Friday, January 04, 2013

Pre-New Semester Update and New Year

Hey

I've finally got the chance to sit on the couch after a roller coaster ride of 2012. Honestly, I haven't had the writing vibe in a long while, and I dare say, years, perhaps due to my lack of reading fictional works, I am far from inspired to write articulate spontaneously-flowing anecdotal prose.

Anyhow, I guess a summary of 2012 would be appropriate, although it's delayed quite a few days already, and honestly, I haven't even had much of a presence in the blogosphere, it seemed pretty much uneventful as far as my blogging is concerned.

I actually went through all my facebook statuses from 2008, when I first got my facebook, to now, and I have to admit, the trends were pretty telltale that my facebook addiction began when I was in Taylor's, and it was at it's worst from the beginning of 2012 to all the way to December. Whatwith all the banal updates and negative emotions and the cursing, I'd decided that it was time I did a facebook spring cleaning and remove all the negativity to put forward a more positive outlook on my facebook in time for the new year. And so I did. It took me a a few days, 2012 was the hardest to plow through, but I did it.

Early 2012 was a continuation of my first year. I had double the midterms and I was pretty much stressed, yet I still slacked off a bit compared to the first term. Two math courses during the term with Physics on top of that proved too hard to handle, so I'd decided to take all the math courses in second year during the summer.

I remember myself questioning why had I chosen Engineering, I'd never asked that question throughout Taylor's but in the face of the real deal Engineering undergraduate year, I felt my resolve waver. I had posted quite a few statuses musing had I not been in Engineering what would I have done, or if I ever was compatible with Engineering. At that time I was in a low. I wasn't doing as well in Maths as I had hoped, and I was struggling with Physics and the thought of not being as well-equipped skillfully as everybody else when it came to things like technological skills. I chastised myself for every unfulfilled expectation I had, and of course I was alone. I had no one to rely on but myself, and when I realized that my own self was unreliable, I sort of broke down. I went into a state of manic depression at times, and even during those episodes, I could still hear a voice at the back of my head that such behavior was unhealthy and unconstructive. At least with that voice, I could still soldier on, and I didn't let myself fall deeper into the pit of misery, yet it was so susceptibly easy to fall back again and again.

I'd had wondered where the confident, sometimes arrogant, little girl of 2007 went, and I wondered sometimes if I was still myself. Sometimes I thought I was going mad, because there would be a voice in my head battling with self-depreciating demons and another voice that would be chastising the other voice, but at the same time was giving diagnoses of my condition and prescriptions of what I should do to overcome it, telling me to keep moving on although the other voice was adamant that I'd stay where I was until I felt better. I was constantly in a state of being at war with myself. I became compartmentalized as long as I did not contact my close Malaysian friends. I could socially function on some level with my fellow engineering friends here at Mac. I could laugh at their jokes and solve problems, but when I started talking to my Malaysian friends, I fell apart, and I felt pathetic, so I completely avoided them until the term was over, because I didn't want to fall apart, I had to keep moving.

Sometimes I wonder if it really is hard or I'm making it sound hard or I'm not trying hard enough. I was always convinced that if I didn't get the result I wanted that's because I didn't try hard enough. I try, and I get tired. And when I get tired, I wonder if I really was tired or I was lazy. I was at that point where I wasn't even sure of my own self.

Summer school went well for me, and I'd figured I'd prefer warmer temperatures for academic activities. Then I'd gone to Ottawa in August, although I had initially planned to go to Vancouver or Alberta.

I'd always thought that I was carfeul enough to ensure that I wouldn't make mistakes that people made. I'd always thought that I was aware enough to realize important things early on, but when it took me a whole year to realize that I had to be more responsible towards my own finance, it felt like a slap to the face. I realized I hadn't saved for the whole year, so when the money came in, I reserved a huge chunk and I had to live on a tight budget. Up to this day I chastised myself for being so negligent about money, and it was only this winter that I'd realize that I'm 20 years of age. This is a new phase, and I really do have to think about these responsiblities. The time when I used to muse what it would be like to be an adult and telling myself that it's still a long way away is over. That time is now, and if I don't do something about it, I'd be in hot soup.

I went into second year with a bit of smugness that I'd survived first year and I'd gotten into the program of choice, but that smugness was short-lived. I was pressured to maintain my performance, well, being part of Golden Key was part of the reason why I constantly had performance anxiety, I'd wanted to live up to the reason why I was chosen to join the society in the first place. Plus, I'd only realized that my grades wasn't good enough. I know my friends in Malaysia who had better grades than I did and I felt challenged, while at the same time embarassed and undeserving, very negative emotions, but I knew I had to change those negative emotions to something constructive and so I struggled.

