To live or to life.

I always get inspired most to write when I actually have assignments due. But these are the times I actually think the most about life. Yknow Life? Like why do we invest so much time for a future that is not definite? Why do we lead a life where its such a rarity to do something you actually love? Why is life like that? Who made it that way? And why do all of us conform?

I was debating these questions in my head in a long train ride back from London to Nottingham. After an eventful Easter break where I delved myself to living. I took a long deep breath of life, and let go of all responsibilities. We’re still lucky, you and I (assuming that you’re students as well), we get long breaks of holidays, mid sem break, exam break – we get it all. In Malaysia we’re lucky enough to have a hella lot of public holidays. But what is it about life that makes it so hard to live sometimes? Why can’t everyday be a holiday? Why wasn’t life fixed that way? Weren’t humans the one creating societal routines? Maybe I’m just going waaaay deep into this, but it made me realise the importance of having a future career that would make me happy. That wouldn’t be such a drag or a task to wake up to. Not necessarily a holiday everyday, but enough for me not to want to quit.

I haven’t really been motivated to do work, or study. I was so goal oriented in Pre U and so determined, I don’t know where that all went. Was it a short term goal that I had? Was my motivation only external rather than internal? Amirul calls it the Second Year Syndrome. It’s when your motivation is at a slow decline, and you consider dropping out due to forgetting the purpose of why you’re taking the degree. It’s exactly what I’m feeling! (not the dropping out part I would be slaughtered by my parents). I forgot the purpose of studying Psychology. I haven’t seen the wider picture, I don’t have a set goal of what I want to do with my degree. I mean there’s so many routes you can take. Let’s list the options.

  1. Continue to Masters (which is still an open field) I can either :
    1. focus on Special Education Needs
    2. focus on Autism or Down Syndrome
    3. focus on developmental psychology
    4. study for marketing (I’ve always been interested in marketing )
    5. counselling?
  2. be a researcher in Malaysia
  3. Work in HR?
  4. Work in Marketing?
  5. Find a route to becoming a psychiatrist or a psychologist

I don’t know which I should take. The easy route is HR or marketing. But I want something bigger than that, I want a purpose in life. To help others, an individual or a group of people on a greater scale – thats why I took on Psychology. All of this vision was blurred away and hidden behind the pile of assignments and revision I had to do. I need to find that intrinsic motivation that got lost along the way. I want to make a difference – that how I want to mark my life. It doesn’t have to be big, start small maybe it’ll grow. But with how Malaysia fails to see the importance of mental health, I aim to change that. I want to do so much, I want to help so much. But one by one Alina. Let’s graduate first. Pray for me.

unnamed.jpg

Advertisements

Balancing Life

Life has been heavy for me. I am taking too much load than I can actually carry, but it’s making me feel productive, makes me feel like I’m doing life right. I haven’t had the time to blog, because I haven’t had the time to even reflect on life. This is the update of how 2018 has been so far – ALL THE WAY IN MARCH. Great job Alina.

In the span of 3 months, I have…

  • Done my first sem exam of year 2 and also gotten the results back!
  • Got a job as a waitress at a Korean Restaurant in my area (Anyeong!)
  • Training to teach primary kids introduction to Psychology
  • been working on my Lab reports and Essays (sighhhh)
  • finished watching all the episodes of The Good Place (highly recommended guys) and Queer Eye
  • Been missing waaaaay too many morning classes – thank god for lecture recordings
  • Been jotting down my day in a diary everyday
  • Visit Sheffield for the Sheffield Malaysian Games
  • Made great new friends from class
  • build an ugly snowman
  • went to London only once since I was there last in Jan!!!! So proud of myself.
  • participate in experiments for extra cash

I barely have time for myself lately. I’m really trying to push this productivity streak but i know that my limit is a 4 day full  (11am – 6pm) productive day. My fuel runs out and then I just binge watch TV shows. With all these tasks I haven’t realised how fast time flies until now as I’m writing this up. I only have 3 more months here ! Then I’m flying back for my sisters wedding and final year in Malaysia. 😦 Nicolle and I have been talking about balancing grades and soaking up all the experience of the exchange. I barely have a balance diet, how am I meant to balance life holistically?! Sometimes I feel like I can only do one at a time.

