College rambles – August 30, 2015

Twenty minutes, that’s all I’m giving myself to regurgitate all that I’ve chucked in the corners of my head over the past week. Twenty minutes till I hit the books again.

The best friend left this week and it wasn’t as emotional as I expected.
None of us cried, or at least, not in the presence of everyone else. I didn’t. Not even when everyone dispersed and the reality of not being able to call her up for a movie any time I wish sank in. I don’t know who to drag along with me to watch Me and Earl and the Dying Girl when it’s released now – we’ve been planning to watch that for ages. Since the film was debuted at Sundance to rave reviews (said reviews then led to strange all-capitalised conversations peppered with countless exclamation marks), we’ve been meaning to see it together when it’s released in local cinemas but I suppose that’s not happening now.
Maybe we’ll just find a low quality streaming link to it and just watch it when she gets back in nine months.

She’s been telling me about all her adventures through London, so I’m living vicariously through her pictures of Madame Tussauds statues and flea market hauls. She hasn’t met Benedict Cumberbatch though.

Some friends and I had a sleepover the night we sent her off – our friends from the special arts programme in secondary school crashed my dorm after seeing her (and her family) off at the airport in the most ungodly hours of the night. The bunch of us haven’t been close since our secondary school graduation, but everything seemed to fall back into place as we laughed and reminisced about the havoc we wreaked in the art room that night. I miss the art room. It’s odd how the bunch of us who’ve been pretty splintered and disconnected following our secondary school graduation were brought back together only for someone’s departure.

Old friends occupied the first half of my week, and then everything was back to normal. Back to university, back to studying, back to the already familiar college grind. I made a perfect score on my first European History lecture test. It’s a good start to my academic career, I suppose, so let’s just hope that everything else that follows keeps up. On that note, I’ve been researching graduate English courses at Oxbridge. Admission requirements are so painfully high I’m not so sure if I’ll be able to meet them, but I suppose that just gives me something to work towards.

It’s 8. Time’s up, and the readings beckon.
Other things I have left to recount: other best friend is to visit on Friday with gifts; I’ll be watching Inside Out with some of my new friends from college soon.

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Morning rambles – August 23, 2015

Surprise! Two weeks of university life hasn’t killed me just yet. The cold I caught over orientation camp, however, came pretty close to doing so.

I’m home for the weekend now, merely lazing around listening to Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2 in E minor since most of my readings are done. I rather miss being home, where I can wake up whenever (usually past noon) and still find breakfast (brunch? lunch?) waiting for me in the kitchen, where it doesn’t take me over an hour to travel to the central business district, and where I don’t get lost on my way back. I suppose it’s the little conveniences that I miss the most, since I’ve already gotten over not having half the junk I keep in my room with me for the majority of the week.

After all, my dorm seems to have been relegated to its bare, utilitarian function – an adequately comfortable room where I study and sleep, and occasionally entertain friends who come over to visit before they head off to Far Off Places for Education.
Do I sound bitter? I’m sorry. It’s just that everyone’s heading off.
The best friend’s flying off this Tuesday, and she won’t be back till summer next year. And guess who won’t be in Singapore next summer since she’ll be off at summer school? Me.
Having to sync schedules is frustrating.

It still feels slightly unreal that the best friend’s leaving so soon, that our last hangout before she returns next May’s wasn’t a trip to our old haunts but Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen?! Admittedly, we decided on that due to our newfound obsession with Masterchef and gourmet food (and the food tasted like a million bucks – both figuratively and almost literally), but it remains a pity that we didn’t get to revisit the places that’ve so endeared us throughout the years of our friendship.
Another time, perhaps.

“This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper” – T.S. Eliot

As with Jon Stewart’s run on the Daily Show, one of the few Comedy Central staples that had so endeared me over the past couple of years, my high school career’s marking its end. Unlike Jon Stewart’s grand exit from the Daily Show, though, the six eventful years of my teenage-hood ended uncharacteristically, with such unexpected reticence.

