우리오래가자 ♥ ~

DISCLAIMER: Seeing the number of revisions I have for this post (23 revisions last count), this is yet another post which has been terribly delayed. I wanted to get this out by the end of recess week, but I was drowning in work during recess work and I fell sick too, so it was really a shitty recess week. It has been a bad fucking shitty year for Kpop as well, and as a small dedication I’m using Korean words for the title of this post. It doesn’t really have any link to the content of the post, and the topic for this post is just a recap for the first half of Year 1 Sem 1, with some of my reflections as well. Another very wordy and dry post, but I’ll split into sections and of course, add pictures!

Sending WZ off to UK!

Sending WZ off to UK!

A whole new environment (and class participation)

Looking back 2 years back, what C said was right: “Until you experience it yourself, you won’t know how uni feels like”. After 2 years of my brain rotting, I was going back to school with no idea what was going to happen. It can be scary yet exciting at the same time.

I still remember our first sectional ever in NUS, we all just walked into this large seminar-style room, were given name tags and just sat down quietly. My first gut feeling was “Where am I, what is this”, my first steps in uni and the environment felt very intimidating already. My first sectional was Biz Law (BSP1004) with Prof Ravi, and he was telling us how in our mod 30% of how we are graded is based on class participation. FUCK the thing I dread the most when I hear there is such a thing in uni. And oh yeah, how we were sitting was going to be our grouping. LOLS. Prof Ravi is one who really emphasizes class part as a very important part not only in his mod, but for our subsequent future. You would rarely see other profs trying to encourage everyone in the classroom to class part. Fortunately the people who I sat with were people who I was familiar with and we did our biz law group project pretty smoothly (although we completed and sent it to prof at like 4am lols). I won’t go on the breakdown of all my mods because that will be at least an addition of 500 words more lols. For now, all my mods is going well so far, nothing bad coming up yet so I’m contended. I got the supposedly easier basket of mods for this semester and they are all level 1 mods as well. ALL IZ WELL 😀

For class participation, somehow I’m doing alright, like above average. According to feedback from my professors and classmates I’m doing really well; not only for Biz Law and also MNO (my other mod which 30% of my grade is class part). MNO was a pleasant surprise because I didn’t think I was speaking up enough but Prof Wu gave me very positive feedback yays! ^_^ I was quiet through out one lesson and everyone came up to me and was like “Nick are you alright? Why you never class part?” WOW WOULD YOU HAVE IMAGINED?!!! ME BEING ONE OF THE ACTIVE STUDENTS IN THE CLASSROOM. And of course there are some who are the class part ‘whores’ and the ones who don’t utter a word over the whole lesson. Over the few weeks, some of us started to get used to the environment and gradually, our classroom became a war-zone with people shooting their hands up. It’s scary and it makes the whole learning environment feel so artificial. It also made the Monday blues even worse, because it was an 8-8 day and I would have to class part for 2 sectionals straight. Imagine you sitting there stressing yourself because you haven’t spoken up and waiting for a chance to say something. I don’t blame those who speak a lot; in the end it’s all for their marks so it’s inevitable that you become a ‘whore’. To sum it up in 1 sentence: I hate class part, I don’t see how it helps to making the learning more conducive and I have no choice but to do it because I don’t want to later emo over my Bs because I knew I didn’t class part enough. I’m doing well so far (what a surprise seriously ahahaha) so keep it up Nick haha! (just don’t overdo it, and don’t be shy)

In NUS, Business and FASS are the two faculties with the most free time and seeing how the timetables are for my fellow friends in Engineering/Science, the discrepancies are really quite significant. This is not saying Business is slack or anything, on the contrary it makes it even more stressful since most of the learning is put onto yourself. There’s really a lot of independent work and it’s up to your own self if you don’t want to be left behind. That’s why they call NUS National University of Self-Study. No more spoon feeding, no more fixed timetable; if you don’t care about your work, don’t attend your tutorials and lectures, no one is going to care. So you really got to have the self-discipline to do your work in time and at the same time do some revision as well for your finals. It really feels like you’re studying for A levels again, only now you have 5 months instead of 2 years. Time is really flying right now and it’s getting easier to lose track of the dates of the month. When time flies like that, it can be easy for me to lose my direction for uni. So just take it day by day, week by week and don’t lose sight of your final end-point. 

Skyping with L, N, JQ and YN for our Biz Law project

Skyping with L, N, JQ and YN for our Biz Law project!

 

Joining GENUS and KCIG

For CCAs, the original plan for me was to join a music/culture-related CCA if I was in hall, and since I didn’t get a place… I had to go find other options. Before entering NUS, I was just another lost puppy in the big world and I have no idea what CCAs were there for me to choose. C recommended persuaded me to join GENUS [Guitar Ensemble NUS]. One of the things I told myself when I come into uni was to try something, one of which could be a new instrument for music. Going back to your comfort zone works as well, so I emailed them and went for an audition. It was a short Q&A with 2 of the main committee members of GENUS, and obvious some music theory tests, such as actual playing, rhythm and sight reading. Back at DHS, our conductor would just feed us tabs so when I was told to sight read I was like sorry I can’t read music LOL. Especially when I had CO and percussion background, I think their expectations of me were higher and imo it could have been a total flunk in the audition. In the end, I made it in and became part of GENUS. Practice so far in GENUS can get quite painful in the head, because I am totally new to reading notes and I’m sticking to old habits by writing the fingering on the score (much to the displeasure of my senior LOL). Being someone with guitar ensemble background, given how I’m playing it doesn’t seem like I’m from one… 😦 Well, the only way for me to go now is up, so there’s still much room for improvement and hopefully I’ll get better in playing and sight reading.

