Archive | March 2015

RememberingLKY

(I need to express these thoughts in more than 140 characters. Facebook and Insta are not outlets to do so.)

As a history student, I learnt about Singapore’s history. Heck I attempted Source Based Questions on Singapore’s history. And in all those lessons, I learnt about one man, one key figure, who managed to turn things around for the better and legendarily transformed Singapore from a literal kampong village to a bustling First World city that’s managed to attract thousands of foreign investors, big foreign firms and foreign talent. He has earned the respect of many world leaders, not to mention his fellow Singaporeans who all regard him very highly.

And of coz, they should.

Alas, that man has sadly, passed away.

His contributions were undoubtedly extraordinary. He was a great leader, no matter what others thought/said of him. You can’t deny that fact. He was the man responsible for freeing Singapore from British colonial rule, and he brought SG up from her knees after the separation from Malaysia. You may argue that his policies may not have been in the best interests of Singapore, but those policies were necessary at that time. Without his hard work and determination, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy a clean and green Singapore, a roof on top of our heads and an education that’s been envied by many other countries.

We should definitely mourn his passing, but I think we should also celebrate his achievements – what he did to us. We lost a great leader, and we should remember the contributions he made to us. He gave up his life to turn Singapore around. For every class you attend to, he’s the one to thank. For every house you enter, he’s the one to thank. For every tree you see, for every glass of water you have, you know who to thank. For the safest streets at 12am, you know who’s responsible. Without him, the British might’ve ruled us for another 50 years and heck, we might even turn into a Communist country (dont forget he freed us from Communist rule as well).

Whatever second thoughts you might have, you cannot deny the fact that he was an extraordinary leader, despite his flaws. The whole world mourns his passing and when the whole world does that, it is testament to the fact that he was good, very very good.

So, from an ordinary 18-year-old who has learnt about your contributions from the History lessons she sat through for 6 years and isn’t apathetic (I’d like to think I’m not apathetic), thank you 🙂 Your contributions were laudable and we’ll miss you. We’ll continue on your legacy.

Putting law school as my first choice was the bravest thing I could’ve ever done.

So I finally settled all my university applications. Sent out to SMU, NTU and NUS after almost 3 whole weeks of researching, deliberating, then researching again. To be honest I felt extremely fed up with my family members and myself for being so indecisive and unable to make up our minds fast enough. But well, I nor my family members aren’t to be blamed for this is one of the most important life decisions a student has to make. What you major in university can very well determine the future career path you’re going to take and THAT IS HUGE. During the process of researching, I truly felt overwhelmed and confused by the array of information thrown at me – from what the various courses entail, to the application procedures and the career prospects should I choose to embark on a certain course. I considered so many factors, and I think that’s what truly confused me and made me ponder so much over what’s the best school/course for me I guess. But it struck me now that I am all grown up. Instead of searching which secondary school or junior college to enroll in (which frankly isn’t all that important because whatever institution you go to leading up to your A Levels, it really doesn’t matter), I am now deciding on what course to go to that determines what I’m going to do in the future. I am making lifelong decisions that will leave a lasting impact on my life.

That just scares the hell out of me. I mean, I’m barely 20 (to be exact I’m only 18), and I do not have much worldview experience to guide me and to teach me what’s best for my life later on. I can’t foresee my future and here I am, deciding on one of my biggest’s life decisions. Wowz. To pursue my interest (and that means earning quite a meagre salary) or to pursue a career which pays well so that I’ll live a comfortable life in the future?????

In the end though, I chose to put law school as my first choice for both SMU and NUS. Now, to understand why it was so significant to me, you need to understand that law school wasn’t my dream school right from the start. I never did expect myself to do well enough to even consider law as one of my choices. But now that my grades are As and Bs only and my GP, particularly, is an A (my family members said that’s an added advantage but idk if it actually is to be honest), law might just be an option for me. I’ve always set myself to doing well enough to enter into the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in NUS. And then, I’ll major in something which I like and hopefully, when I graduate, I can find a job in a newscasting/newsletter agency and write articles for their magazines. Someday, I would like to have a column of my own. That has always been my goal (and it remains my goal anyways).

So to venture out and to achieve something bigger, to set my goals higher and to aim higher, that required me to step out of my comfort zone. Even the mere thought of putting law school as my first choice so that my application will be considered for law terrifies me, because I’ve always been scared, anxious and frankly, unwilling to take risks. I know that just merely putting law as my first choice won’t guarantee me a place into the school because I have to sit for an interview and a written test after they’ve shortlisted me based on my results, but it’s still discomforting and uncomfortable because the negative side of me is just scared of the workload (imagine the tons of readings I’ve got to do), the environment (will there be elitist people there????) and whether I’m actually cut out for law to begin with (face it, I can’t argue and I don’t really work well under pressure ya).

But then, I gave it a thought for a few days and I realized, these are all fears I have inside of me aka non-existent concerns. If my results are symbolic in that it’s showing me I’m cut out for great things, if my potential is so much more than just going into FASS and being someone who just writes articles for magazines, then shouldn’t I dream bigger, be braver and achieve that potential? Why should I stick to my comfort zone and take the safest route out? Granted, for a person like me, taking the safe route would make me feel secure, but it also means that I’ll be depriving myself of great opportunities that will knock on my door. Life is full of unpredictable, unexpected moments, and on these instances, we need to take risks and step out of our comfort zones, if it means we’ll achieve something bigger, greater and more meaningful that unlocks our fullest potential and pushes ourselves to our limits.

