It's been three months back in Malaysia, and I'm getting ready to go back to Cambridge next week - back to lectures, supervisions, and never-ending reading lists and work.
Hazel is happily rolling about beside me while I try not to squeeze her.
These past few months have been rather busy, so I'll do a bit of a recap.
I got back in late June, and the first thing we did was to go to Penang to visit my grandparents for a few short days before coming back. The whole of July was spent on my internship in Bank Negara, which I had applied for a few months before. I did my internship in the Economics department, which was very interesting considering my background in Law. Most people who go there study Economics, so asking me why I was in that department became a very popular question... If you want to know why too, it's because of a few reasons. One is that I wanted to know more about what the Bank does, and this department is a really good place to do that; another is that someone very dear to me recommended it, and also very rightly said that the people there are lovely. My experience there was wonderful overall (even though I was sick at times), and I really enjoyed getting to do lots of research and meeting new, wonderful people who have so many ideas and are energised to move the nation forward into a brighter future.
In August, my relatives came for about a week, and we spent it relaxing and eating. It was a lot of fun, haha. Hazel definitely enjoyed it since she got more food and went for walks more often...
Later in August, I flew to Manila for the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations Asia Conference, which lasted for about a week. That was a really wonderful experience, as I got to meet people from all over the world and 46 countries who had so many different ideas. I applied for the Human Rights panel, which was what I focused on mainly, and there were also opportunities for us to explore a little bit. One of the things I enjoyed was the Democracy seminar, which focused on Southeast Asia, and felt a little bit like studying history again, with law and politics mixed into it. The speaker did a really good job, as he allowed for us to engage and ask questions throughout. Then there were the entrepreneurship sessions, which excited me a bit - someone from eBay came and spoke to us about some of the interesting things that they have worked on, and another speaker shared broader knowledge about little case studies about different companies.
By the time I got back from Manila, it was almost September - only one more month!
Throughout this month, I have been sharing in schools and churches, talking to people about how much God has worked in my life. So far, I have had seven speaking engagements in five places, with one last one to go before I head back to Cambridge. It's been really fulfilling, getting to meet Malaysians from different walks of life and hopefully inspire them. I hope that I can continue to share with more people in the future! Pastor Rose was instrumental in putting me in touch with many of these people, and she deserves a round of applause! She has been so supportive and has shown so much faith in me, and is just a really lovely, God-fearing person. And of course, thank you so much to all of the lovely people who gave me their time and the opportunity to speak to them and hopefully leave some inspiration with them moving forward.
During the whole summer, there were also a few more things that I have done, from going to CUMaS (Cambridge University Malaysia Society) events and meeting alumni and the incoming freshers, to being part of the organising committee for the Malaysia Public Policy Competition and writing the welcome speech for the first ceremony.
These few months, I have been working on my business, Openquote Designs, trying to grow and expand it. It's been going well so far - I have gotten to work with really sweet, talented people, and worked on exciting new things. In mid-July, I posted my first picture to the @openquotedesigns Instagram account, and as of right now, I am approaching 1,000 followers at 959. Numbers aren't everything, but this also means that my designs are getting out to more and more people, which makes me really happy. The planner community is such an uplifting and beautiful place, and I am really glad I found it. If you would like to see what I do, you can hop on over to my Etsy shop! I am always working on exciting new things, and if you want to join me journey, you can do so over on Instagram.
Now we're in October, which means that I have just a few days left here... I'm a little nervous and excited about going back to Cambridge. I love the idea of the new year and starting all over again and meeting new people, and at the same time I'm wondering whether I will be able to handle the workload. It'll be more fun this year in the sense that I get to pick three of my subjects! I have more or less decided on what I'm going to do, and I'm pretty excited for all of them, haha.
I need to go hug Hazel now, so until next time! :)
It's been three months back in Malaysia, and I'm getting ready to go back to Cambridge next week - back to lectures, supervisions, and never-ending reading lists and work.
Hello. It has been quite a while since my last post, and for good reason. I managed to survive Tripos - barely - and have been rolling around in bed since then while singing Rolling In The Deep. Okay, I have been doing other things as well, but let's just leave it at that.
I am now blogging from the Hague, visiting some lovely friends. We arrived at the airport three hours early for the shortest flight in Stansted, went into an interesting machine, and got a tour of Schipol Airport through the airfield. Ahh, the things you see when there are long flights of stairs in the airport itself... I must say I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the planes up close.