For KCIG, I was contemplating whether to even join at the start, just scared of being judged. Why was I thinking of joining a 2nd CCA anyways? The Nick who scores completely zero when it comes to dedication and enthusiasm in CCAs, going for a 2nd CCA? Okays I admit the main purpose was just to score more points in the CCA section for exchange (they give you 5 points for every CCA you are in). Partially also it’s a grade free semester for us freshies so I see it as a semester of trying. I roped in J to join me in KCIG, and in the welcome teathere was us and 2 more male freshies, the rest all girls LOL. I was bewildered on how the ratio was so skewered; it was like 9 girls to 1 guy. I expected the ratio to be quite in favor of females, just not by THAT MUCH of a margin. There was this buddy system where they would pair 2 members to 1 exchange student from Korea here, so me and J signed up for it as well and we met up for a few times already! Our trend seems to be eating some ‘baby-portion’ food (as quoted by Minee) at a posh restaurant before excusing ourselves to a fast food place HAHA. It’s quite a cool system, the only problem is the communication barrier because not all the Koreans can speak Korean well. Fortunately, J’s buddy was an Korean American (who’s a Year 4 in Pol Science… like omg wow?), so she was there for translation in case my buddy didn’t knew anything. The other 2 guys convinced me and J to join the sub-section of KCIG, KDT (which stands for KCIG Dance Team). Yes yet another day which I never thought would come, me dancing rofl. Another thing I always wanted to learn was dancing, and the first opportunity for me to do so was B’RAG, but I didn’t take that opportunity (which now I look back, don’t really regret haha). Of course the first few sessions were super awkward as I don’t have any dance background, but neither do most of the people inside so it’s all cool if we awkward together. This was a really good platform for me as I accomplished 2 things at one go: learning dance and KPOP dance. I guess that’s the only genre of dance I really have an interest in. How is my time there so far? Okay I still have a long way to go and I look totally horrendous on video, but I’m enjoying myself there a lot. The seniors are really friendly and there to teach you step by step.

Somehow the rank of priority changed as I got more involved in KCIG instead of GENUS. Truth to be told, I’m not as close to much people in GENUS. There isn’t much interaction in GENUS too, and now we are in the workshop period as everyone is learning the basics. Hopefully it gets better when it comes to ensemble playing. Okay maybe it is because I was skipping 2 weeks worth of practice whoops, carrying the guitar around is quite a big burden, especially when you live so far away from school. Just 1 of the many excuses I have given for skipping CCA :x. I’m now only going for the dance part but not the culture part of KCIG. Honestly, it’s really tiring to be juggling 2 CCAs which have commitments of 2 days per week. I feet really burnt out, but in a good way. In the end, it seems like I’m giving 75% to each CCA, so maybe it’s better to just focus on one. I’m seriously considering leaving 1 of them if it starts to affect my results and for now I’m more biased towards KCIG because it’s more fun. Not saying I would 100% quit GENUS if I had to drop a CCA, so if the time ever comes let’s just hope I follow my hear (plus brain) and make the right decision!

Dinner with the korean buddies!

Dinner with the korean buddies!

 

Cub in the lion’s den (and making friends with your fellow cubs lions) 

Before I went into Business, I sort of knew that I would need to do some presentations. Never would I have thought how much I hated it, and I’m forever nervous in front of a big group. According to many, I was trembling when I was presenting LOL (yes nervous wreck me sigh). Somehow everyone else seems so confident when they present, and yes I envy them and wish I could be like them. In that sense. I’m like a cub in the lion’s den. To add on, it’s a total new playing field in NUS Business. Everyone who got into here scored at least an AAB in their A levels or have a good GPA back in poly. Everyone in NUS is smart and everyone in NUS Business is fucking smart. There are many people who somehow are able to juggle work and commitments super well. Life’s just a bitch at times right? You study hard, you do well but it’s still not enough. Why is that so? Because there are so many people who did better than you and you get stuck in the middle of the dreaded bell curve. I’m not getting buried in the bell curve for now, did slightly above average for both of my midterms (GEM plus acc). I know I should be contented with my results, but strangely I want to do better. So even though some people out there are smarter and can grasp things faster, I shouldn’t be using this an excuse : it just means that I have to work harder. But what J said was somewhat true: The cub still has a chance to grow into the lion.

For such an introverted person like me, it’s really hard for me to make friends because I always hope that someone there comes up and speak to me first. In the end from NBC and UC, I didn’t really make any lasting friends, all of which end up as people who I wave and say hi when I see them around in school. Thankful for O’week though as they group us with our classmates so it’s not like you will lose contact with them. For any potential NUS Business students out there, hre’s a pro-tip: You can skip all the camps and RAG, but please don’t skip Oweek. It became quite prominent that cliques are being formed among us. To start off, there were the people who went for Oweek and those who didn’t. Branching from the ones who went Oweek, there is the Sheares gang, the USP gang, the others gang, and there’s me. Okays I’m not that loner, but I don’t even know myself if I belong to a clique LOL. It seems like I’m making just acquaintances, but not any close friends. I do feel left out at times, many times in fact and this is not in Business itself; the same applies for GENUS and KCIG. It’s more of my issue rather than others. Especially in uni, you see yourself changing in order to fit in the environment. There’s a fine line between being yourself and changing to fit into the environment, I believe that many really change themselves in order to fit in, which shouldn’t happen. I used to think clubbing becomes a must when you go uni, but now I rather just don’t because firstly: I’m not a fan of clubbing and secondly: You don’t really have to follow the crowd. So just be yourself and be natural. You may end up like me having no friends HAHA, but really don’t let others change you, but you do need to change a bit as well. Not everyone can be accommodating to you (And that is something I need to take note and do better).

