At the end of the day

by Jolyn Low

I’ve been pretty down in the dumps for these past few days. Been facing a lot of rejection and I’m riddled in self-doubt and disappointment. I’ve gotten rejected for literally 3/5 of the things that I’ve applied to. Be it courses, or scholarships. And guess what – the feeling really sucks. It sucks because I feel the need to do better, to take on a load of responsiblities and to make people proud. I have expectations of myself. Falling short of them is devastating especially when insecurities tend to blind me. I have this warped idea that this is all I have to offer and hence I must excel in this realm to be happy and successful. I’ve been looking down the wrong cliff, I realise.

Today, I sat for the interview and test. And to put things simply, it felt damn right. I wasn’t freaking out for once and the ideas were all there. I’d thought of all these things before. The poem was probably the cherry topping it all off. I made a pretty simple model: red boxes representing the blocks, a black flat plane representing the space, and some detailing in white and in the form of sticks. It looked quite basic but I knew what I was making, which made things pretty easy to explain.

After the hour was up, it was interview time. Thank goodness I walked in early because I was immediately whisked off for mine. It started with explaining the model which I think I blabbered a lot about, going in detail and glossing over some others. At least I got my point across because the interviewers understood and got the gist of it. Was asked to show my portfolio which I sheepishly flipped through, showing some recent sketches and old ones I did in art class. They were like “oh, the Joker!”

After this I think I was asked if I travelled and what was a place that I liked. I said that I liked Japan because of its infrastructure and sleek designs, as well as the connectivity. They asked for more specifics so I said that I liked Hiroshima especially because of the preservation alongside the modern. Something along those lines.

Then they asked if you were an architect, what would be your dream? So I just told them that it would be to build a house entirely based on what I liked. They probed and asked me to delve in further so I said that I envisioned it to be in a forest (lol) probably not in Singapore but they were very encouraging and told me to go on. So I said that I would want a feature glass wall and talked about why I wanted it, with wood finishings. And that it probably has to be in an isolated place because if not I won’t have any privacy (lol).

“Your ideas involve a lot of nature and openness, can you share why is this so?” So I talked about my upbringing and the social benefits of this although I didn’t really go in detail. And I said that I didn’t like being in a concrete jungle.

Because of this, they asked me what I thought of Singapore in general and I struggled a little with this one. Can’t really remember what I said.

After this they suddenly asked me what were 5 alternative ways to use a paper clip for. I kinda expected such a question but didn’t prepare so I took quite some time to think. I said it could be used to make a sculpture, as a hook, a room divider, a weapon (the response was wow that’s vicious) and as a clothing accessory. The interviewer asked “like using it as a earring” and I was like “maybe not that” and they started laughing. So I’ll take that as a good sign?

The interview ended shortly after that like they literally went “thank you” and smiled out of the blue. It was pretty fast – 15 minutes. But it didn’t feel like that at all. I was skipping out of the room and all smiles because I was in my happy little place. The interview honestly felt more like a conversation more than an interview with my monologue on my ideas. I’m not very sure how it will turn out but I’m satisfied. Really satisfied. That I’ve found what I wanted to do.

There were some casual questions like “you were a science student, right?” and “what school were you from” but overall my interviewers were really friendly and I was really at ease. I hope that I’d left a good impression. I think partially why I was so relaxed it was because I had no one to impress and I was just doing what I wanted to do. Praying and hoping for an offer now. Today has reaffirmed my decision and choice.

This might not be the most “prestigious” or “meaningful” course. And some might think that “it’s a waste of your grades”. But it looks like it’s the course for me. At least, I hope that it’ll be.

All that’s left is the wait for the letter. Please bear good news. I can’t wait.