Tag Archives: student life

Fall seven times, stand up eight

I’m sitting here in my study room, my lectures notes, textbooks, highlighters and pens scattered on my desk. I think it’s human nature to lack motivation at times. As they say, life is a rollercoaster – filled with ups and downs. Or I could use the metaphor that makes everyone laugh, that is, life is like a rock – it’s hard. I really want to do well in my final exams this semester. I want to prove to myself, that I’m no quitter. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, just as long as you get up each time. Fall seven times, stand up eight times.

These 2 subjects I have final exams for are no ordinary subjects. They are subjects that I failed. It took me a long time to comprehend and accept that I failed not one, but two subjects. Sometimes, I would tell people, “I failed a subject”, ignoring to use the plural, ‘subjects’. Through time, I have learnt to accept that, “it’s ok”. Uni students have their fair share of failed subjects. Some just brush it off, without a care. While, others reflect on why they failed and learn how to conquer their weaknesses. I’d like to think I’m the later. For the longest time, I kept going back to that moment when I checked my final marks for that semester. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. In that moment, I think I had what you call a premature ventricular contraction, meaning my heart stopped for a moment. Ok, so I might be exaggerating just a little, but it felt like I had stopped breathing. My stomach dropped, and I felt like I was at my lowest. The word ‘fail’, followed by ‘fail’ again, just stuck to me. It was all I could think about for a while.

I used to dwell on the past a lot – you know those ‘should’ve, could’ve, would’ve’ thoughts that linger in your mind. Those thoughts are a waste of time. “Don’t think too much,” I tell myself. I’m learning how to use those past experiences as motivators. For tomorrow is a new day. Look ahead. Keep trying, and most importantly, never give up.

To keep my sanity in the midst of exam preparation, I exercise. I managed to run 5 km in 47 min this evening, and each step I took made me feel stronger, more in control of my life. The best feeling is after an intense workout. It’s because I know I didn’t give up half way through the session, despite feeling like it was ‘death’. And secondly because I know I’m making progress to becoming a healthier me. While, I’m not at my ideal weight, I feel like all the hard work is paying off gradually because others have been telling me, “You look healthier” and “Have you lost weight?” It keeps me going! One day I know I’ll feel comfortable in my own skin when I’m trying on clothes whilst out shopping. I’ll feel confident in my own body. I can just picture the moment when I check the tag of a piece of clothing, and it’s in my ideal size. I’ll take it off the rack with a great big smile, knowing that I worked hard to get to that size. Success doesn’t happen over night. It’s a process.

As my favourite quote goes,
It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness – Seneca.

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Live while you’re young

I used to be one of those uni students who would basically go to uni, then go home straight after. The next day I’d repeat the cycle again, unless I had work after uni, making it uni + work + home. I vividly remember walking to a Biology lecture with a close friend S in 1st year, saying, “My life is so boring. I feel like I live under a rock. It’s like I’m waiting for something to happen. Anything.” She responded, “That’s how we all feel”. I think she said that because we had piles of assessments due at the time. We were like stress balls filled with pressure bouncing off from wall to wall. However, now I realise that’s not the way things should be. That’s not the way you should feel. There should be a balance. You’re the one who has to create the change that you’re looking for. Looking back to that time, I think I believed that my life was boring, didn’t do anything about it, and so it became ‘normal’ to me. Sometimes I’d fit in a little retail therapy if I finished class early. I think I used shopping (mainly window shopping because I was broke like most uni students) as a way to escape my somewhat boring and dreary life. I was still breathing, but I wasn’t ‘living’.

If shopping was a cocktail I’d call it Break Free. Here’s the recipe:

Mix together in a shaker
1 shot of happiness
As much peach schnapps as your heart desires
A Splash of grenadine
Followed by a larger splash of go-crazy
Add a generous amount of dopamine
Together with a dash of pink lemonade

And finally top off with a a garnish or pineapple and maraschino cherry, or simple add a twist of lemon, depending on the status of your mood (i.e. sweet or sour).

pink lemonade

At the beginning of the year, I made a pledge to myself, which was more like a prayer (and I rarely pray) on the top of this breath-taking site called Tiger Temple, somewhere in Thailand. It went something along the lines of Dear God or Jesus, whoever is listening, for my mind to be at peace with itself, I want to learn how to let go. When I get back to Sydney, I want to take myself out of my comfort zone, and live life to the fullest! But I’ll save that story for another time because it’s a pretty long story. It was a defining moment in my life, that’s why. It helped me change things around. That’s why I took up extra-curricular activities that I had never done before like taekwondo.

I always used to get see overly eager uni students having bbqs. They’d all wear t-shirts that displayed the name of the club or society that they were actively involved in at uni. They’d have a massive banner in big bold letters of their club/society, while enjoying some chit-chat amongst other members. I used to think, “How do they find the time to cook sausages and mingle, when I’m running off to polar ends of the campus going off to one lecture after another?” It was as if they were rubbing in my face that they had a life. Well, funny enough, today, I was the one cooking the sausages and mingling with members of the the taekwondo club and other hungry uni students eagerly awaiting their sausage sizzles. After more than 3 years of uni, I’m proud to say that I now have a rich and colourful student life. I guess I can now say, I no longer crave shopping expeditions after class. Instead, I look forward to seeing their happy faces during taekwondo training. We endure the pain together during training, we laugh at the inside jokes we’ve created, we all wait for each other after training to walk down to the bus stop, but above all we’re a family.

Here are some photos from our taekwondo club’s BBQ and jelly fundraiser today. We made $200 profit, which means that’s 1 Jetstar plane ticket to Brisbane, where we will be competing in the Australian University Games. I still can’t believe we sold our sausage sizzles for $2 each and our jelly cups (which were masive must I say) for only $1. In saying that, I think the most valuable lesson I learnt was just have fun! Wait…another equally valuable lesson I learnt was that barbecue sauce and mustard is an awesome combination! Yolo!

Yours truly, from a 21-year-old girl who’s learning what it’s like to have an amazing student life, the kind that you miss after you graduate.

tkd 1

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