Also, now being in uni for myself, I understand why it is so easy to fade away from your older friends because uni is occupying most of your time. I still try to keep in contact with my JC friends and army friends, but again it’s really hard to find a common time to meet up so the only times we really see each other are during 21st birthday parties and when we send our fellow friends off. Thankfully most of them are in NUS as well so sometimes we can meet up to mug and have a meal together. In uni you really meet some weird people lols, and in the end the people in Dunman High are still the best. I just hope that I don’t lose contact with people anymore, because I really value these relationships a lot.

Guys selfie during Oweek!

Guys selfie during Oweek! HAHAHA so gay~~

 

Staying optimistic 

Okays conclusion time! (3k word count oh em geeee) I feel that another deja vu moment yet again: me soloing mugging in school nearly everyday till the latest time possible. Only recently did I make my trip back to Bugis and NLB (I never fail not to be productive there haha!). Yes, it feels really lonely at times, especially when you see people around you having at least 1 more person to accompany them there. I don’t really mind, but of course it would be nice if I had a mugging buddy along. Thank goodness for BX for accompanying me for some of the nights @ UTown. Although the student life can get really stressful, it still feels really good to be a student back again. So many insecurities, and half a semester have passed so far! I’m really not sure if I can survive all of this, but the only way is forward. Give me strength somehow, plus a little bit of motivation and drive. Okay I need much more than that, I just need someone to catch me if I fall. Let’s go Nick, 8 more weeks and then give yourself a good break from all of this! 

 

AND TIME FOR SOME KPOP:

Super Junior, EXO, KARA, Wonder Girls… never would I have thought the day would come where the same thing happen to SNSD, where a gap is suddenly formed…  God my heart broke when I saw the beginning of the performance of Gee during the fan meet, where Jessica is no more in front with Tiffany. T.T No matter what happens, I’m still a SONE to the very end. 8 + 1 in the eyes for now, but forever 9 in the heart. #StayStrongSNSD

snsd lets go on for a long time

우리오래가자 ♥ ~ let’s go on for a long time…

I need a virtual hug right now boooo T_T

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Ayo SONE! The journey on the SoShi Express

SNSD I Got A Boy wallpaper 3

So in my WordPress posts, I have always left traces of my SNSD fanboying in them, posting pictures and talking anything related about them. I HAD to dedicate a whole post to them, and here I will share how my journey on the SoShi Express has been. Although most may see this as pointless and just another average post from a SNSD fanboy, it’s hard to believe but along this ride, I have learnt and gained much which I would not have been able to experience at other places. *WARNING: massive fanboying ahead*

This journey for me started back when I was Sec 4 during early 2009. During that period, SNSD and their newly released song Gee was trending among my friends and of course the curious me went to check out the music video. My reaction wasn’t like: “OMG THIS IS THE BEST SONG EVERRR”, but it was good enough to stir my interest regarding the girls. The me that time had no clue about the Korean scene: I was watching taiwan variety shows plus dramas and listened mostly to english songs. I started to look up anything related to them: performances, variety shows and even commercial appearances. It was like I was exposed to a whole new world, and it was something which it liked and had to find out more. Before I knew it, I was slowly sucked into the world of kpop. And before I go on anymore further, let’s just say that me knowing SNSD and slowly turning into a SONE turned out to be one of the best things that could happened to me! 🙂

With that, I signed up at a member in Soshified and started exploring the videos section, and these are the videos which got it all started. There was Star Golden Bell, Hello Baby and Invincible Youth, but what left the biggest impact was Intimate Note, where I learnt a lot about each member. Although you wouldn’t understand some of the jokes before then, after re-watching the show, you would understand them a whole lot better. The teasing of the heights of Taeyeon and Sunny, that infamous alligator laugh from Yoona, and the virtuousness of Seohyun. At the beginning, yes it was hard to learn all of their names, but the show helped me a lot to match each member and its traits to its names. Shockingly I didn’t really had a problem with the YoonYulSeo triplets, and slowly I finally got all 9 of their names correctly, and also started to learn more of each of them from reading their individual sections in the ssf forums, as well as watching more of their shows. From reading all the threads, the pairings start to form up, such as TaeNy, JeTi, YulTi, YoonSeo, and although there are 9 of them, each of them have their unique traits which makes them memorable. From Tell Me Your Wish, Oh!, Hoot and now I Got A Boy, their songs have become a staple in my iphone and my running playlists too. My favourite song till now has been Tell Me Your Wish, so much that it has been played over 1000 times on my iTunes LOL. The Tiffany part where she says: “DJ, put it back on!”, I always have the goosebumps hearing it. As each concept come and go, all of them mature along as well. You don’t see them with lollipops anymore and now they have a much more mature concept. If you see the SNSD in 2009 and 2013, although it has only been 5 years, their attitude and behavior have changed immensely. Topics such as drinking and dating are no more shunned upon, and my current bias Seohyun… omg who would have ever imagined our Keroro loving maknae grew out of her shell haha! ^^

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Our ever-growing maknae! ^_^

Now here comes the interesting part, I believe that being a fan of SNSD has actually benefitted me a WHOLE  lot (true story). I too was the delusional fanboy who couldn’t get enough of them and wasted a lot of time following them, one really awful example was where I brought my mini laptop to classes so that I could use the school WiFi and download all my SNSD related videos. And after returning home, I would proceed to ‘multitask’, watching those videos and studying at the same time. As my common test results have shown, this ‘multitasking’ obviously wasn’t productive and here I decided that if I wanted to study, do it properly. After flunking the CTs, my attitude towards my fanboying also changed. The fanboy in me died down little by little as I was more focused in pushing my grades up but I still enjoyed all my SNSD shows, now just in moderation. After achieving what I wanted to for my promos, during the holidays the fanboy in me gradually came back, but now I managed to find the delicate balance between work and fun, as I strived to improve my J1 foundation while also catching up on my SNSD-related videos. Although there are times where new releases tempted me, such as the release of Hoot which had to come out during my Project Work period, as well as The Boys which came out during my A Level period after a 1 year hiatus. Okay, so I did succumb to them and had to go watch it, but after finishing it, it sort of brought out the extra motivation in me to study harder, since I spent some time fanboy-ing already. The usual: Work hard, play hard, or in this case: Work hard, fanboy hard! The delicate balance between being a fanboy from being a blind fanboy was also found during this period, as my opinion toward other girl groups started to be unbiased as well and I wasn’t full mode defending SNSD all the way, and this helped me enjoyed and appreciate other girl groups and their songs as well! Then, there were times when life didn’t go exactly the way I wanted and what do I do? Watch some of their variety shows! Their dorky sides always cheer you up and brings a smile to my face. Yes this might sound a bit excessive but don’t we derive our sources of happiness from different sources? SNSD just happens to be one of them for me! 😀

