Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Year 2 ✓

Second year of uni, done & dusted! Is it just me or did Year 2 just fly by like a G6? Though it went by swiftly, it sure was a turbulent ride. I had my fair share of good times and bad times in Year 2, so I thought maybe I'd write about some of them. So yeah. Here we go, danger :

1. KHouse

Allow me to just continue from the cheesiness in my last blog post and take the cheesiness up a notch by 10 factorial with a rhetorical question : What would I do without KHouse?

Cheesy, I know, but cheesy is what it is with KHouse. You can go through my posts labelled KHouse but what you'll find are just the stories that I decided to divulge to public. Truth is, there's a whole bunch of embarrassing & hilarious stories of KHouse that never saw published life outside my drafts, stories that would do more harm than good to our images in the hypothetical event of them escaping the draftland haha. KHouse have seen me at my worst and my best and consciously made the choice to stick by my side & continuously provide support for me.

I'm the kind of person who always gets worked up over exams, I'm your typical kiasu Asian who worries about exams like it's a matter between life and death. And it's not helping at all that I have exams every 2 months. KHouse taught me that it's perfectly fine to play card games for 15-30 minutes even when I have an exam the next day (17-year-old Sheera would have shaken her head in disapproval at the idea). KHouse taught me that it's of vital importance to get enough healthy sleep during exam season. KHouse took care of me when I fell ill a few times. KHouse legitimately worried for me and asked me to consider professional help because I talk to myself too much (but that's just because none of them would layan my endless ramblings...). KHouse always made my tummy happy because they're such amazing cooks. KHouse listened to my stories about bizarre cases and patients. KHouse blasted their playlists while showering, giving me that daily dose of radio DJ vibes. KHouse saw me in good hijab days and bad hijab days, and they also saw me in that horrifying period of time right after taking off my hijab when my hair's all flat and just... Ugly.

It's a miracle how we kind of clicked and got along right from the beginning. Sure each of us took our time before we went full gear showing our true colours and our weird habits transpired hahaha, but we're pretty much ngam ngam ho right from day 1 methinks. Here's some of our earliest photos together :

Genuinely laughing in the two photos above. Can't remember what we were laughing about, probably Emma, because we always laugh at Emma. Even Emma laughs at Emma, hahaha.

Our default seating arrangement. Emma on the sofa, Ulfah on the left side of the photo, me on the right side. This is where we have dinner, where our bond's severed over card games,...
... where we watch Running Man and The Return Of Superman and Exo's Showtime and Exo's music videos,...

... also where watched the live stream of Thomas Cup!

KHouse will forever remain as one of my fondest memories of uni life, and KHouse is a story I shall recite to my grandkids in the future (if I live long enough & fortunate enough to have shiny curious eyes looking up to me calling me 'grandma', that is).

2. Our landlord

is arguably the BEST landlord any tenants in their right mind could possibly ask for. He's always very considerate, caring, kind, thoughtful, always making sure that everything is functioning well in the household. If something gets broken or needs repair/maintenance, more often than not he came to rescue himself, bypassing the agents and their tedious procedures & whatnots, even for matters that didn't need urgent attention. I feel like we're downright spoiled tenants man haha. Sometimes when he came over, he'd sit down and talk to us about arts, history, and his past experience, over coffee. One time he showed off his skills of doing the crane origami with his eyes closed (!!!), and then told us the story behind it. During our exam time aka the time the stress (my stress, especially) was at an all time high, he came to check if everything's in order and if we're doing alright. He asked about our revision and exams and to Emma, about her dissertation.

He dropped by before I left for my flight back to Malaysia and gave me a card, which was really, really sweet of him.

Tertinggal H tapi takpe dimaafkan

What did we do right to deserve him as our landlord?!

I'm forever thankful to him for choosing us as tenants because his house is just... Perfect, for KHouse. It felt right to come back to the house from a long day at uni and call it our Home. I felt like we truly belong there and there's no where else I can imagine for us to take shelter from, other than his house.

3. Our neighbours

Monica (I think I mentioned her once before), we rarely see her but she's no less of an angel than our landlord. When I first came to view the house, Monica was still living in the house. While looking around the house & immediately falling in love with the house, I made small talk with Monica, and I saw her cat so I couldn't help but to squeal at her cat because I love cats & I don't get to see cats that much in the UK so the squeal was rather inevitable. She let me pat her cat. A lot of people came & showed interest in the house, so our landlord had to choose which tenants he deems best for the house, and I was told that Monica was the one who convinced our landlord to choose us. Cue EXO_Heaven.mp3 please because that 'Hello angel' line was written for her because that's what she is because what else could she be!! Honestly, I can't imagine where else we'd live if it weren't for Monica! Bless her. And also our next door neighbour who's a sweetheart for always trimming the wild grass at our back garden because none of us can be bothered hahaha. The men who operate the small convenience store literally 15 steps away from our front door. The man who sells fruits who we pass by every day on our way back from the tube, we call him Abang Buah because we don't know his name hahaha. The people we buy cheap veges and cheap chicken from. Iceland. Sainsbury's. Life at KHouse would be so difficult without these people so thank you!

4. PBL Group C6 Squad

The liveliest, loudest PBL group I've ever been in hahaha. I was sad that we had to go into new groups for the new modules because I grew really comfortable with the C6 squad. They're so funny and even though half of the time I don't get their British banter, I still find them funny!! I remember one time I explained to them how the Malays in Malaysia don't really use the surname system, they just lost their shit and they couldn't comprehend it.

Hahahah. They made PBL a fun learning experience for me and I really appreciate that. I'm rather timid in the UK, my self esteem just plummets to the core of the Earth whenever I'm surrounded by the locals here, because they talk so fast and it's difficult for me to keep up. I end up feeling stupid most of the time, but that's not the case with C6 Squad. They actually explained things very well to me whenever I don't understand something. That means a lot to an international student like me.

