The Week 7 postings have just been released. I got my 6th choice – Stories of Ourselves, in Singapore. If I had to be honest with myself, it wouldn’t be my 6th choice if not for the country. I was pretty interested in the topic of memory (more so than some other countries) because I thought it relates very well to Singapore, especially in the light of SG50, where the organisers have been trying to evoke nostalgia for the last one year. Or rather, I was interested in the topic until I realised that it was more about science and brain than about history, heritage and society.

In any case, I was pretty bummed when I saw the email in PPT. My heart sank, because I really wanted to travel during Week 7, not just to learn, but also to forge meaningful friendships. Because experience has taught me that travelling is one of the easiest ways to establish solid friendships. Instead, I was going to be stuck in museums and labs in Singapore… I also wanted to visit China: Huizhou (first choice) for the villages and also Quanzhou/Xiamen because it was about history and I feel like I could relate to it personally in the sense that I could find my roots in the Fujian province. But no, fate likes to tease us and I just hope that it will, like many times previously, show me what truly matters and teach me something. Because ultimately, more so than travelling, one of my main goals that I hope to achieve from college (regardless of where it may be) is to grow and develop myself, learn and appreciate things around me, and to learn how to deal with setbacks.

After all, this was also the first thing that the CIPE presentation mentioned: some will be unhappy, and you just have to deal with it. Though honestly, one reason why I’m so upset is because I had seriously considered indicating Quanzhou/Xiamen as my first choice – and given the area’s relatively moderate popularity, I actually stood a pretty high chance of getting it.

I’m trying to find a silver lining though. I guess deep down, I’m just envious of others. Not unexpected, being the easily-jealous person that I am. But here are some seriously cool things that come along with staying in Singapore for week7:
1) I get to send Tse Puay off that week
2) I may be able to work on weekends/public holiday
3) I hope I’ll get to know the Prof/students better…
4) Explore Psychology – maybe it will change my misconception that it’s just about Biology and the brain?
5) And even if it is indeed about that, may I find something cool about it that will hopefully make me better appreciate Biology
6) More family time, more me-time
7) Learn to find beauty in everything, learn to deal with setbacks and disappointment and jealousy and learn to make the most out of my time
8) More symposium prep time

Besides, you know what? I, and students from YNC, ought to be very, very thankful to CIPE for this opportunity to take a break from school to explore our interests (or lack of, to ascertain that it is indeed what we do not want to do with our lives). This is an opportunity that few have. I consider myself blessed enough to be in this school (not because it’s better than others (yes, you self-entitled people, please shut up), but because I had wanted it a lot), regardless of its problems and issues and wtv. It’s been a few weeks, but I think that I’m benefitting from this place, in areas that are not necessarily academics related. It is definitely challenging, but I’m learning how to make the most out of my (college) life.

Most importantly, thank You for answering my prayers and for letting me see that even if things don’t go exactly the way I want it to go, there’s always a silver lining in everything else. And for allowing me to realise that even when I finally do get what I want, I at least have a better understanding of my choices – thank You for showing me that balance.

And so, the former part is the mentality that I wish I could go for Week 7 in Singapore with.


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