SNSD has also helped me open up the many pathways to more aspects of the Korean world. I got into other singers, as well as many more Korean variety shows and dramas, but it were the ones where SNSD appeared in which got me all started. The first other K-artist I listened to was IU and her acoustic performance in Sketchbook, and her cover of Gee along with Sorry Sorry and Lies was just daebak, and during that time she was only 16 and just started out as a rookie artist. This also brought out my appreciation for artists who have real vocal talents and can sing without a backtrack. Onto the variety show side, Yoona’s and Taeyeon’s appearance in Family Outing had me watching all of the other episodes, which branched out to other shows such as Running Man, Dream Team, 2D1N, etc. Same goes for dramas, where my first Yoona drama (Cinderella Man) got me into so much more dramas, and after watching many of them, you realize that although your bias is inside the drama, it doesn’t mean that it’s good (sorry but CM was mediocre at best oops :x). I did a little fan-subbing here and there as well, and only through doing part of the subbing process itself (from the translation, to the timing to the QC and the typesetting), would you realize the number of hours needed to put in for quality subs. Best of all, most of the fan-subbing groups out there do it for free, just for all their fellow fans there. I also studied Korean for a short while but now I’m unable to have any commitments to lessons so I cant expand my knowledge much. Nonetheless, having basic knowledge of hte language here and there have helped me understand the shows I watch ever so slightly. Watching 2D1N really helped me know some of the Korean cuisine since all of them are forever feasting on food and whenever me and my friends go out for a feast, Korean buffet is a must now and then ohnomnom. A trip to Korea is now on the top of my bucket list as I want to be physically be at all the areas that I have seen on TV. And have I ever mentioned how hot it is when Jessica and Tiffany speak English?

spreading some JeTi love <3

spreading some JeTi love ❤

Although many see them as mega-celebrities, many of us forget that they are also like us, normal human beings and have their down-to-earth sides. They do have their silly and unglam moments, the most obvious example being Taeyeon’s ahjumma laughter. And all of them worked hard to be what they are now, the nation’s girl group, where many do not notice the effort they put in way before their debut and only see what they have achieved currently. Remember their first public performance and how nervous they were backstage? Now, they are owning the stage with thousands of fans with their pink lightsticks cheering them song after song. Did they ever complain? Maybe, but as this shows there is no shortcut to getting what you want, and with this point in mind I studied my ass off during promos to avoid getting retained, and gained much more in return. Back when my bias was still Taeyeon (Taeyeon is still my 2nd bias okay!) and was only slightly drifting to Seohyun, what amazed me about Seohyun was how she still sticked to her principles and her lifestyle choices although were really upright to a scary extent, to the point which made Yonghwa speechless during their first meeting in WGM, is something which you can admire and give a thumbs up. I mean who would have said that the person they look up to is the secretary-general of the UN?! Seeing Seohyun striving to improve herself as a person in areas where celebrities usually don’t touch is a very heart-warming sight, and being me I try to follow some of them: I started to read more, eat SLIGHTLY cleaner (you can’t say no to food all the times), and work harder to improve myself as a person. I even followed some of Seohyun’s ridiculous habits, such as eating of potatoes, and using the seatbelt when I sit at the back. Despite her hectic schedule, she still finds the time to attend classes in university. How can a free me give excuses not to study when she can study? HA!

Till today as of the year 2013, I am still somewhat a diehard SONE and I am definitely not embarrassed about it, as a matter of fact I show the fanboy side of me a bit too often (to the irritation of my army buddies in camp). It’s really weird that I haven’t shifted away my interest away from them and it has been 5 years already since I first got to know of their existence. Yes, I blew a lot of money and time buying their posters, albums, and going to their concert but to me, it’s all worthwhile. That 2.5 hours seeing them within a few feet apart, priceless! (shall not go into further details or else I will just keep typing on and on hahas).It has been an enriching journey, and I don’t see any reason stopping. So let’s continue on this SoShi Express and as a SONE, grow together with them. Next stop? GG World Tour 2013 in Singapore, I need an offical announcent like right now, MAKE IT HAPPEN PLEASE! 😀

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you just can’t get enough of them right? (And yay I manage to get a post out for July hehe!)

The D-Days of 2012

I never did my yearly review and reflections in a specific way. The 1st 2 years I did it by listing my new year’s resolutions, while for last year, I just recapped on what made my year happy. This WordPress has really come a long way, and at this generation who can proudly say that they have kept to 1 blogging platform for such a long period of time! I was always thinking how I wrapped out my year in a post, and so I decided to end it this way, inspired by a K-drama which I recently watched and loved, Reply 1997! During 1 episode (if I recall it was Episode 7 or 8 where all the main took their final exams), there was this mention about D-Days, which gave me the idea for this post.

d-day

Hands down my top K-drama for 2012!

Kim Yuna lived on the ice rink 12 years for four minutes and 10 seconds at the Olympics. For this test, we waited, ran, and prepared for 12 years. August 18, 1998. Our D-Day was passing by like that.

