The howling of the wind, the growling of thunder, the sound of the rain beating against the roof. It was like a call for contemplation.
It was so peaceful too. Rainy days bring such a wonderful mood to a place. A mood of calm and relaxation. Some people talked idly about their lives in almost hushed tones, some complaining about the rain, but all in all, I guess, they were glad that it rained.
I personally loved the rain. The intense chaos of it ironically brings much peace to the mind. I guess it had something to do with how the weather kept the sky cloudy, and oh, have I talked about the wonderful smell of rain?
Well, I digress.
Today was a great day. Amidst the chaos of the mind and the confusion of the soul for the past few days, I managed to rally myself up and get some work done. Alhamdulillah.
I need to remind myself of my purpose in university and of my goals and intentions. I need to renew my motivation and drive.
To be honest, that was what 2016 was like, full of I-Don’t-Knows.
2016 was wonderful and it was a year where I had learnt so much, made so many wonderful friendships and learnt truly a lot about myself and I guess, attained self-awareness.
2016 was the year I ORD-ed from serving the nation in the Singapore Civil Defence Force,
2016 was the year I became a student of the National University of Singapore,
2016 was the year that I’ve forged unexpected friendships (how I entered Silat without much consideration),
2016 was the year I opened myself up to many new things (joining two ad-hocs without much consideration),
2016 was the year I lived my dream of being a college student,
2016 was the year I started to put more focus into my writing,
2016 was the year I became obsessed with Casey Neistat and his art of vlogging,
2016 was the year I truly strived to be a better person,
2016 was the year that I squatted heavy (52.5KG per side),
Most importantly, 2016 was the year I hustled.
There are many things I’ve failed to achieve in 2016 but there are also many things that I achieved. There were also many detours and unexpected things that happened that made my 2016 so much more beautiful.
I’ll be posting up my goals and resolutions for 2017 and also a reflection on how my resolutions for 2016 had turned out to be.
P.S. However, in my opinion, 2016 had been bloody and brutal for the outside world, but 2016 was needed for the world to wake up.
Even though there might be things that we had hoped could have been better in 2016, let’s refresh ourselves and move forward to 2017 with renewed hope and vitality.
These are just 10 things that I’ve learnt in Year 1, Semester 1 in university:
There is always time to do things, it is just up to you to plan your time properly. Every single minute of the day must be treasured and used to the max.
Quality is better than quantity. Be it in terms of revision hours, sleep hours or even time spent socialising.
20 Seconds of courage. We need to always be brave for just a mere 20 seconds and step out of our comfort zone. We need to be brave to try new things and talk to new people.
Ask, ask, ask. If you do not know something, ask. Don’t be shy because everyone is there learning too. You might actually do them a favour by asking. Also, ask your professors and TAs. Make use of them.
It is important to make friends. The more friendships you make, the easier your life is in university. The more options that you open yourself up to.
There’s always lessons to learn from everyone. Each and everyone in university has at least 18 years of life experience. Tap on that.
Sometimes, we need to learn to stop fighting a futile battle. Sometimes, you just couldn’t get your head around certain modules or what the module is asking from you. Just recognise that sometimes we need to put our weapons down and re-strategise.
Learn to accept that sometimes, hard work does not pay off. There’s always someone better than you or you’re just not good at it. Disappointment can creep in when you get a bad result. Learn to stand up again, take a breather and move on quickly.
Make mistakes. That’s the only way to learn.
You are never alone. There’s always someone out there experiencing the same problem you are.
In a few weeks (about two), a new chapter in my life will unfold. I will start my university education at the National University of Singapore. I will be majoring in the Life Sciences.
For 20 years of my life, I had worked hard for this, I had studied hard for this and now I am finally here. I thank Allah for everything that has ever happened that had helped me achieve this feat.
Enrolling into a university has always been a destination that my parents had set for me and a destination that I had set for myself. All the examinations, countless hours of studying and the sleepless nights throughout my 20 years of life was for this.
I guess, I haven’t really had the time to appreciate this moment, the success that I have finally achieved. It is a success that can never be fulfilled without the help of family, friends, teachers and Allah.
University is not going to be easy, that I know. It is going to be a tough 4 years but I know that I can survive through this like I always have. I believe that it is going to be an exciting 4 years full of memories, cherished moments and long-lasting friendships and as I had worked hard to reach where I am now, I hope to treasure every single moment.
Meeting new people has never been a thing of mine. I am always nervous and worried whenever there is an occasion that calls for me to introduce myself and make new friends. My palms will be sweaty and my mind will run into the many possible situations that could happen. My unconscious mind would prepare multiple introductory lines that I could use such as, “Why are you here?”, “Which school were you from?”, “Hello, my name is Hakim and I was from _____.”
So, when I was at the Life Sciences Camp, already armed and prepared with the questions and ready for awkwardness, I was surprised at how easily I conversed. There was no sudden weird awkwardness nor were there any weird antics that I did. I managed to contain myself and not allow my nervousness to control my actions.
Never thought that I would say this but meeting new people has been a wonderful experience. It is amazing how strangers could reveal a lot about themselves to each other and gain trust in just a span of a few days or even hours. We had heart-to-heart talks every evening until the early morning and it was wonderful, something that I have always loved doing.
Next week, I will be attending another camp and honestly, I am excited.
I made wonderful friends in the duration of that camp and I hope the friendship lasts.