Right now, we are just resting in our friend's house for the morning. The weather looks fair - a bit less sun than Cambridge. I thought the UK would be gloomy, but it's actually not too bad. Spring has been quite lovely. Summer is now approaching, and it's starting to get hot. Yes, anything above 15 degrees now feels quite warm... Not sure what's going to happen when I get back to nice sunny Malaysia!
Heading out now, so I shall pop in again when I can. Tot de volgende keer.
This year is the first time celebrating away from home, and it's actually not too bad. My dad flew here, so I'm with my family to celebrate, and that's the most important part. :) We had lunch (British/Mexican food... quite nice, actually - I'm not craving Chinese food yet), and managed to watch the CCTV celebrations! My dad brought goodies from home too, so my tummy is nice and happy (also getting fatter, but hey...). :)
It's strange being away from home largely because the atmosphere isn't there - there are no decorations, no music, no red everywhere (and no ang pau either, heh). And of course, I'm not with my relatives, who make the celebrations that much more fun (and noisy).
The one thing I'm not missing though, is the weather! My fingers go numb whenever I go out, but I'd rather have numb fingers than sweat the whole day, haha.
Since I'm blogging, I should probably update you on what is going on.
First, I am now in Week 5 (I think - I just remember when my supervision days are...). Two essays due this week, and work isn't too bad right now because I did some work early over the Christmas holidays and one of my supervisions got switched over... My essays have been improving, which is nice, but I have a way to go before I get to where I want to be.
Over the last weekend, we went to Oxford! We rented a car and my dad drove. Amazingly enough, we didn't get lost. Once we were there, a friend kindly spared us his time and took us around. Oxford is quite pretty, and those who like London would probably prefer it. There are parts of it that reminded me of Beijing... It feels much more commercialized than Cambridge. The architecture is, of course, very beautiful, and in some ways more distinct than Cambridge. Overall though, I must say that I still love Cambridge. There is much more green here, and the majority of colleges have sprawling gardens. The general pace of Cambridge itself feels much more calm (the academic side is a different monster altogether though), and it just feels right. Still, I definitely wouldn't mind visiting Oxford again - it was quite a lovely trip. I went down the alley by the church CS Lewis used to go to, and saw the doorway and the lamppost. Definitely a fangirl moment, before I was struck with awe. There are so many beautiful bits and pieces here with really wonderful and interesting history.
These past few weeks, I have also been working on my shop, Openquote Designs, again! I have a new range of products: printable planners! I think they are a great way to keep organized, and they're fun for me to design as well. So far, I have a few kits, including a financial planner, full wedding planner, and wedding budget planner (as a mini-kit branched off from the full suite), along with individual planners, such as daily planners, Get Stuff Done lists, expense trackers, menu planners, and quite a number of others. Sales have been positive, and I'm praying that this will take off! I am currently working on an Etsy kit just for Etsy sellers, which I'm aiming to develop into a small business kit soon, while looking into a possibility of launching a website for Openquote Designs. If you want to get organized and be more productive, be sure to check out my printable planners! I'll try to do some freebies soon too.
That's it from me for now - I have to finish an essay for Civil and read for a supervision. Til next time!
It's been a long and yet very short first term (and part of my holidays). Since my last update, I finally turned legal (and so did Hazel, as she got a proper dog tag around the same time), and my friends were awesome enough to come over and surprise me with a celebration and two cakes. <3 I was really touched by that (and a little bit *_*).
It has only grown colder since I arrived, as expected. What I didn't expect was for my fingers to grow used to being numb whenever I go outside, but they happily have, though that does no favors for my bloodstream (and it takes a really long time to defrost). The beautiful golden leaves that adorned the whole wall near my place have since fallen off, with most of them flying off due to a very gusty win on a particular day when those on bicycles had a hard time cycling in a straight line.
Looking back, I suppose the main thing I have learned is that I need to improve my time management skills. This term has been filled with some fun times, but also plenty of late nights. I somehow never went too far in the AM during my college days, but very nearly pulled an all-nighter during my first term here.
A lot of my first term has just been getting into the swing of things - figuring out a routine, pondering about my subjects, and trying to finish all of my reading on time (and attempt to squeeze in a little bit of studying at the same time).
One of the most fun things I did this term was join ICMS. During Induction Week, I got to work with a fabulous team of people and we had lots of fun working on our project, and finally meet in London.
The hours I have left here are ticking away, but more importantly, so are the minutes until I begin a new adventure.
It's so strange, exciting, and scary at the same time. This isn't the first time I've moved to a new place and country, but it feels like it. The first time happened so quickly that I didn't really have time to realize what was going on. Now I'm supposed to be more prepared, but I'm also a bit more overwhelmed.