You could say that the ultimate D-Day of my life have already past in 2011 when I took my A Level examinations, 12 years of studying down to those few hours worth of papers (but I don’t want to touch on that subject anymore). But other than the major exams, everyone of us had our own D-Days in our own lives, big or small. 2012 was quite a mixed year for me, many good and bad things have happened to me. It didn’t felt as fast as 2011, as the days at Tekong passed really slowly. This year has been an emotional roller coaster, but although it may sound bad, it has thought me to appreciate the small moments in my life and the life lessons which i can learn from them. (Again, they may sound repetitive, so I’ll try my best to make it sound nicer.)

March 2 2012… The day all 18-year old JC students were waiting for, getting back their A-level results. Although the constant thought about it wouldn’t change the results, the small possibility of flunking was still up there. I knew that I was going to do alright since I mugged like crazy for the past year, but how well? I didn’t really expect such good results, but it was a testament of how hard I worked for. Like I said, there wasn’t much to worry. My first choice course was going to be Maths, which doesn’t require that excellent grades. It was more about the worry that if the grade were lousy, my future would be jeopardized as I could not get a good job and would lead to a snowball effect. Of course, having scored so well felt great, but even if I was to do badly, the me today and the me before would still be the same. Life waits for no one, life goes on. Does that piece of paper means that I would be made for life in the future? No, it merely opened up many paths for me, but in every path I still would have to work hard to reach the end-point. Okay I already talked about regarding this on my previous posts and  I hate harping on the topic of studies, so moving on…

March 6 2012… The day which I knew was coming sooner or later but never wished would happened. After receiving my results just a few days ago, in an early Tuesday morning I took the bus and boat to Tekong and only to come back 3 weeks after going through confinement. In a flash, I was now in the army, wearing green for the next 2 years. I never knew how it was going to be like in there, so I was expecting many cultural shocks going there. Turns out army wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but nonetheless the transition to military life was hard. I never really treasured my civillian life until then, and now I just want my pink IC back and want to have nothing to do with the army (14 months to go c’mon rawr!). No one likes any changes in their lives, but every Singaporean guy got forced into this shithole. I made many friendships on that island as well, and although we only spent 4 months together, imagine 5 days a week where we go through shit together, and slack together in our small bunk, along with the nightly HTHT. And during that period of time, book outs felt the best as you really appreciate the things around you. Now, every book in and book out feels like a vicious cycle, and every weekend burned is a super burden to our more and more uneventful time outside in civilization. During our recruit times, it was like a must to do something eventful during every book out before going back in but now, it’s like a part of life and you just get used to it. Life as a recruit went on for 4 months, with training week after week and finally, we were ready to march the hellish 24km down to the Marina Platform.

July 9 2012… The day where we turned into “men”. I don’t really believe in any of the army shit where we defend the country etc, but at last we’re getting out of the shitty island. There was this sense of pride marching into the Marina Platform, but now I think of it, it’s like “Meh, whatever… it was just the start of a shitty 2 years in NS”. If they really wanted to help us “celebrate”, they wouldn’t make us suffer and let us march 24km carrying a shitload of stuff. Hell just call some buses for us to the platform and let us do our parade. Putting aside the pain we suffered, overall the parade was okay, but after which I was just tired and smelly. The block leave after that for me was a little waste as compared to the leave I was enjoying last week, as half of the time I was lying on my bed resting my poor feet and legs. So what have I learnt about the army? Yeap it’s stupid LOL (sorry for being so anti-SAF, but I think most Singaporean guys think this way). There are some life lessons learnt through my journey as a recruit and my time serving in the army which I will take back, and I think by the time I got back my pink IC, I would have matured much more and become a better person. I could have gone through another period of being a cadet if I had gone to OCS/SCS, but I don’t think I would make it through another 6/9 months of just suck thumb and do blindly things as instructed. But I shall just take life as it goes, I could have been in much worse places so I shall be contented with what I have!

July 14 2012… Okay this may sound like a random date but to me, it’s something significant. No one except for one would have an idea on what happened during this day, but it was a start of yet another lesson of self-discovery. On this day, I did something which I never, ever would have thought of doing, and just thinking about it makes me feel oh so freaking embarrassed *hides under blanket*. It was a big step forward in my life, and with all the dust finally setting down, with a composed mindset I can finally talked about this topic more comfortably. Of course there are many questions I ask myself when I look back into this: Should I have done it differently? Should I have even done it at all in the first place? How would it have been if I done it at a later date? But what’s done is done, you cannot change the past. Now after going through all of that, I feel like a big rock was lifted off of me. It just wasn’t meant to be and I was too simple-minded to think that all would work out smoothly. Okay I shall elaborate on this topic in another post, but overall, since it turned out to be like this, just take it as a lesson in life and move on. I’m too young to let this thing put me down, and there are still many chances out there and perhaps the one who would be the right one for me would come at the correct time.

October 21 2012… The day I tested my physical limits. You never know how capable you are if you don’t try, so I decided to try out a 10km run to see if I could achieve finishing that distance. Although the run was a total killer to the legs, it felt extremely good to finish it, especially to finish it under an hour during your first try. Seeing my age group, there were many younger guys who ran faster than me, but to me it’s a personal thing which I wanted to try and see for myself if I could really do it, so the position didn’t matter. At this age, it seems like you need to be good at something if you enjoy it; for example if you enjoy soccer you would naturally be good at it. However, running to me isn’t something where I must be the best, it’s more of a personal challenge which I set to myself. After the last dash, I myself realize there’s a bit more in myself than I think, and that comes when you really push yourself. Of course timing is important as an indication to whether you’re improving, but I have really enjoyed the process of myself running. Now I feel much fitter, and it has indirectly monstrously helped my 2.4 timing as well even though I have been running much longer distance. The decision to start running has benefitted myself immensely and now with regular runs, it has keep my body in good shape since some of the long-distance runs which I do cancels out the pigging out of buffets and high-calorie snacks during the weekends.

