Time to grow up 

Yknow how you never truly feel your age, until you’re 45 with a heart condition and you have to stop yourself from ordering McDonalds? Okay it’s not a common thing to think about. But when I was preparing for my UK exchange, I felt my age bar rising.

It goes DING

21 !

21 !

21 !

21 !

21 !
Going to the bank by myself, having to explain what I need while they stared at me like I made no sense. Collecting all my documents – crying at the photocopy machine because no one was there to help me and I didn’t know what I was doing thinking if I mess up my visa it’s all my fault.
I had to look for accommodations with the only advice from my parents were to stay within the budget. I would constantly have to google map the potential accommodations distance to the campus and nearest bus stop and even grocery store. I had to communicate with the landlord and the agency myself, and sign the contract – signing my name. MY OWN NAME. Not my parents nor any other guardian.

I guess, it could be an Asian thing. Like when we watch TV shows about the western culture, kids move out at 16. Some start a family by then. It’s nothing new. By 21 they should be working earning their own money, living in a bachelor pad with their friends. However, in the Asian community – we’ve been fed with a silver spoon all our lives. Having our parents do everything for us. Maybe I can’t speak for everyone (I’m sure everyone grows at their own pace). My sister went to the UK when she was 19, all alone. Here I am about to fly with both my parents. Hey, I am the baby of the family ok. Don’t judge.
It was really different compared to the time I registered for UNMC. My parents didn’t register me, but Amirul did. He helped me move in, he registered for me and also got my student card for me (all I did was smile for the picture). This time round, Amirul would be registering for himself at UEL and I’d be registering myself for UoN 2 hours apart by train.
Time to rely on yourself Alina. You’re turning 21 – STFU and grow up.



If 2016 was a movie 

(The quote I’m living my 2017 by)

This is probably the time for me to reminisce memories made during 2016, and make new years goal for 2017 right?

It’ll flash to the moment where..

  1. I finished A Levels and got my results
  2. Got Accepted into amazing uni’s but rejected (this should be the downfall/big mistake part of the movie -self conflict)

MONTAGE – Gap Year Activity

  1. Going to Australia alone
  2. Working at CLEO
  3. Lying in bed watching nothing but Sex and The City for MONTHS AND MONTHS routing and crying over Carrie and Big’s love
  4. Using my allowance for nothing else but eat good food and shopping.
  5. Revamping my style/closet
  6. Redecorated my room – painted/bought new furnitures
  7. Brought Ninnah around Malaysia
  8. Started on the 70s Show, New Girl, Elementary, This is Us, Empire.


  1. Went into University of Nottingham
  2. Moved out of home
  3. DIE trying to figure out how to cope with uni
  4. DIE trying to figure out how to live alone
  5. Plagiarism phobia

*Zooms out video of Amirul making me laugh in the car with loud music and wind in my hair* 


BEGIN 2017. 

2017 goals ? Nothing. I’m not setting any new year’s resolution this year. I did fulfill last year’s new year resolution though. I did give more last year and was definitely more generous – i think I’ll keep it as an everyday thing now. Not just for 2016. 

Bid farewell to 2016.





Alevels 101 for SPM Graduates

What you should think about in choosing your Pre U course

  1. What are you interested in? Law? Mass Com?
  2. Where do you want to go? Do you want to study abroad?
  3. Do you prefer coursework or exams?

I’m only familiar with the international pre-u courses such as Alevels, SAM, IB, and CPU. But here i’m gonna talk about Alevels, (based on my own personal experience) and hope it helps.

Why I chose Alevels?

I didn’t know what course to take. I didn’t want to tie myself down to only learning 1 subject, but instead to explore different interests of mine. With Alevels I can take up to 4 subjects. So I took, Law, Psychology and Literature in English. With these 3 subjects, I had an open road for my degree. I could go with either one of these subjects. But kid you not, just because Alevels have 3 subjects doesn’t mean its easy.

“Eleeeh, 3 subject je dia belajar. Senang la, SPM 8 subject.” I hear this a lot. It’s also a common reason why people took Alevels. Please, 3 subjects doesn’t mean its easy. Nearly half of the students in my class dropped out after the first Sem. The 3/4 subjects you take, will teach you in depth the introduction. For example, in Law, I learnt the English Legal System, Contract Law and Tort Law. I learnt to analyse 6 books for my Literature in English, from Shakespeare to Chaucer. For Psychology, I learnt different studies, and also went deep into Psychology and Abnormality, and Psychology and Education. ALL IN 18 MONTHS.

Alevels is exam based. There’s no course work, no presentations, none of that. It’s 100% exam. 50% AS, and 50% A2 – these are the level. There’s fast track, which is 18 months. Which is what most colleges offer. There is also, the normal duration of 2 years. In which you learn your AS for a year, and A2 for the other. Even though only your final exams count, doesn’t mean you can slack off and study last minute. Well, not if you want really impressive results.

With a certificate of Alevels, you can go anywhere in the world. ANYWHERE. It is recognised everywhere, from UK to US. This was also another reason I chose Alevels, I love the option. The wide road of opportunities. Most people who do Alevels wants to go to UK, but there are the few who wants to go to the prestigious universities in US with Alevels. It’s easier they say?? I don’t know about that. You can also continue locally, to Universities that are from the UK or you can try apply to the local universities like UM, or UiTM. Though, the chances are slim because they skim through foundation, diploma, metric, and all first before Alevels. Unless your results are tremendous.

My experience with Alevels. HELL. Once you do alevels, you abandon your social life. Well, a part of it. HAHA, I don’t really know how I survived. The reason I didn’t quit was because I didn’t want to waste my parents’ money. But also, I was really determined going in. My father said “you can only go to UK, if you get into the top Universities.” So I googled the rankings of universities and their entry requirements, and aimed for AAB for the course in Philosophy and Psychology, at University of Warwick. IM- POSS- SI- BLE. Was all I thought about. But I studied in my own way, and got out of Alevels alive, even made my parents proud. Which was my main aim.


I got 3As and an offer to Warwick University for Philosophy and Psychology. But I decided to stay here and go to Nottingham University for Psychology, just to be closer to home. And ease my way there.

Some Tips in choosing your pre u course.

  1. ALWAYS follow your interest. Don’t just do something your parents want you to do, it’s always going to be a struggle when your passion is not there. That passion is what motivates you at 3am doing your revisions.
  2. Keep in mind your next step. If you don’t want to study abroad, taking alevels isn’t necessary. You should take diploma, or foundation.
  3. Study at your own pace, and if you feel like it. When you have the mood to study you can study up to 2am, but when you don’t. That 20 mins read won’t even go in your head.
  4. Pre U is kinda important. Don’t fuck it up, you’ll regret it if you’re stuck in a shitty university for your degree because you didn’t take pre u seriously. This is a huge chunk of how your future looks like.
  5. This is the time you find your people. Because its where you are put together with people of the same interest. So explore.
  6. This is the time your find yourself. As much as education is important, take this opportunity to learn yourself too.