freedom

I am not saying this in an "f yeah no rules, imma f shit up and ain't nobody gonna stop me" kind of way. I think in NYJC, the school rules are a lot less strict than elsewhere. They do not restrict the colour of our shoes/socks/hair ties, they do not conduct attire checks regularly, etc. The focus here is not on the lack of rules but on what this leniency suggests. To me, the message I got was that the school treats us as responsible human beings and we are trusted not to require micromanagement from teachers.

If they were to implement a rule, they explain their rationale to us. In my two years there, there was only one attire check. The teacher explained that they chanced upon some lewd comments online about this NYJC girl wearing her school skirt really short, and they want us to avoid being in such a situation because duh, for your own safety, do not attract leers from horny perverts. Another time, I wore hot pink nail polish to school and my PW teacher told me not to wear something so bright during my presentation because duh, common sense, wearing bright nails for a PW presentation is just asking for a fail. See, each time they enforce a rule, they explain to us and treat us like we are responsible people who can understand such reasoning. I dislike it when schools are like "no coloured shoes because no coloured shoes so no coloured shoes".

In return, I have noticed that students from NYJC tend not to rebel. They treat us like responsible young adults and so we behave like one.  It is not like they are too lenient, since there are definitely rules. Things like no smoking, no skipping of class, etc, those rules are still in place of course, but I am glad that the school does not waste hours conducting attire checks and reprimanding us on having coloured shoes and other trivial matters because such things only dampen the mood and waste our time.

(I remember my teacher once said that "Nanyang students are angels", ha ha, and I agree! *shameless*)


03. NYJC students are happy

Of course this is quite a general comment to make about the entire student population, but from my observation, Nanyang students seem pretty happy with school life. I think this could tie in with my previous points about students having school pride and being treated like responsible young adults. Without being scolded every day for trivial matters like having untucked shirt (impossible because our blouses/shirts have an elastic at the bottom so your shirt will be effortlessly neat), there are less things to ruin a school day.

Also, with things like free ice cream (and other types of food) being given out on certain occasions (e.g. Youth Day, celebrating good A Level results, appreciating the efforts put in for Open House), how can you not be happy? Even on the worst day ever, having a free Magnum ice cream would make things a little less shitty.

Ah yes, the legendary free Magnum ice cream.

I am not saying you should choose NYJC to get free ice cream, I am saying that a school does not miraculously and naturally have happy students without anything being done about it. Conducive learning environment, dedicated teachers, small treats every now and then, these things add up, no matter how trivial they may appear to be.

One more thing: the people in NYJC are just so... nice. In my experience at least, there doesn't seem to be any social hierarchy. Everyone was just so friendly and inclusive. I feel like if I ever needed help, I could just ask anyone that passes by without fear of rejection or ridicule. My point here is not about friendship, just people being nice to one another in general, regardless of familiarity. It is always nice and comforting to be in an accepting environment :)

You will be spending at least two years of your life slogging away for that A Level certificate - don't you want it to at least be a happy experience?


04. Four dress down days

Basically for four days a week, students can wear any school-related shirt. You can wear the uniform, Nanyang polo tee or a class/cca shirt. Even on that one day where you need to wear a school uniform, the school polo tee counts as uniform so you can wear that in place of the shirt/blouse (at least that was the rule a few years ago, things might have changed...?)

Do you know how stuffy and uncomfortable a school uniform can be? When it is hot and humid and you have to climb stairs or walk to school while wearing a shirt made of thick scratchy material with buttons and a collar, ugh. Who would be in the mood to study when your uniform is stuck to your skin thanks to all that perspiration from Singapore's weather? (Sweater weather? More like Sweating Weather ha ha ok not funny sorry). Being able to wear school shirts to school is much more comfortable. Once again, yay to having a comfortable and conducive study environment! These small differences matter too.



05. Convenience

Come on, we have a completely sheltered walkway from Lorong Chuan station to our school (although it used to flood a lot, not too sure about now). We can easily walk to nex for lunch or just to chill after school (aww, I miss sitting at the sky garden with 1134 to hang out and talk). If you dislike nex for some reason, there is always Junction 8 one train stop away. There is the Circle Line so it is more convenient now for people living in places like Jurong. If I am not wrong, there is a new gate at the school now, as if it wasn't convenient enough already.


06. Flexible subject combinations + CLEP/AEP/ELL

One of the reasons I chose NYJC was the flexible subject combination. I took H2 Math, Literature, Econs and H1 Geography. It is not a very common combination and not all schools would offer this. I like how it is more flexible here although there are certainly restrictions as well. It would have been a less enjoyable learning experience if I was forced to take a fixed combination with subjects that I do not actually want to take. I truly loved all the subjects I took, which made studying so much more tolerable.