There are some things that I would have loved to touched on for this year-in review, but I would just cover the more important ones which have made an considerable impact on my 2012. So I realized I never did a new year’s resolution list last year, so I’ll end this post with a few simple things in mind which I hope to achieve in 2013.

1) Maintain SILVER for IPPT

2) Run more to achieve the following targets – 52:00 for 10km, 1:55 for 21km, and lastly complete in any way a full marathon (even if I have to crawl my way to the finish line LOL)

3) Focus and study more of my Korean (no more procrastinating)

4) Post more in this WordPress, and revamp the whole thing if I am able to find the time.

5) Go out more often and waddle less at home on my bed with my laptop  (I need to have a better social life .__.”)

6) Get my driver’s license and drive my family out (so that my mom does not need to drive me all the time .__.””)

7) Improve myself as a person overall throughout the year 2013

Okay 7 things for this year. Kept it much more simple as compared to my previous resolutions and many things can fall under number 7. So that’s a wrap for 2012. Thanks for the memories and roller-coaster ride, and 2013 is going to move like a coal-powered train from the 70s, slowly given the miserable status that I’m under now (le NSF), but shall not wallow in pity because every other guy has gone through this stage at 1 point of his life, so in a flash I would have 2 months left to ORD and I can start to countdown from there. Until March 5 2014 aka ORD date comes, just take life simply as it goes and may I fill 2013 with many happy and memorable moments! :))

OFF-TOPIC: SNSD’s I Got A Boy comeback stage is absolutely awesome DAEBAK!!! Everything from the singing to the dance is super polished and during the live performances the girls are just brilliant. *fanboy mode back on* (rapes replay button~)

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Right now, it’s Girl’s Generation!!!

Second and third time’s a charm

This is going to be a quick one regarding the stuff which has happened to me during the end of year, mainly regarding my 2nd 10km run and my 3rd time seeing SNSD performing live. Yet another 1 of those posts which I have dragged for quite a while, but I thought it would be a little abrupt to suddenly review my whole year without covering these activities, and the 2 mentioned activities were what I were looking forward to end the year on a high note. Throughout this whole year, I would have loved to posted more here (not only regarding my life, much more broader topics), but I can only do this much with the time I have. So by chronological order, I would cover SMTown Singapore 2012, followed by the Standard Chartered Marathon 2012.

 

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The 9 Angels ❤

 

(Warning: Fanboy post ahead >.<) When I heard SMTown was coming to Singapore, immediately the fanboy in me burst out and I was like: “OMGOMGOMG must go!”. But as time passes, there were several factors which made it tricky if I could attend the concert. The main problem was cost, along with the problem that it was held on a Friday night so I may not be able to book out to catch the concert in time. When thinking through about my decision, SMTown is like the SNSD concert last year, I would never know if I would get another chance to experience an SMTown concert again, so what the heck, YOLO 1 more chance to see the 9 angels live!! Fortunately, my army schedule now is very flexible and not unpredictable so I took half day-off to make sure I would get to the place on time. Another factor which made me decide to go to SMTown is that it was held at the outdoor Marina Platform, which would bring a new experience in watching a concert. It’s also the same place where I passed out from BMT 4 months ago, and it was part of the running route next week for Standard Chartered at that point of time, so the place holds a small place in my heart since many things has happened to me on that platform. Moving on to the concert, although I was a SONE, I really enjoyed most of the other songs which the other SM groups performed (but of course I still cheered the loudest during any SNSD songs). Although you see the many different fan groups supporting their respective bias, the Shawols, the ELFs, the Cassiopeias, seing all the different fan lights waving around the stage, all of us enjoyed the songs belted out by every single artist that day. It’s no wonder people say that music is a universal language, and during the day itself, I could feel the chills down the body as I enjoyed song after song. The atmosphere was so high that all the people camping at the Helix Bridge could feel it around the concert. I never expected myself grooving to the beat of Sorry Sorry and Mirotic, screaming out the fan chants as well. Of course I would have loved to see SNSD sing more songs, but 4 hours of concert was well enough. And yes, the 9 girls were ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!! Everytime SNSD comes out to perform a song, I go into full SONE mode and cheer my lungs out and when it goes back to other artists, I go back to my seat and just enjoy the song, okay I’m too biased haha… Braving through the rain and stomache (never spam cookhouse food bleh…), it was an awesome experience and the day after, the feelings of the concert withdrawal crept in again. Not forgetting the fact that I got to hear Tiffany say “SINGAPORE, PUT IT BACK ON!”. Imagine the fanboy in exploding when I heard Tiffany say that, I probably screamed more throughout the concert than my sister. C’mon 2013, I need a SNSD concert pleaseeeeeeee!!

 

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My target next year!

 

Now to the Standard Chartered Marathon 2012 a week after… Originally I missed the registration and was going to give it a miss, but coincidentally my sister had to pull out of the run since during the period my family was flying to Taiwan, so I took her place instead in the run. As compared to the previous run, I did close to zero specific training for the event, other than 3 10km runs and 5km live runs every Tuesday and Thursday in camp. For this run, I was better equipped since I ran before 10km so I knew what to do and not to do. On the day itself, it felt quite cool to board an MRT train full of runners who are all gearing up for the run later. Being such an big event, the atmosphere was there and the run was enjoyable despite the large crowd hogging the start point. Although there was a considerable number of people who were ahead of me, there were even more behind me just walking the whole run (not sure if they were just enjoying the run or just lazy…). It was a enjoyable run since the location was central and I got to run pass the Marina Platform (yet again!), and there were many supporters whom cheered on, which spurred me on at times of tiredness. Although I ran only 1 minute faster than my previous run a fews week back, the run felt much better as I paced myself better even though I could feel that my body wasn’t really up to the task during the day itself. After the run, I rewarded myself with a filling MOS Burger meal and returned home in my Spiritus T-shirt and FBT shorts (which brings out the most of my long legs HAHA :P). So that was my last run in 2012, with many more to go in 2013. Got 1 10km run at NUS in around 2 weeks, can’t wait! I would be going for 1 or 2 more 10km runs before trying a half-marathon and ultimately a full marathon. Target for NUS run: <55 mins!!

