Courage is one step ahead of fear

Oct 18, 2017

It's been a while since my last post and I don't know where to begin. Perhaps it's easier to give an update from where I left off. For the rest of July and August, I was busy doing my dissertation. After I handed in my dissertation, I went on a short break to Portugal with my friend Amy (I'll talk about this on another day). By the end of September, I finished my Master's degree and came back to Birmingham.

When I was doing my undergraduate degree, I never thought I will do further studies. During my final year, I had a change of heart. I was not ready to work. I didn't feel I have the skills or ability to do so. Besides, I didn't know what jobs to look for since I didn't have a particular interest. Then I decided I'll do a Master's degree to give myself more time, to improve my skills, and to find something I will enjoy doing.

I didn't know what to study for a Master's degree. Although I enjoyed studying biomedical science, I wanted more than being stuck in a lab. So, I went on a random university's website and looked at all their Master's degree courses to see what I can do. It didn't take me long to realise Masters of Public Health was my choice to study. I didn't think Imperial wouldn't accept me, but I applied since there's no harm in trying. In fact, they gave me an offer, and I was super happy!

Studying Masters of Public Health at Imperial has been one of the best decisions I made. I found something I'm interested in doing and I've learnt so much during the past year. The journey hasn't been easy, but those challenges have made me stronger and confident as a person. If you're not sure what to do after university, I recommend doing a Master's degree on something you're interested in.

I'm on board for the graduate life and it feels weird (this post can explain). I'm definitely more ready to work compared to before. But the problem is the job searching part, which fellow graduates can relate. Like needing the experience to get a job, but needing a job to get the experience. The only thing I can do is to keep trying and be patient.

"Do what you love, at least a little bit. And if you have to do something else in order to support what you love, do it. … Do what you have to do to work on your passions; just don’t get stuck in the side job." James Franco

The game continues after checkmate

Jul 2, 2017

Every time I return from a long break from blogging, I never know what else to say apart from "hey, it's been a while, but now I'm back". Most of the time when I'm away, it's because I'm busy with university. This time was no different. Compared to the first term, the second term was a lot busier, not to mention stressful, with juggling between lectures, group assignments, mini project and having a life haha. But even when second term and the exam ended, I didn't come back to blogging. To be honest, it was because I was in a state of constant worry and disappointment over my exam performance, and I didn't want to share my problems on this blog.

To take my mind off the exam, I decided to keep myself busy. One thing I did was watch "Misaeng", a Korean drama that follows the everyday life of a group of co-workers in their twenties who started their job at a big multinational company. The characters, the storyline and the cinematography were incredible. For me, the real beauty of this drama is the uplifting message it was trying to bring across ("we are not alone in our struggles" and "the small victories in our life matter and contribute to the final win") and the use of Baduk musings to draw analogies to important life lessons. For example, the Baduk saying "even if you lose a stone, the game goes on" parallels the idea of "misaeng" (literal translation: incomplete life) and that our lives are a work in progress and the only way is go forward.

It's so easy to get trapped of thinking your future is over when you got a bad result or when you haven't performed as well as you wished to. As students, we are taught to work towards our exams and our future hinges on it. So, we are pressured to get excellent grades. But, sometimes we fail to realize that exam results don't define our life. By this, I don't mean to say that exams are not important, but more to say there is all kind of opportunities out there, and ultimately it is up to us (our attitude and mindset) to define our life.

To cut the long story short, at the end of May, I was happy and relieved to find out that I passed the exam element of my degree :) Now dissertation is the only thing stressing me out, but I'll talk about that another time. For now, I'm sharing some pictures I took at the teamLab's "Transcending Boundaries" exhibition back in March, since the mood fits with this post. I didn't manage to take a lot of photos back then because the time slot was only 10 minutes. But it was a really interesting immersive art experience and I would love to check out another teamLab's exhibition in the future.

"Moving on is being able to look back without needing to reach back"

This artwork continuously changes depending on your interaction with the installation. So when you are still, more flowers are born and simultaneously bloom. But when you move, the flowers begin to wither, die and fade away. I left my bag to one side and surprisingly it created a really nice effect.

What good are wings without the courage to fly

Feb 20, 2017

Around a month ago, I had my first ever job interview. Once the interview was over, I knew I wasn't successful. There were so many things that could have gone a lot better...

So last week, I finally received the interview outcome and it confirmed my suspicions. To be honest, I'm not too upset by the results. At this stage, I'm still not sure what to do. But I know there's plenty of opportunities out there, and it's a matter of finding it. This result simply gives me more time to explore the other options and to figure out what I really want to do in life. Also, most importantly, at least I tried, and there's nothing to regret. I know what I did badly, and next time, I'll learn from these mistakes and improve.

After the interview that day, I went to the Winter Lights Festival. There were 30 light installations throughout Canary Wharf. We only located a few; we gave up finding the rest as our hands were freezing and we decided to eat dinner instead. Here are the captures from that day :)

"Each mistake teaches you something new about yourself. There is no failure, remember, except in no longer trying. It is the courage to continue that counts"

My angel :)

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