Monday, 28 March 2016

I made a decision

To not go for an all-expenses paid trip to Uganda.

Some of you may be thinking, "Damn wasted leh!", "Is she crazy??"...

Just so you know, I have always been.

Anyway, just a brief summary of how I got this opportunity in the first place: As I've mentioned before, I was got to go to Japan on an internship (which was too, all-expenses paid). This year, the same organisation offered me an internship at their office in Uganda. When I first received the email, I wasn't too sure about the job scope but still expressed my interest. Did the interview, secured the internship. I'm always one who jumps at every chance to go overseas. Which is also why I am now quite shocked at my own decision haha. I'm not too sure if this is progression or regression.

There are three main reasons why I decided to reject this wonderful opportunity (Even as I wrote the email to reject the internship, I was very aware of how awesome it is).

One, I have many things that I want and need to do in Singapore. Surprisingly. I can cross off a lot of things that I want and need to complete by staying in Singapore. There are many things that I want to solve in my immediate environment and local community.

Two, my sister had a liver transplant earlier this year. My mum said that I should just go ahead, but I kinda wanna be here for my family.

Three is a little personal: I don't think I'm good enough to do what the internship requires of me. I think it's okay for me to reveal this; the internship mainly involves mentoring students who are going to start college this fall. I just don't think that I have the capacity to be someone who can teach college content well because I am barely surviving myself. My parents and some of my friends told me that I was just lacking self-confidence. I told them, no, I am being self-aware of my capabilities and my lack of knowledge. I just think it's unfair if the students have to put up with a mediocre teacher.

Yes, academically, I am very mediocre. And I have my grades to prove it haha. I know I won't have any problems interacting with students and having a good time with them but that is just half of what this internship entails. I believe someone else will be able to fill the shoes better.

My mum said that I will regret this and that I "always regret" my decisions. But I realised I have been having second thoughts from the very beginning and up until the moment I set my mind to reject the internship offer. I kept trying to convince myself that this will be the right thing to do. But I never had to do this for my Japan internship. Sure, I was anxious and nervous before embarking on my Japan internship but never once did this fear make me consider otherwise. My desire outweighed my fears.

As I always believe, if there is hesitation, it means that I don't want it enough.

This is actually the second rejection of the year from my part. I'm not trying to brag but instead, I want to remind everyone that it is okay to just go out there and explore several options. Like I said before, I am a very mediocre student. If I can do it, you can definitely do it (perhaps even better). Anyway, I previously got into a two-week Sino-Singapore exchange but I rejected their offer in favour of the Uganda one. Both made me grow especially in terms of honing my interview skills and helping me discover what I really want, so I am very thankful for both of these opportunities as well as their affirmation for me.

Throughout the whole of March, I had friends who gave me really good advice or were just great being a listening ear. I think one piece of advice that I will remember for a long time is "Just put 10% in making the decision and 90% in doing it well". I didn't exactly use only 10% in decision-making haha and I definitely not sure if my 90% was enough. I need more time to develop myself as a more capable individual first. And like I mentioned, it's not fair to bring in other people as guinea pigs so that I can have a successful experiment. I will go back, if given the chance, with better knowledge and equipment.

Final note: Right now, I have my eyes on some local internships and short overseas program like TISP2016. Will update progress soon.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

My second Q&A???

The following question is posted by Max Tan, who actually posted this in Aug 2015. I never bothered checking for comments back then 'cos I thought I was just talking to myself most of the time. 

"Hi, freshman here. Was wondering why you decided to major in global studies and what are the job prospects of it?"

My reply
"Hello Max, 

I decided to major in Global Studies because I always envisioned to become a "global citizen", as in at the very least, someone who knows enough about this world to relate to who reside in it. I know I'm sounding dumb but it was just natural to me back then. But of course when I compared the curriculum with the other majors offered at various local unis, GL had the flexibility and exposure that I wanted so I actually chose to enter NUS solely because of GL even though it was only in its 3rd year of enrollment. 

In terms of job prospects, the first batch of GL students just graduated last year and I don't actually know any of them. But I would say Global Studies/ Global Affairs/ International Studies (some argue that they are not the same but come on, how many companies know that) are rather popular majors overseas. Not so much in Singapore. Nevertheless, I have heard of people becoming global/regional analysts at companies. And I would say at least 80% of GL students aim to work with international organisations like UN, Oxfam or international NPO/NGOs. 

Having taken all level 1000-2000 mods myself, I would say the core modules provide just the tip of an iceberg (I don't think you can ever learn enough about the world; even at phd level they only focus on a specific area), and ultimately, what you get out of GL is also largely defined by your theme/ region. Don't expect to be able to say you're a master on worldview after undergrad.

Interested to find out what you ended up selecting as major actually!"