Whatever it is though, I am infinitely blessed to have this opportunity, and also parents who are so supportive. They've made so much of this possible with their love. <3
There are so many things I'm prepared and unprepared for. Some important things really should have been done already, but are not, and for some reason I'm fine with that and not particularly worried. I suppose this is called going by faith. Some things do concern me, but it's also nice to know that God has planned everything out already, just as He always has. Still, as humans, we can't help but worry, but that's just part of the whole process.
Freshers' week is going to be crazy - my calendar is packed already, and I'm still trying to figure out which events to go to for... and I just realized that "squash" does not always refer to the sport there... and there may be cows very near me. I wonder if I can pet them. Yesterday, I got my new UK number, yay. It's relatively easy to remember, and it's a little similar to my current one, so that's good.
Some of my friends are there already, haha. Some have been traveling around the UK and just got into Cambridge, whilst some just arrived in the country.
Hazel is going on an adventure of her own too. She'll be staying with my aunt and uncle, and while my heart breaks that I can't have her with me for now, I'm glad that she will be with them. My uncle is going to get a bike with a basket and put her in it and cycle around... oh dear. That will be the ride of her life.
Perhaps what is making this a little (or a lot) harder is that I don't know when I will be back. No matter what, this is still where I was born and grew up. I really want to come back for part of summer next year, but everyone has been telling me not to. Go travel, they say... I seriously want to do that, but summer is also 4 months long! I could visit all the popular spots in Europe (though I'd rather go for some quainter ones too), and still have time to come back. And if I do stay there the whole time, I have no idea where I'm actually going to stay...
Oddly enough, I'm rather excited to see my desk and set it up. I actually had a conversation with my College about it, hm. I also have this thing about stationery, and I am disproportionately excited about using my highlighters again. I got my favorite ones and a pack of new ones too, haha.
Well, I have to sign off now. The next time I blog will probably be from there, so see you guys soon!
Just over a week until I head to the UK. The countdown (and packing frenzy) begins...
I've been having fun these past few weeks. There was a CUMaS Freshers' Camp and Dinner, where I met some of my seniors and the freshers who will be going with me. There aren't a lot of freshers for Law, haha. I have a nice number of Engineering friends though! My whole CUMaS family is comprised of Engineering students except me, haha.
Also been doing stuff for CollegeLAH. We had an interview last week (and one tomorrow), and an Oxbridge workshop in Taylor's Subang Jaya.
Hey all. Here are two of my IELTS essays for the writing component of the academic version of the test, as promised. There is one sample for Part 1, and one for Part 2. They were graded 8.5 out of 9.0 by a person who doesn't give 9.0. No mistakes that are apparent.
Just sharing as some of my friends have been asking for samples, and I hope they help! You can download these essays as PDFs HERE (the preview below shows one of them).
For the writing component, just be straightforward, and remember the word count. Have good structure, and logical points. They don't have to be brilliant, but they must make sense. Proper grammar is a must, of course, and make sure you answer the question (not what you wish they had asked).
Yes, I met my offer - praise God. I'm pleased as a whole with my results - parts rather surprised me. Perhaps the story of how I checked my results will interest you more, however. It all started one sunny morning... Okay, scratch that. It was a sunny day, but that beginning is too cliche. Long story short, I freaked out at 9AM because I checked the paper with the password and link (or rather, a picture of it), and somehow came to the conclusion that results were already released. They were not.
At 1PM, I sat
My mom and I have been shopping since then (and before - oops). The other day, we bought a mini rice cooker! It's pink and it's adorable, hehe. The guy there thought they ran out of pink so I was going to wait, but he called a short while later to say he found one somewhere... Later found out that a friend of mine bought the exact same one, heh. Great minds think alike.
Early last week, I met some friends, including a senior who helped me get through A2 and very patiently helped me with various questions when I thought my brain would combust.
Last week, KDU also had the farewell party/award ceremony for my batch. It was nice seeing my coursemates and lecturers again. :)
|Some of my friends <3|
|History class, missing two again. We're all starting uni these two months! 3 of us are doing Law.|
We took it out for its first outing yesterday, which was the CUMaS outreach in Sunway University. I was a volunteer this year, which felt slightly odd and yet nice, since I was an audience member a year ago... Now I'm on the other side. While I was there, I met an old Niexter friend of mine, Kai Song, and a few of the other freshers. It was awesome getting to meet them!
|From left to right: Andrew, Jia Min, Kenny, me, Kai Song, and Allysha, who is also doing law|
|With Ms Chee, the awesome KDU A Level program leader. I just realized we were blue, which is KDU's color, HAHA. What nice coordination.|