And so how I spent my last days of 2012? Rotting my days in camp, meeting and feasting with my friends, went to my batch’s SCS POP, some reflection and rethinking of what has happened to me for this year, and a whole lot of slacking in front of my computer watching random videos on YouTube during block leave. To wrap it all up, the apocalypse didn’t happen!!! So I didn’t die young and there’s still much to do with the years ahead of me. Not to mention that I’m finally getting my SNSD comeback! 3 MORE DARS RAWR!!!

 

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seohyun saranghae~~~

It’s good to be alive! Life after A’s

It’s the new year, and for the first time in my 18 years, I do not need to go to school. Whew joy to the world! After being finally released (temporary) from the education system and given a load of free time, I really finally had the time to just relax, look at the ceiling (LOL) and have nothing to worry about. Most people I know have a job during the holidays, but I just choose to slack my remaining days off and really, REALLY, enjoy life to the max, and just do the many things I wanted and love to do when I didn’t have the time to do last year. During the 2 years in Senior High, most of my time was spent on “closet-mugging” and I didn’t really get to do much, maybe except during the holidays in Year 5 and the beginning of Year 5 where I just slacked too, but back then studies was still my top priority. One K-drama I could relate back to would be Scent Of A Woman, where the lead basically got only a few months to live and lived her life to the fullest after years of hardship. (ok you can’t say 2 years of SH life is exactly hardship, and I don’t literally have a few weeks to live, just using a metaphor).


It’s the new year, but basically nothing changes

After A’s, I have 3 months of free time to do all the stuff I wanted to do. Fortunately, I worked out the stuff I wanted to do before and during the A Level period, and I don’t necessarily have to complete my list before I head for enlistment, just enjoy the process while doing it. I previously wrote about going to MAMA and SNSD concert, which was basically the top 2 stuff I wanted to do Korean-related after the As. Actually going to either 1 of those would have been sufficient, but although the tickets were expensive, it was really fun to have gone all to those (no need for the details). I also wanted to go to Korea, but if I wanted to go Korea, I had to miss the SNSD concert. Any dumbass would have gone to Korea, but c’mon, going to a SNSD concert was literally a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see them perform all their songs. I saw them once live in MAMA already, but one song was definitely not enough :O. I don’t know if they would return to Singapore again, and even if they do, I could be stuck in the army. By the time I have enough money to go to Korea, they might have retired or gone inactive already. How could I say no? Well, maybe next time for Korea, since it’s going to be there forever and I would always have the chance to go there once I have the time and money. Heck, I could go there for an exchange program during university. There are many other opportunities out there, no point crying over one. Instead, I went to Taipei and did the same stuff again. Eat, shop, eat, visit relatives, eat, walk around, eat. I gained 3kg itself from the 1-week trip itself (mother of god), but it was nice to see my relatives in Taipei, which I didn’t see for close to 2 years. Went to see some distant relatives for the 1st time as well, which was kind of interesting because you are meeting people who are living in really different environments. The stronger family bond is evident, which is heartwarming to see, but we do have our similarities, such as our constant usage of our phones and my female cousins having a sweet tooth (just like my sis). I missed the year-end prom AND class trip to Thailand just for this trip, but no matter what, family comes first. I never really thought about how hard is it for my mom to be only able to her mom (which is my grandma) once every year or two, BASED on me and my sister’s schedule. If I can’t go to Korea, Taiwan would be the second best thing. I wanted to travel at least once outside of Singapore during the 3 month break, since Singapore to me is really a concrete jungle, and even the sunset is like a rare scene for me here.


me goofing around with my sis with one of our SUPER RARE zi pai attempts LOL

Other than attending Korean-related events, I also got to do many other stuff related to it. I watched tons of drama, some at a slow pace, but some at disgustingly fast speed (I finished Scent Of a Woman in 2 days and Protect The Boss in 3 days). After the new year arrived, I went back and continued learning Korean, which I stopped for a while during Year 5 in order to focus on studies. Most of my friends think I study Korean just for my love for SNSD, which is true ONLY to a certain extent (lol self-denial). I really like the Korean culture, which I learnt from Korean documentaries and dramas and there is many things about Korea which are intriguing and tend to be forgotten, from other genres of Korean music to the culture and even the food. This includes myself, who can’t seem to stop idolizing SNSD until it gets to the point of being annoying, but I would say I’m not so into K-pop and the Korean wave as compared to perhaps 2 years ago. I don’t go on Soshified everyday or listen to K-pop everyday lol. But still as I stated before, I would support those 9 girls all the way! Many tend to forget or don’t even know the hard work these idols put into their debut. Although I don’t like all the K-pop groups, I do have respect for all of them, given the years of dedication they put into their work and practice, along with the ability for them to survive the wrath of the many kinds of fans. Other than that, I do fan subs, which after going through the process itself, realize how tiring the process is. Dramas are much easier, but imagine a group of people talking to each other in a variety show, and not to mention the captions. But all of these I’m just taking it as an experience and take that I’m helping the community, as well as the subbing groups who 100% do it for the fans (unlike some which do for the fans)