After all, when I look back in life 20-30 years from now into the future, I do not want to regret the opportunities I didn’t take, I do not want to regret the chances I did not take, I do not want to regret not putting law school as my first choice, just because I was scared of the workload, environment and my capabilities.

If I am truly destined for law school, they would shortlist me, and I would get through the interview and the written test. But if I’m not destined for law school, then at least I know I tried. At least I know I did not waste that opportunity to achieve even greater things, things that I could have never imagined myself achieving.

So in the end, law was my first choice.

And that was the bravest thing I could’ve ever done in my life (so far).

xoxo,

Shabz 🙂

Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant.

Time to take a break from the daily research I’ve been doing to plan my future and what-not because that is seriously giving me a headache and giving me unwanted stress.

So, a few weeks back I finished reading Veronica Mars’s Divergent trilogy (YAY!!!) (please clap for me). Yes, a major part of why I decided to read this trilogy was to compare it to the Hunger Games and find out which is better and more intense. But another part of me has always been fascinated with the dystopian genre.

I dunno, the dystopian genre just interests me for no apparent reason. I mean, it fascinates me to learn how fictional governments can be so tyrannical and they can withheld information – basic information – from the citizens, in a way that is frankly a violation of human rights. It just seems all so cruel because they can blatantly disregard the citizens’ emotions and treat them as worthless trash, something which can be disregarded and freaks who ought to have their minds controlled. They never once stopped to think how their actions have an impact on the citizens.

And it also fascinates me how the characters themselves, without having anything to compare themselves to, think that it is normal to live a life like that. They have become so naive, gullible and so narrow-minded that you just want to laugh at their apparent lack of general knowledge and common sense. (If you’ve read Allegiant, you would know what I mean). But then again, you can’t blame them because their world view has been compressed and reduced by the authorial figures who govern them. Instead, you’d feel a profound sense of pity or sympathy for them.

And then, in these dystopian stories, something big happens. A revolutionary change because one character (usually it’s the protagonist), who is usually smarter than the rest, realizes that all of these is just not right, and she (primarily female – take Katniss in THG and Tris in Divergent) is bold and brave and zealous enough to actually make a change after decades and rulings of oppression. And this is when the whole cast realizes that they have been misled as the whole revelation bores down on them. (The correct term may be anagnorisis but oh wells that’s a greek term for a classic greek tragedy) And from then onwards you start to empathize with the characters because they become so disillusioned. Their whole belief systems have been turned upside down and they are not so sure if they could go back to their normal lives again, or if they can ever be ohkay again. Suddenly, they wished they hadn’t known the truth, and just maybe, it was better for them to live under the rock, where atleast they were safe and life was ordinary.

HAHA I’m just rambling but really, these kind of things actually interest me. I dunno maybe literature has made me become critical of everything, such that I over-analyze characters’ developments and what-not. Anyways, I just needed to get my mind off the constant research I’ve been doing every single day (now that I’m jobless since my contract ended) and the mountain load of information I have to process every single day and the headache I’m getting because of all the damn information.

xoxo,

Shabz 🙂

Gratitude

Yesterday, I learnt the true meaning of gratitude. I experienced genuine gratitude for everybody who helped me along this journey.

Yesterday, I officially closed the A level chapter in my book of life. Yes, technically I closed that part of my life after my As ended but being the insecure little girl I always am, I kept all my notes and my books just in case, in case something went horribly wrong whilst I was seating for my As and I had to re-sit for them all over again. I’m just very thorough like that. But yesterday officially symbolized me closing that chapter once and for all, permanently, because I got through it, I conquered it for good. Never will I have to go through As ever again.

When I looked at my results slip yesterday, I broke down instantly because that’s when I knew that I did it. (I have to admit it was super embarrassing) I finally did it. I proved myself wrong. I never did prove everybody else wrong – because everyone else had faith in me. I just didnt had that same amount of faith in myself. I know myself the best so I knew my pitfalls, my limitations the best. And I kept on thinking those weaknesses of mine would eventually be the death of me, would be the cause of my academic downfall. That was my thinking. But the most important thing that I revealed to myself yesterday was that my strengths – my determination, my self-discipline, my tenacity – overshadowed my weaknesses and it won. There was a battle between my weaknesses and my strengths, and strength won.

Did I deserve my As and my Bs? Yes I did. The hours of studying and slogging spent were fruitful. I reaped what I sowed.

But I can’t congratulate myself.

You know who I owed my results to? To those who believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. All those “Shabz you can one. I have faith in you. Don’t worry. You’re fine.” Those people are whom I should be thanking. They saw my potential and overlooked my weaknesses when I couldn’t see them myself.

My family, my friends and my teachers. For once in my life I felt extremely grateful for their never-ending support and reassurance.

I used to think that the As and Bs I got were all for myself. I earned them myself.

But no, there were people involved behind the scenes. And when I failed, when I fell down, when I refused to see the goodness in myself, they saw it, they reminded me of it. And those are the real heroes, they are the real reason for my success.

So thank you, to everybody who had my back in this 2 years, this 2 years proved to be the hardest academic journey of my life but I conquered it 🙂

“We’re lost but one day, we’ll say it was all we could ever dream.”