by Jolyn Low
And now, the countdown really begins. I have exactly 16 days till home. Literally, just two weeks and two days. And that’s fantastic, for I want to finish up this semester and just go back for a while and relieve myself of all these burdens at least for a slight period of time.
It’s funny, for every since I was young I have dreamt of studying abroad. I imagined a pretty dorm room and a picturesque campus, as well as wonderful activities and hall life. In a sense, I am living the dream right now (albeit not as picturesque at the moment) but people forget that living abroad encompasses doing one’s own dishes, cooking for oneself and taking care of someone (yourself) who has never been truly independent before. As I was brought up with two working parents and a helper that took care of us kids, I had rarely lifted a finger to do anything, especially laundry. Oh, don’t get me started. If your course requires you to do things out in the field, say, collect samples or pick piglets up and tip sheep your clothes get dirty. Fast. And it really kinda sucks, because every single wash costs $3, which isn’t cheap. It can buy me a nice plate of chicken rice back at home for goodness sake.
Living abroad also makes me think of how different it might’ve been if I had remained in Singapore. Whilst incredibly liberating, it also makes me think about how isolated I am from others my age. I don’t have the opportunity to mingle as much with young people at home. To be honest, I suppose we only need a handful of good friends, and that is enough. Just musing about how, when I return eventually, socialising would be rather difficult with work and family being the priority. No hall life, no university experience with my peers, and again, rather isolated. This is not to say that I’m lonely, but it would have been nice to have had the experience; I have chosen a very different path.
I have two papers this coming week, which I feel rather confident for if I would put in the time to memorise things. I also have my animal handling examination, which I am clearly nervous for. I just want (need) to pass, please. Animals please be good. I’m not too worried about pigs and horses (pray that 10 years of being bullied by horses and ponies alike has given me the confidence to handle them with firmness and grace) but sheep and cows aye, I’m nervous. They didn’t bring the sheep born in 2016 out previously, which means that we had to tip the 2015 ones and those born before. And it wasn’t working for me because certain tips require you to literally lift a 30kg sheep up and frankly speaking when you are 42kg that doesn’t happen easily. I know that I am able to and that I can but it gets exhausting working with animals so fearful of humans and flighty.
I went for a nice run around the lake today. It felt wonderful. Whilst most of the time finals and important exams leave me extremely stressed out, I feel quite relaxed this time round. It feels like my hard work for my mid semesters and lab reports has paid off. Sure, one lab report might only be worth 4.17%. But when you have 6 added up, I feel like all my hours spent doing each individual report up to an acceptable standard has paid off. The same goes for studying for the mid semester tests and all. 41.5/42, can you imagine! But at the same time I have slacked off as well – this isn’t my best. I figured if I just did what was required in a short time and got the marks it would suffice as well. Not the greatest attitude, but I’ll work on it next year.
Retaining GPA 4.0, here I come!