Perhaps it’s slightly late for me to spiral into a nostalgic spiel about the past six years of my life – it’s been eight months since my official graduation – and perhaps I’ve done sufficient detailing of all that in the several months that followed said graduation, but now that everyone (or almost everyone who mattered) is leaving, it truly feels like the end of an era.

Does six years even constitute an era, though? For a student of history, it probably doesn’t. But those very six years made up an exact third of my life, so I suppose that counts for something – after all, mankind’s only existed for 200,000 years out of the 4.5 billion years of earth’s existence, and we deem that minute percentage an “era”.

The friends have all been piling into my dorm over the past week.
Akash came over Tuesday and Wednesday, the best friend was here Thursday, and we hung out again on Friday. And since we were largely confined within the constrains of a college dorm, their visits tended to degenerate into mere lazy conversations about school, The Great Unknown Future™ and Virginia Woolf. And cookies and politics – conversations about the latter tended to deviate towards the subject of Donald Trump, both fortunately and unfortunately.
God, I’ve missed talking for hours on end with these people. It’s rather strange the hours in their visits seemed so reminiscent of those we’ve spent in school, since I might possibly never see these people ever after these brief encounters.

Akash’s flying off to Washington next week, and I did plan to send him off with several other friends, except my careless, stupid blunderings have caused me to double book that evening. My college’s formal dinner’s the same night. I’m not exactly sure what about an evening of pretentious parading-arounds with people I hardly know could ever hold me back from sending off a friend whom, I must admit, I’ve gotten much fonder of since our first meeting – why should there even be a dilemma? Still, it’s a difficult decision to make.

The best friend’s flying off in two weeks, and that is going to be much harder to reconcile with. What would I do without her around?
I mean, what would F.Scott Fitzgerald do without Ernest Hemingway?
And what would Daria do without Jane?
What would Leslie Knope do without Ann Perkins?

(I’m pretty sure that was covered somewhere in Parks and Recreation but I forgot.)

I’ll probably get by once The Departure happens, but meanwhile, I shall wallow in melancholy as friends leave for their futures, one by one, bringing whatever remains of my high school life to a dying fizzle.

Of sore throats, sunburns, and catharsis

Four days of hardly getting enough sleep is taking a toll on my body. Yes, I know I’m pretty much a wimp given that I’ve probably had more sleep than most others, but god damn it I’ve been living on twelve/thirteen hours of sleep each day for the past eight months.

Not only is my throat parched (and sore), my arms, feet, and scalp are scorched red and painful – and I’ve never been sunburnt before. Guess there’s always a first time for everything.

I’m pretty much completely beaten up right now, though I wouldn’t trade this – feeling like utter shit and all – for anything. The past couple of days have been wonderful. Despite not being the most extroverted person, my previous anxiety of not being able to find (or chance upon, really, since that’s how I got to know my closest of friends) individuals to befriend was alleviated upon an introduction to my orientation group. It’s such a strange relief – almost a catharsis – to find yourself with others who are caught in the same situation as you are.
As with my alma mater, the college was such an accepting environment I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better place to be in for the next two years.

I got home earlier this afternoon, since I’ve got laundry to do and stuff to pack before I move back in (for real) on Thursday. I’m just hoping I won’t get too acclimatised to being home, being in my room, with my familiar wall decorations falling from the walls, with notes and doodles plastered over my desk – I don’t want to have to go through the first-night blues again. (Not being able to sleep a wink whilst worrying about the mom worrying about me was simply awful.)


 School – or the academic side of it – is properly commencing next week.
I’ve ordered my literature texts, and will be getting my other textbooks after I return to college. Let’s just hope that I’ve got a sliver of the self-discipline I had a year ago left in me to motivate me to do my preliminary readings, before I find myself in a lecture theatre again. Let’s also hope that I don’t have to run yet another Gilmore Girls marathon in my attempt to feel more academically driven.

As for now, I’m going to finish reading Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, tempt and deliberate on the idea of painting something new, and resolve the laptop issue with the family over the dwindling days before the impending doom of deadlines and essay crises set in.