invitan: (Hikaru - Become stronger)
[personal profile] invitan
Ironically this demands to be posted on September 11. More on that later.

I just realized I never did a proper New Year post for this year - understandably as I was going through the Uni App Phase at that time, after which it just slipped my mind. I am currently taking a class on Stories from the Archive, and I just realize how important it is to recount everything that happens in my life (so that my children and grandchildren can read this. Jk, like I will let them judge me this way). So here we go, 9 months into 2013 and let's see what happened in the past one and a half year.

To do a resolution check:

- SAT>2250. Would be damn hard to achieve, unless I start NOW. - 2270. Just past the mark, but in the end it was really proven futile.
- University app goes well and all. - It was really the most horrible period of my life so far. I thought I would have much more life material to work with, but I did not. I realized how much I was inferior to myself before, how I have stopped keeping up with newspaper, etc.The only highlight of my uni app process was getting into Yale-NUS; still, it stung that I did not get into any of the schools that I really love. Don't get me wrong, I like Lafayette a lot but it's just... Sometimes I really wish I can transfer to a less sporty, more intellectually diverse school.
- A level goes well and all. - Turns out it doesn't matter all that much. Yes I got almost straight 'A's for A-level, but if it didn't help me get into the place I love, what's the point? Ironically, I forced myself to do well in a system that I hate just to get out of it. It's been much more liberating admittedly since I came here to the US. I was allowed to take whatever course I want, and this is the first time I have loved all of my classes. It makes me want to commit to them.
- End my SMC commitment on a high note. - It was a high note. I love SMC and my juniors, and my friends there. It is really a rare opportunity in my life when I get to demonstrate my ability and commitment. I doubt I will be able to do something like that here - not when students are in charge and popularity matters.
- Finish something I've started. - Nope. Not at all.
- NOT lose contact with people (or at least a person) I treasure. - I have not so far, so it's great. And that person is now my special person. I could not think that it would happen, but it did. I have certain reservations and insecurities still about our future, but let's just wait and see.
- Finish that Himitsu review that I've been working on darnit. - Sorry Himitsu :( Maybe next time...
- Survive the apocalypse? (hope I'll still be alive to check this post next year XD) - Duhhhhhhh

Like I have mentioned in the previous post, I had a proper, rent-paying job back in Singapore. I could even save up for my allowance in college, which is awesome; however, I am even more stingy now than I was. Working a full-time job and paying the rent had me really appreciate the value of money, and how difficult it was to earn it. In fact, had I not been a scholar before I turned to working, I would not have been able to find a job in Singapore. It was that hard. I really wished for an office job that was easier, but it turns out there was none available for foreigners. I ended up having to work as a waitress for an agent, which in turn employed me to different location, depending on which time slot they have.

I ended up working in multiple restaurants as a result. It was tough not having a fixed schedule, having to call people around to confirm my schedule and time slot. It was even harder on the full-time foreign workers who worked for 6-7 dollars an hour even though they are doing the same thing. I remembered being looked down on by a landlord when we told her we were foreign students working as waitresses and paid minimum wage, having her questioned our financial status.

To think about it, it was a risky bet. We came to Singapore without money, with only our friends as our helpers. Then there were the school officials who looked down on our cheating of the system, thinking all high and mighty, thinking that we held up the wrong values. It was difficult to stay completely honest to see my little allowance draining out of my account with the train fares, mentally counting how many meals I had left. And to imagine the almost triumphant looks of my parents, finally able to convince me of my inability to survive in the 'real world'. Trust me, I've been through the 'real world'. I can do it.

The experience working as a waitress was both eye-opening and tedious at the same time. Shuffling through an array of restaurant types: fast food, casual, semi-casual, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, American, etc, all I could say is that it was really enlightening in terms of restaurant operation. It was such a pity that it's not an academic pursue of mine, because I am sure my knowledge would have been helpful. Actually the knowledge, the peculiar stories I gained working form my aftertaste of the experience, and I probably will remember it as a fruitful chapter of my life. Yet while I was doing it, I hated it. Never have I had to do something so boring, so physically draining, so mindless and robotic. Being untrained as a proper order-taking waitress does not help either, since I keep having to depend on others to get my work done. While I was doing it, all I wanted was to get the hell away from it. Still, it paid the rent, and I still had to work somehow.

If there is something that the experience really reinforce in my direction of life, that is it makes me determine to have a job that I love. I can never again imagine myself behind a desk job 24/7 working with numbers all the time. I want to work in something that requires creativity, analysis, and visions. I want to remain idealistic. I want to dance, I want to travel, I want to work with music. I want to direct a film, a program, write a screenplay, designing my own house. I want to do so many creative and wonderful things that I kinda lose track of myself on that. Now I still cannot decide on what I want to do yet, so I am gonna try out a bunch of things here in the US. Hopefully the answer will arrive in time.

Enough of job ranting, although I would love to do a proper post on my job experience later on. Here is the resolution for the rest of this semester:

- GPA 4.0 for my first semester.
- Get a job that does not require standing all the time.
- Visit New York City and Columbia University's infamous library.
- Visit Boston.
- Get involved in my new activities, whatever they are. Still organize events.
- Get myself busy enough to forget about my social life.
- Find more awesome people who have a great passion and love to talk about it. Befriend them.
- Find a passion for my own.
- Finish the research on Robert Nishiyama on a high note. Do him some justice.
- Master hiragana and katakana.
- Place a stepping stone on my semester abroad.
- One year and going strong!!!