Although I had tried my best to plan a relatively "easy" second year, it still wasn't easy for me. I'd found out that I disliked learning about Philosophy in an academic setting. There were many reasons for me to hate it, and again I was at this point of questioning myself between the Sciences an the Arts, only this time around, in contrast with first year, I took the other position and was defensive about Science being better than Arts. At the same time I was also struggling with a core course of my engineering stream and I was failing. Failing the course wasn't doing my self esteem any good, because whether or not I did well in the course really mattered to me, because it was determinant of whether or not I belonged to Electrical Engineering. Obviously, I was in an irrational state at that point, I was speaking through emotions. My facebook statuses were evident that I had sunk to a new low. And it took me right up to the end of the semester that I should stop. Hence the facebook spring cleaning.

Well, at least after the spring cleaning, I felt better. I really felt good. I resolved to try to not be so negative. When you're in a negative state and you use the social media in that state is never a good idea. We shall see how it goes from now on, and I do hope the new year brings better things in store, and I do hope that I remain in good spirits throughout the whole year.

Well, I guess you might say I'm typing all this personal stuff on my blog right now is not really a good thing, yeah I guess I half agree with that, but I suppose I just need an outlet. I just need to talk about it as proper closure. It's not that I'm exposing my own vulnerability, or maybe I am, I don't know, but the main reason I typed this out is because I want myself to know that I've had a hard year, I had issues, and that when I write about this today, the fact that I can talk about it and not feel as miserable as I did back then means that I've gotten over it. God tests the people He loves, because even He is optimistic that you can get over it and become a stronger person, so you should be optimistic about yourself in the face of trials and tribulations. I'm not going to be in denial, I had problems and I will probably have more problems in the future. Maybe to some people it's trivial, or other people have had it worse than me, but I believe we fight different battles, and we are what we make of it.

So yeah. That was basically the end of my 2012 recap. A bit gloomy, but well.

Winter holidays this time around was pretty much random. I'd had initially planned to go up to Montreal, but because my friends say they're coming down to Toronto so I abandoned the idea. I went to RIS although a little reluctantly, but it turned out that bad. Toronto doesn't seem that too attractive to me as it had in first year. I hated the city atmosphere, I hated staying over at people's homes, I hated the costs of living, and I hated that there were so many sketchy people there despite Hamilton being reputed as a sketchier place than Toronto.

After RIS, I basically took my friend from Vancouver around to see Toronto, of course, to all my favorite places in Toronto where people normally wouldn't go to if they came around to Toronto (well, it was always Eaton Centre, I despise that place now -.-"). I took her to Distillery District, St Lawrence Market, Kensington Market and Chinatown. We had spicy hot chocolate in Distillery District and Grilled Fish Sandwich at St Lawrence Market. For once I felt like a foodie and I was pretty happy with the gastronomical adventure. (You know how I hate the mainstream fast food tourism, I look for the hidden charms in the places I go to. It feels a lot more personal, as if the experience really belonged to you alone and not the other whole lot of people who came there, although I'm pretty sure some people might have discovered the same things I did.) At night, my dear friend went to Buffalo.

I stayed an extra day because another friend of mine from Ottawa convinced me to accompany her going around Toronto again. Well, they had a car, so I just stayed and we took pictures at U of T and Casa Loma. The day after I'd stayed another day in Toronto for Boxing Day at an outlet, I didn't buy anything, mind you, just a cupcake because I was hungry, and I'd discovered this shop called Teavana. They sell really good tea, and I kind of regretted I didn't buy any that day. That night I hitched a ride home with the boys who wanted to go to Niagara back to Hamilton. They mentioned they were going to Quebec City, and I don't know why I suddenly said that I'd wanted to tag along, so two days later, I was in Ottawa, and the next day off to Quebec City in a car with two boys and one other female friend. We spent one day in Quebec City and one day in Montreal, and back to Ottawa again and then to Hamilton.

I prefer Quebec City to Montreal, because obviously, Montreal was a big city. I loved the fact that Quebec City was situated at the river mouth so the view was really beautiful, but because it was winter, you actually see floating ice and snow on the water surface, it was simply bewitching, and cold. Super cold. I don't really know much what to type about Quebec City, we only went there for a day, but I forgot to bring my camera charger so there weren't as many pictures, but I'd uploaded them all to facebook. Have I the time and money, I would totally go to Quebec City again, but my aim is to at least go to New Brunswick and Halifax, if I were destined to never leave Canada for the holidays for the rest of my undergraduate year. Yeah I lower the bar every year, regarding my travel expectations.

Then, when I returned to Hamilton. The next day the seniors wanted to go snowboarding, I tagged along. I thought that I'd wanted to rest, but I still went ahead anyway, and I didn't regret it, because I actually got better at snowboarding compared to last year. If I had a few more rounds I'd probably be able to learn how to steer properly, at least now I know how to control my speed. It was exhilirating once you know how to do it properly. It's really hard for me to like a sport, but snowboarding just found its way to my infinitesimal list of sports I like. Of course, the day after I was writhing in pain, but I got to sit at home with hot chocolate and a good book for once, like how I've always wanted the break to be, and it felt good. Like a really good end to an eventful winter holiday.

So, I guess that's all for now. I do wish a good year ahead for all you people. Cheers. :D


Some highlights winter 2012:









































































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