5. EXO

For accompanying me during boring tube rides, studying, working out (sit ups & planks je but shut up it's the effort that counts), showering; thank you for singing for me, EXO. I fell in love with them all over again (not that I ever fell out of love anyway...) when they dropped their double-title comeback!!!

No, you don't understand, I was anticipating for their comeback. When I accidentally watched the full leaked video of their dance practice, I instantly liked the English demo song, so I was honestly pumped up for their comeback. I continued watching the leaked video at least 100 times a day, every day. I kept up with the teasers and fan-made theories that came shortly after each teaser. With every teaser the levels just kept rising. It wasn't easy to manage my inner fangirl when my final exams were just around the freakin corner okay so when they released the music videos, I thought, goddamnit this better be worth it. And ugh, it was. They didn't disappoint.

EXO continues to surpass my expectations man, I don't even understand. In the demo song I thought something felt amiss during the second verse, like they missed a beat or something, and in the music video I noticed it again but MRJKPOP explained that apparently there's a subtle rhythmic variation thing going on??? (I love watching his videos because he analyses the musical aspect of songs, giving productions the justice they rightfully deserve, while I tend to focus on the vocals. 95% of the time I can't even follow as he marches on and on with some weird terms, but I was so happy I noticed the missing-beat thing that he pointed out! Made me feel smart for like 2 seconds haha) I love both Monster and Lucky One, but I love Monster a teeny bit more because of the intense music and fantastic choreography, but Lucky One's rap is so much catchier to my ears. A small part of me wishes they'd retained the English version of Monster's rap though, it's like a mantra, addicting.

Anyway, it's safe to say that Monster has officially replaced Exodus from my number one favourite EXO song. I LOVE IT. I didn't think anything could top Sehun's "Shawty Imma party 'till the sun down" or "Eommaya" or "Never don't mind about a thing", but "That's right, my type" proves me wrong.

And they've also upped their singing live game, like, all of them. Before this I was only confident about Baekhyun singing live, but this time around Jongdae has come a great mile in terms of controlling his breath, Kyungsoo can hold his notes a lot more stable, my boy Sehun has improved tremendously in his rap, Jongin has proven that he can indeed sing. And everyone just looks glorious in this comeback. I think Jongin must have given the rest of EXO lessons on how to play with facial expressions during performing because I see most of them pulling that smouldering gaze while dancing now, like they're all trying to get into their charisma in the performance. Which is good because it means they exert their stage presence with a certain kind of force & claim absolute attention in the entirety of their performance, keeping eyes peeled on them & the insane choreography. Honestly so, so impressed and proud of EXO. I love you EXO saranghaeee! Look at how regal my boys are haih :

Special thanks to SM for keeping Sehun's and Baekhyun's hair black.

6. The only constant is change

I'm a creature of habit and routine. There's a sense of comfort that comes with having things done in a certain order and a certain system. After A is B, and then C, and then D, and so on and so forth. It involves getting used to, it feels familiar, it becomes a safe zone that leaves very little room for spontaneity. But when something unexpectedly shows up and tampers with my conventional order of things, I perceive this as a signal of haywire, so it sends me into a mania.

Maybe that's why I survived boarding school, the order in which I carried out my daily activities - from waking up to sleeping at night - gave me the chance to build some sort of momentum to keep me going through the days. Thing is, that was boarding school, where everything was dictated. And that was Malaysia, where the length of day & night is only slightly variable throughout the year. In the UK, I tried to employ the same system/routine that I had in boarding school, so I can just simply follow and things will work out the same way they did in boarding school. But if there's one thing I learnt about studying abroad, it's that nothing stays constant for very long here. Subuh is around 7 a.m. during winter, and Maghrib around 4 p.m. My biological clock, for some reason, associates dinner time with maghrib, but it felt wrong to have dinner at 4 p.m. So some adjustments were necessary. Just as I was about to get the hang of my Winter routine, Spring kicked in, and then Summer, where Subuh is at approximately 3 a.m. and Maghrib around 10 p.m.

It was exhausting for me as I kept finding the right ways to accommodate for my sleeping hours and revision and meal times. That explains why my sleeping hours were completely wrecked during my finals, because what with Ramadhan, sahur, iftar, revision, exams; there was too much on my plate. I was basically a walking zombie.

And it's not just that. Disruptions, to me, can be in other various forms. Like, for example, after I come back from uni I try to make sure I recap everything I learnt from that day, to consolidate the information further. That's the drill. But obviously I can't spend 3 hours recapping the day's lessons in my room when I have friends coming over, right?? Obviously I have to entertain the guests. Or when Ulfah suddenly said "Korang jom main card!", obviously I can't just say No to that kind of distraction haha.

I don't know about you, but this sort of thing messes with my peace of mind. In Year 2, however, I slowly began to learn to just, go with the flow and let loose a little. Be a little less rigid about having things done my way, and more receptive to changes. I learnt that I need to listen to my mind and my body with regards to their oscillating needs, and act accordingly. My routine in boarding school may not be the best for my uni life, and that's okay. I learnt to find what works for me. And sometimes, things work only temporarily, and become obsolete after a certain amount of time, and that's okay, I guess? I don't know if I'm making any sense here.

7. God and His alchemy

I reckon that tough times are akin to a tunnel - dark and unknown and possibly winding. But I also know that a tunnel is not a cul de sac, there's a light at the end of it, but the only way to get there is to brave through the darkness. And I believe if God puts me in the tunnel in the first place, he'll get me through it, via his mysterious ways. Not once did He abandon me.

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