My first Q&A??? [NUS/ Global Studies]

HELLO! My blog is a hermit crab who has found a new home:

Of course, it's about Global Studies. GL is the only reason why anyone reads this blog. haha. notreallylaughing.
I hope 'Anonymous' doesn't mind me making this a post. Of course, I am just saying this out of courtesy; this is my blog, after all ;) 

Said comment by "Anonymous"
"hi there!! I somehow stumbled upon your blog while researching about global studies modules hehe and I absolutely love reading your posts. you even inspired me to find out more about wwoof and WOW I'm sold. I'm just another jc graduate who has gotten her a level results and lost about what in major in uni, and researching about the modules these few weeks has made me interested in global studies. I would like to ask if there a high chance of going on exchange/internship or is the competition very high among GL Majors? I really want to experience studying overseas (i have a dream of travelling the world one day but i guess some dreams are too hard to fulfil and I'll be contented with visiting those i love!) but since my grades can get me into local unis my parents aren't approving overseas uni. Hence, I hope to be able to go overseas for at least a sem. Hope that you can give me more insight about this since I could'nt really find out more about it at the open house :/ Oh and another question! This question isn't rlly about GL but do u happen to live in a hall and is the experience worth having? Thanks so much for taking your time to read this :)"

My reply (Warning: so bloody long that I shocked myself)
"Hi Anonymous, it's an honour to have you read my blog:)
What a sweet comment you gave!

When applying for internships, you are competing with at least, the whole FASS as Arts/Social Sciences-inclined internships do not usually specifically ask for GL majors, but rather, FASS students general. Though I would say that being a GL major is a good starter 'cos many employers will be curious about what we actually study about haha. As for exchange, I believe the same applies. Competing within FASS rather than within GL. As for high/low competition, it often depends on where you want to go. Asian countries apart from Korea and Japan are usually not so popular and hence easier to clinch since you're competing with less people. For Japan, Korea, UK, US and some European unis, competition can be tough! CAP will prove to be important.

As you might have read, I went on an internship to Japan after Year 1. I want to highlight that this is not common, but very achievable if you want it to. And my saviour is the NUS International Relations Office(IRO). NUS has a good system when it comes to overseas opportunities. The people at NUS IRO are awesome but unfortunately not appreciated and exploited enough by students!!! Super surprised that around 70% of my friends (not that I have many) do not know about IRO?! Highly recommended for you to check out the NUS IRO website! (In fact, I visit their "Global Opportunities" section at least once every 2 weeks 'cos it's constantly updated and I'm kiasu) Other than overseas exchange or internship, you may also consider NOC which involves being 0.5-1 year overseas. 

And I totally get you about the overseas uni part. I took IB so I would say it was really easy for me to get into overseas uni. But not good enough to get a scholarship. As I mentioned before, my dad is a taxi driver, he doesn't have extra like $50k per year to send me overseas. Yes, so I am in local uni. But I do not regret it because I don't think it has deprived me of chances to travel/study/intern overseas. We can choose to make the best out of what we have!

Lastly, I do not live in hall unfortunately. I did get into Eusoff but had to reject them as I didn't get my parents' consent + it was an additional financial burden anyway. I think hall life is great for making friends (something that really requires extra effort in FASS and especially GL 'cos we're always "department-hopping"). Halls usually have activities like hall supper and music nights, etc or even OCIP trips it can be loads of fun. You're also forced to take care of yourself I guess, though I do know people who bring home their laundry every weekend haha. Cons would be overload of CCAs if you wish to stay more than 1 sem, not sleeping early unless you wanna be a phantom, people wanting to come into your room even if you might not want them to. Note that these are just some of the stuff I heard from my friends who stay in hall."

I must be crazy spending 20 minutes replying to this when I have 3 assignments due but this was a good break! Thank you, "Anonymous"! :) Hope this helped you and feel free to pose any further questions (this goes for the rest who are reading too////

P.S. Isn't this blog way cooler and more helpful than open house booths? Okay no need to comment on this just let me be.

P.P.S. NUS IRO and WWOOF should make me their ambassadors.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Back to Pescetarian

I have something to confess. I've been back to eating meat since September when I was in Japan. I gave myself the sorry excuse to eat meat just 'cos, you know, being in Japan and having the chance to try out all their delicious food was just so once-in-a-lifetime for me.

But, that was just the start. When I came back to Singapore in December, I was already accustomed to a diet with meat. What I experienced was a sort of disassociation with what made me decide to be pescetarian in the first place.

And today, thanks to a youtube video, I am reminded of why I chose to be pescetarian. I don't deserve to eat meat because I will never have the guts to kill an animal so much like me. I just can't.

Call me hypocrite for thinking that fishes or other seafood as less "precious" but it's just different. I have no problem killing a fish, or a crab but not a pig.

So, today marks my last day eating all red meat and chicken.

P.S. Arts Canteen aka "The Deck" has an Indian stall that I patronise almost every school day for vegetarian food. Their pumpkin side dish is damn bloody good.