I believe in the triad of life – Mind, Body and Soul. It’s honestly so hard for me to balance them all. I have been focusing on my mind most lately, I have been doing things that exercises the brain. Constantly gaining knowledge, focused so much doing work and studying this year. I neglected my body. I eat food thats fast to grab when I’m on campus (dem panini’s tho.) It’s never a wholesome diet, I’ve shift my perspective of food to be something to fuel my energy now rather than something to enjoy. I have that little of time.

Going down to London for the weekend was me readjusting my triad – and focusing on my soul. Do something for your soul, something to keep you happy. I don’t know bout everyone else, but when I’m upset my whole system crashes. I really follow my emotions which is a bad habit. But when there’s a tsunami of sadness crashing over me – system failure. I would just stay in bed all day long, I would eat only at 4pm and not even do anything but watch puppy videos on Instagram. I refuelled my soul but also burnt a hole in my wallet. (I’m a very impulsive character, if I crave something best believe Imma buy it even though it’s gonna cost me 3 meals. I just spoilt myself with all the things I was craving that I couldn’t get in Nottingham) Made me really happy though.

After the load of work is settled is Easter Break, I’m really excited for that. I hope to catch up on all my work and also go on holiday if my wallet allows me too (pray for me guy). Funny how I really wanted to go back when I was here at first, and now I really don’t want to. Time flies so fast when you’re focusing on day to day tasks. So yeah guys, balance your life. Find your priority – mind, body or soul. Because mine is Soul. If I’m unhappy or not at peace – crashed system. So you do you boo, find your balance.

DAY 3 – cooking/ baking (COMMUNITY SERVICE)

The kids at PDK are more familiar with us on day 3. The moment I came in they would say “hi kakak!” It’s pretty funny, that they call me kakak when most are older than me. They are 22 to 44 even, yet they call me kakak. It’s really respectful even when they know I’m younger.


We baked cookies and prepared all the food we were bout to feed them. There were a lot of kids, around 35 and we made extra for the teachers too. I had Azmir, one of the autistic student with me to help me, he listened to me very well and knew how to follow the given instructions. Though he repeated everything I said, every single time. He echoed EVERYTHING, even Okay. I asked him to have a bite of everything we were making and he tasted everything as we made them, and said all the food tasted delicious which was good to know. It was really sweet how excited he got when I gave him his plate of food.

After feeding everyone, I was pulled by Nazirah. She has Down syndrome and was very caring towards another child whose mother was late. She kept asking me to comfort the child, and to call his mother to pick him up. It really shows that, though they are limited in other areas, they definitely do not lack affection nor empathy. I also found out that she was a child of one of the teachers. So I had a talk with Nazirah’s Mom and she told me that Nazirah was all they have, though they tried to conceive another. You can really see how precious she is to her mother. Her mother did not treat her any differently, there was no sympathy in her eyes when she looks at Nazirah. But only love and truly she saw Nazirah for who she is – cheeky, sweet and playful.

My 3 days at PDK was definitely a humbling experience and also an eyeopener. Not only did the kids and teachers at PDK made me grateful for what I have been blessed with, they made me grateful for life itself. They are so content with life, and it’s not ignorance – I can tell you that. They really showed me that it’s up to you how you deal with your shortcomings. If you want to see the greatness of life, that’s what you’ll see despite the bitterest lemons you’re given.

This sums my 3 days spent at PDK Diary. If you’d like to know more about PDK Semenyih – their Facebook page is Pdk Semenyih.

Also, Im asking everyone to help PDK Semenyih, by spreading the word.

They are a non profit organisation, which means that they rely on people like us. You can buy the childrens’ art works, and also baked goods made with love.

Here is their bank account:
Agro Bank
No Acc: 100556100005060-1 (Anak Anak Istimewa PDK Semenyih)

Any contribution would be much appreciated.

Lit teacher 

I went to teach refugee kids last week Saturday, and it was such a life changing experience. I went in there, with no teaching experience other than memories of teaching my cousins and friends during Alevels. Thanks to Hari, who nudged me with a “go on – teach” and nothing much else – I did. I stood up infront of all 9 kids with a marker in my trembling hands and introduced myself after they all stood up to greet us “Good Morning Teacher”. 

They all just stared at me after that. Each beady eyes, blinked right at me after every few seconds. Waiting for a direction, waiting for a command. I realised being a teacher requires a lot of thinking at the top of your toes moment. I stood there with Khadijah (we were in it together), began with a long “Sooooo……. we’re studying English today”. Slight lift in tone stretching the end syllable, questioning my own command. One of the students gave us the book they use, and we flipped by a random page and thought okay this seems simple let’s start with this. That was my teaching plan. #litteacher. Get it ??? Lit – literature but lit??? I bet they would’ve laughed.. 

