5 months had passed by in a flash. Today marks the 135th day of my return. As I lay on the sofa in the comfort of my home, I recounted my experiences for the past semester. Was NOC a life-changing adventure, or was it not?
Before I pass my judgment too quickly, I would like to take the hands of nostalgia and invite you to take a peek into my early days in NUS.
There are many things being said about poly graduates who made it to a local university, and I, for one, lived up to the stereotype. Never was I academically strong. To compensate my shortcomings, I worked real hard to prove my worth for group projects. Year 1 and 2 was a phase of disappointment, despair and ultimately, acceptance. My early university life was not particularly outstanding nor eventful, which came as a shock considering the stack of achievements that I accrued when I was in poly. Yet, it was one of the most peaceful and enjoyable moments in my life. I lived in the University Town, Cinnamon College, and all I cared about was having my breakfast and dinner on time to avoid the unnecessary waste of the $800 meal plans that my parents paid for. Taking afternoon naps was a norm. Even if there was an hour break, you will be finding me in a lounge sleeping. Grades didn’t matter anymore. I was aimless, lazy, unmotivated, but happy.
Like a broken recorder playing over, I had to stress once again that NOC was a trying period for me. The effect of having too much time for oneself was the deafening loudness of one’s inner voice. I never knew that it was possible to play a conversation within my own head. Each decision that I made, past and present, was second guessed. It wasn’t easy to face every single mistake that materialised in my nightmares and waking dreams, but it forced me to come to terms with the consequences to each action. The internship also instilled much discipline into me. I was creeped with overwhelming workloads that would be humanely possible for a person with two heads and four arms. Being kept busy became an integral part of my life and I love the fact I am always doing something at any one point in time.
When I returned from Stockholm, I was washed over with reliefs. I was finally home and ready to meet my school life with a new vigour, but I was a foreigner to my school. Friends became acquaintances, and acquaintances became strangers. Oddly, it was a feeling that I relished. It felt like I was given an opportunity to start over with a clean slate. This semester, I gave it my all. I was attentive during lessons (for the most parts) and studied full-time in preparation for my final examinations. This motivation stemmed from the realization that it was my last chance to prove that I can be academically strong if I put my heart into it. I am most remorse over my childlike mentality for the past few years. There is no going back, but the future remains hopeful. I wish for another chance to stay in school, to fulfil things that I hadn’t had the chance to. I’m waiting on the results that would be released on the 2nd June and through it, I caught a small glimpse of hope in extending my university life by one more year. Ironically, this semester I was motivated, diligent, but scarcely happy.
Anyway, what I reeled in from NOC was that the recipe to success in this materialistic society was having the right attitude. This open secret was stressed many times and this time, it was an exemplary of putting that theory into practice. This is also the last time that I will be using NOC as an epoch of my life (or blog). I am ready for a new milestone, something new and exciting to come to pass.