9 angels ❤

Other than that, there are many things I’ve done. Sometimes, I would just sit down and play the guitar, while singing out songs at the balcony by myself. Although there isn’t a beautiful view or something (all I see is the PIE lol), it feels great with the silent night and night breeze blowing at you. I also do go exercise on a more regular basis, such as going to the gym or go for a run. Running around the Kembangan track really feels good, and it really helps you clear your mind and worries (things just feel so awesome when done at night). Having a healthy body really makes you feel good. You don’t really need to have a killer figure, just one which is healthy. I also started to read books, which kinda reminded me of my Primary School days which I read every single Roald Dahl book. Having school means I just couldn’t find the time to read books, but now I do haha. I always imagined myself to be at a Starbucks, sipping at hot coffee while reading a book, which I get to do now! Last year, I go there and study, while getting chased at times, but now no such thing happens! Enjoying the rich coffee smell, sitting on the dimly lit shop on a couch and just read a book. I should be out with a job and earning money, but I’ve been doing the opposite and blowing money instead, which makes me feel like a lazy pig. (writes note: must find job after NS)

Of course, I do go out with friends (I do not stay at home all day okay -_-). Like what Terence said, friends are REALLY important. When you have no one to turn to, you can always turn to your friends. It’s always nice to meet friends after school ended, from 4F to 24 to any one I’ve met during my 6 years in DHS. Although there was no 4F or 24 chalet (lazy me…), there were many outings between both class and guys that I went, and it’s just feels really good to just sit down, chill, relax and chat about stuff. I also (like 18 months haha) finally got to clear something off my head through HTHT haha, so it’s all good. Most of the guys are enlisting in like a few days, and I really wanted to spend more time with them, but all of us have to go serve our nation, sooner and later. During my break, I really got to spend good time together, from cocking around, going to the gym, eating together, talking to each other about life, and many other things. I would really miss the school times we spent together, and hopefully all of us can keep in touch (which I’m sure we would). Especially for someone like me which is incredibly shy, it’s really rare to find such great friends, and I feel fortunate to have such friends and could not have asked for better. This reminded me of Tiffany, whom I respect a lot for being so mentally strong, despite her mom passing way when she was at a young age.

Mom, you left this world before I have, but you gave me 8 sisters.


*bows back*

In all, there are many other things that I wanted to do (really learn drumming, travelling around, jamming with the guys, etc.), but I’m already satisfied. You always take things for granted, even to the simplest stuff such as having a house to live in, or to have both of your parents etc. Nearly every year, as I look back, I really feel like I’ve grown a lot and matured. Let’s hope this trend goes on and I can improve on myself and become a better person in the future!

Hoping the year 2012 would be a good one for all! And it’s good to be alive~

P.S. I got my inspiration to write this long, long note from 艾莉絲, whom recently got married. Randomly hopped on her blog and got the inspiration from there haha. Time really flies, 2 years ago I was watching her hosting tian cai chong chong chong and now she’s married >.<


glad she got her perfect wedding haha

MAMA and Girl’s Generation Tour 2011

Attend a Korean Award Show ceremony… checked!
Attend a SNSD concert… checked!

Really riding the Hallyu wave this year, given how I blew over $300 attending the above 2 events live. It was really an enjoyable experience, especially after all the stress from the stupid A levels. MAMA was 3 hours before the end of Chemistry MCQ, which made going there even sweeter as it was my first post A level activity. At that point of time, you just wanted As to end and I literally counted down the seconds while looking at the large digital clock in the hall, just waiting for all of it to end.

When me and my sister arrived at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, it took me a while to take it all in: I’m going to watch a Korean awards ceremony and I do not have to study at all. I’m finally free from the grueling Singapore education system. Aside from the predictable winners and occasional miking problem, I would say MAMA exceeded my expectations, given all the special performances each group gave. I nearly died when Tiffany said “Singapore make some noise”, which made me feel proud to be a SONE, especially when my whole section is dominated by ELFs with their blue lightsticks. The person who impressed me the most was CL, and she just burned charisma during her performances. Loved how the crowd erupted when CL appeared for the BEP performance with will.i.am and apple.de.ap (or whatever his name is). It was also nice to see some of the actor/actresses, although I wished some of them do not engage in their small talks. And big props to the stage crew for clearing and setting up the stage time from time, since their efforts are not shown on TV. I made an conclusion after going through MAMA: Fangirls are loud, and fangirls are crazy. I have no idea how I would survive a SUJU or TVXQ concert.

After touching down on Singapore from Taipei on a Friday morning, I went to SNSD concert with Darick, Chin Kiat and Nic Lee. We camped 6 1/2 hours in the queue under the hot sun, only to be at a decent distance in the mosh pit from the stage . Thankfully, thanks to my 182cm tall figure (LOL), I managed to get a good view of the girls. First time camping in the queue, and it was really an ‘experience’ lol… At least next time an SNSD concert is being held in Singapore, I know what to do, other than camp much earlier to get a better place in the mosh pit. (On a side note, army will suck so much if an SNSD concert is held when I’m stuck inside the camp) Moving ahead, seeing SNSD up close was amazing and jaw-dropping, they seriously are 9 goddesses. The most heart-warming thing to see is that the girls looked like they were having fun on stage, and they made the effort to constantly engage with the audience. Never would I have thought that I would get so close to any of the 9 girls, and 3 hours seeing them seem so damn short. They were so damn cute, expressing their love for chili crab, and Sooyoung said the most heartwarming quote during the concert, “SNSD has the best fans in the world”. Will be constantly supporting the 9 girls! Fighting!

It’s been around 3 weeks since the end of As, and post As life isn’t as exciting as I thought it would be, probably because of the lack of things to do. One of my goals was to strengthen my Korean, but lacking the motivation to ‘study’, but hopefully after clearing my room and other ‘to-do’ things, I can settle down and just relax, not thinking about the fucking education I will need to face the last time after NS and hopefully, pull off a miracle and pass my IPPT…