Also, if you want to take subjects like Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP), Art Elective Programme (AEP), etc, they are offered here!

***

Every school has a fair share of good and bad teachers. Every school produces students with stellar results and also disappointing results. Every year, a school's A Level performance can fluctuate unpredictably. Every school has its own student life and events. These are things you find in any school you go. What I feel is that NYJC offers things beyond the basics, things that make the school stand out.

Also, there will certainly be unhappy students or students who disliked their experience in NYJC, as with every other school, but my observation is that most students in general seem pretty happy and my own experience there was an amazing one.

I do not know if anyone choosing a JC right now would stumble upon this, but I sure hope that this would be informative to even just one person. When I was choosing my JC, I researched so much and read up on anything that provided insights to the schools (because things printed on an official brochure is never as accurate as personal recounts). I will gladly entertain any queries people might have about Nanyang! Also, some useful information here and here!

My NYJC days will always be one of the happiest periods of my life thus far :')

CNY celebration!

Orientation with Astraeus OGLs!

Drama performance!

Mr Loo treated us pizza on teachers' day, aww :)

How I miss my NYJC days :(

SOCIAL MEDIA ENVY?

social media envy

I guess it's not new information that social media makes us unhappy.

I realised that of all the social media platforms there are out there, Instagram is the ultimate culprit for me. My #1 instinct when I feel bored is to scroll through Instagram, and it actually makes me feel worse.

Everyone on Instagram will appear to have more friends, have a more interesting and eventful life, have more and better things, eat at nice restaurants, etc, more so than you. Duh, it's like some sort of selective bias. People tend to appear happier than they truly are because that is the side of their lives they will share on social media. Plus, chances are you are on Instagram because you are bored. Comparing your current bored self with photos of people's eventful lives on social media makes the discrepancy larger than it actually is and leads to unfair comparison. 

I think I am quite susceptible to making such comparisons and feeling bad about my own situation. I will be bored and alone and I will scroll through my Instagram feed, only to feel lonely and crave for the company of friends, or crave for the food I see. I will feel bad for myself when I want to try a certain food/activity but cannot find the company to try with, while others have no such issue. But this pity party is pathetic and absolutely unnecessary - why should I be wasting time and energy feeling sorry for myself when it is merely a false impression I conjured through inaccurate portrayals of people's lives on social media?

There is certainly more to people's lives than what they show on social media and I should know because my Instagram feed is the same. I do not share every minute and boring detail of my everyday life and while I am sure there are exceptions, it does not appear to be the case for those that I follow.

In view of this 'enlightenment' (ha ha), I have decided to try and use Instagram less. The app icon used to be on my home screen but I have now hidden it in my app drawer. It requires more effort to search for, and it really does work. Each time I want to scroll through Instagram but fail to find the icon on my home screen, it serves as a reminder to use it less. Plus, I will be too lazy to hunt for the icon anyway. It's still early days, but I do feel like my mood, while not improving because of this, has at least been prevented from worsening as a result of social media. 

I am still rather active on Instagram, but certainly less than before (and hopefully at a more healthy amount now). Everything in moderation, I guess? 

Where the Instagram icon used to be now lies the Reddit app, so whenever I feel bored, I'll just scroll through Reddit. It has cute or funny pictures and interesting threads so it is actually a more effective cure for boredom anyway. If that fails, I always have my Kindle around too :)

We shall see how this progresses.

Monday, 12 January 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL!

I am so excited that school has started and really glad to be back in Tembusu again (although I suspect this will die down soon)! School officially starts today but since I have no lessons, tomorrow shall be my first day back to school.

Moved back to Tembusu on Sunday, and I'm soooo happy to finally be with the suite again ~
Living with them just makes everything much better. The best company I can ever ask for in a suite!

Some random photos because I am just overflowing with enthusiasm right now.

"Good day, I am a friendly looking plant! Say hello to me! The table was feeling very lonely!"
Dawn decided to place a plant there because we added two new tables to the living room and the tables looked too empty.
So cute!

First meal/breakfast in Tembusu!
Noodles with sotong balls, cereal with milo (because milk is gross), iced milo and this tiny miniscule apple!

Some of my school supplies, wheeee.
I LOVE MUJI. Muji pencil case, notebooks and planner!
Also quite proud of my makeshift Starbucks stationery holder ^v^
Everything is on to a great start! Managed to wake up at 8am and had breakfast with the suite and a few people from Shan.

I was the first in the suite to wake up :O Andrea saw me in the washroom in the morning and squealed in shock because I am usually the one who wakes up at 3pm after going to bed at 5am, heh. YAY, PROUD OF MYSELF!

Hoping for a more productive and happy semester ahead :)