After skipping pages and teaching 3 chapters of English and fractions for maths, the kids kept asking if they’ll see me next week. I WAS SO TOUCHED. They wanted to see me again. Or maybe the just wanted to know what week to skip.. Nonetheless, it was so satisfying when they said “I got it.” Especially when they started with arched eyebrows, scratching their head with their pencil. I tried to apply as much psychology as I could – Vygotsky’s Scalfolding methods. Methods of teaching ADHD kids (even though they weren’t, it’s just to keep their focus on me) and operant conditioning (Skinner). 

I’ve always found it selfish to not share your knowledge. It was an honor to be able to teach these children, and share the slight percentage of knowledge that I have. Generally, I’m a blabber mouth, to the point that if I learnt something new I would tell the first person I see after that and pass on the knowledge. Not necessarily teaching, but I always have this need to tell – OTHER PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW THIS TOO! Kinda feeling. Trust me, after 33 months of my blabber to Amirul, he can graduate with a Psychology Degree too once I’m done. 

These children’s age varies from 12 to 14 years old, mostly from Myanmar. And they’re learning primary 3 up to primary 6 work. It’s upsetting, they have so much potential just not equal opportunity as others. Everyone deserves the right to education. Being brought up in a family where education plays a huge role – (my dad working for the higher education sector in the government). My dad has always taught me the importance of knowledge. It’s the only thing you have that no one else can take away from you. And for others to not have the same opportunity to acquire knowledge as I have ? Makes me grateful for my upbringing and the opportunities I’ve been handed on a silver platter. These kids, they pay RM 20 ringgit per month, for this education and which frankly should be free. Education should be free and to all. But for this foundation called Blue Skies, to gather volunteers every Saturday – our efforts are just a stepping stone.

 My dad has been working for decades in the higher education, and day by day I hear and see people complain about the Malaysian Education System – the local universities standards not being of quality. The lack in facilities, and complaints about lecturers being boring. The main aim of the government is to provide opportunities for all the children in Malaysia to be able to attend higher education. Education for all, no matter the social status, and opportunity. Everything else is secondary.

Let’s leave with a note my dad once advised my brother when he first got Mi’qael – the most important thing you have to provide for your children, is their education. It’s an investment for their future. Start up the bank account, the moment the child is born and you won’t regret it. 

20th Birthday 

I never blogged about my birthday, and I didn’t even realised it ! I’m way late on this post …

My birthday falls on 15th November 1996, thus turning me 20 this year. BIG 2-0. I’ve lived 2 decades on this earth, alhamdulillah. I was dreading this birthday most honestly, the whole “not being a teen thing”. I’ve always feared growing up anyways. But my birthday only gets better and better. I’m so blessed to have spent it with the same people, and also new ones ?

I celebrated early with Amirul on the 14th, had a lovely dinner at Beast. As I sat down, I was dying looking at the menu price HAHAH TOTALLY RUINED THE ELEGANT LOOK I WAS GOING FOR. Pulling faces as I pointed at the prices! 😳😫 It was even a candle lit dinner … like whoa grown ass date. I guess those are the dates I go on now ~ adulthood calling like.

The next morning was my birthday, and I spent it away from home. I was at Uni ! I got a knock on the door at 8 am in the morning. I was so confused, thinking that it’s my neighbour planning to complain about my sneezes the night before or something. But as I opened the door with my eyes closed, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” they cheered. It was my friends – uni friends !! It was Sophie, Mali, and Nicolle 💕 Such sweethearts woke up early with cake and balloon and presents. Can’t believed they spared money to buy me those things ??? Guys I wouldn’t be able to even buy yall cake. But thank you. It was really sweet.

I went to rugby training to just sit and watch – it was Alina Day okay. I was excused. Ahahah. As I sat there doing my work, the rugby girls came over for their water break and all of them wished me happy birthday. Such sweeetiesssss ❤️

My mom called me and sang the birthday song. I felt like crying 😭 being away from my home. Usually my mom would knock on my door and wake me up singing happy birthday. My sister would break down my door at midnight screaming happy birthday and all. But my family just wished me through the fambam group chat now 😦 It was such a different birthday. Nonetheless, it was amazing. Thank you to everyone who celebrated and wished me.

Adulting begins here ?


IMG_0127.JPG

img_0142