Week -1 (Let’s just call it orientation)

by Jolyn Low

An excerpt from an email that I’ve sent:

So hey,
I’ve spent approximately 5 days in this place and I’m loving it (ew thinking about it in that overly cheerful jingle). The room’s pleasant and the weather much cooler than in Singapore especially at night. The cool breezes in the morning and waking up without an alarm are heavenly. So’s looking out and seeing bunnies on your lawn ha ha…
Independent living hasn’t really dawned on me just yet. Maybe it’s because of the free food I’ve been getting here and there and the lack of need to be extremely frugal (or cheap) with food at the moment since I’ve been left alone with a well-stocked cupboard for about 10+ days. I’m excited to be more adventurous with my cooking and to go after one of my goals of the year: to be a better cook. I wish I could reach the stage whereby I can whip up something delicious but that’s going to be a long and disgusting road of failed experiments and burnt food.
Budgeting is a damned headache and heartache. On one hand, I’m pretty carefree and am out to enjoy myself. However, thoughts regarding being able to get a worthwhile return from this investment plague my mind and I’m so so afraid that I cannot live up to these dreams.
On the social side, I can’t say that I’m lonely. I’m definitely not. Alone time is something that I still treasure and hold precious whenever I have the chance (hence the frantic typing and mulling close to midnight). Furthermore, my apartment seems to be extremely diverse, with people from all over the world! I’m getting to know them better and all, and its fun conversing in chinese and english. But I’m still nervous about not having met any of the many fellow countrymen pursuing their studies at the same place. Is it normal to yearn for the comfort of or the semblance of comfort from conversing with people you’re familiar with? Or with people who you know will be keeping you company in your course of study?
I’m extremely happy with the pace of life here. It’s beautiful. And the perspectives are so diverse and it’s been everything I’ve dreamed of, truly. Home seems so far away but then again it’s just a short 5 hour plane ride away. Am missing Honey and home as always, but regular FaceTime conversations are great as well. Once I’ve my Skype set up or when I’m in campus using free wifi let’s FaceTime too.