1 June 2017, the day I landed back safely in my home country. Nearly a whole 4 months of summer break coming to an end soon in 4 days. Before coming back to Malaysia, I figured I should spend my summer break wisely and not just rot my life away for 4 months. I kind of did, for a few days though. I thought of getting a part time job or an internship to fill up my summer break but everything changed when I received the scholarship email just one fine day when I was in the lab. I still remember telling my mum when she came over to Manchester in March that I’m thinking of applying to companies for internship and I was hell worried that I would have nothing to write in my CV, especially when my break is so long. Well, not to say I have a lot to write in my CV now but at least.
Competition business came later and that filled up almost a quarter of my summer break. It was just crazy amount of phone calls, group discussions, reading and writing. Although it felt like eternity during competition prep, looking back now, no words can express how grateful and glad I am to be given the opportunity to join this competition. I learned so much from my teammates, made new friends during the competition and got to hear loads of stories from my advisor about his experiences.
I also went on a vacation to Seoul with my family. Two trips to Seoul this summer, coincidence? Maybe. I got to see more of Seoul this time round compared to the trip a few years back. I’m also an expert (not quite but I’d like to think so) in taking the subway in Seoul as well. Alone with no wifi, taking the subway alone, eating alone, roaming around alone, shopping alone? No problem. So thankful to all of my friends who brought me around during my time in Seoul, paying for my meals (why?!?!?!) and making sure that I was alright.
Summer school in China was a whole new experience for me, especially staying in the dormitory which the sink fell all of a sudden. I made so many new friends during my time there. Friends who I hope to see for as long as I can. I got to experience the real China life thanks to my local friends there. Although we met like literally 2 weeks only, thank you for picking me up from the train station even though I didn’t request for pick up service, constantly checking up on me to make sure I’m having a good time, taking the trouble to send me to the airport and taking me out at night for a local supper. Derek (sorry hate you but love you) who came to see me in Jinan (I’d like to think that you came down for me although in actual fact you were just bored, jokes) and became our translator to literally everything and just being that China boy. I really miss the life in SDU and friends whom I met there.
Apart from all the travelling I did during summer, I’m glad I met most of my friends back home. Finally no more seeing them having fun through Snapchat without me and having me to reply to their snaps saying ‘why am I not there?’. We completed our ‘mission’, which was to go to Tusan. We wanted to go for quite some time already but never had the chance to because some people weren’t back home and we’d have to find the perfect timing to go. We also went out for loads of meals together, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper. We had steamboat at my house just yesterday and then we went to the beach to put sky lanterns.
Got to meet my primary school friends after almost a year and can’t believe we’ve been friends for 16 years now. We don’t always talk but we have so much to talk about when we see each other. It’s weird how over the years, we made new friends and formed our own circle of friends but even after so long, we still remember each other’s birthdays without searching for it on social media. Met in kindergarten and here we are now, in university. Damn.
After so long, I finally got my driving license. It feels so weird to be the one driving and sometimes I forget that I’m the one driving and I have the car key. Still trying to get used to the whole ‘walking to the driver’s seat’ thing. So not used to being in the driver’s seat yet but I only have what, 4 days left to drive? At least I got something done this summer.
I didn’t bake as much as I thought I would this summer, partially because my oven broke down so I have no choice but to use the toaster-oven. It sucks because I can’t do much with it but better than nothing. A little achievement is that I finally tried baking Swiss Rolls?! I kind of improved my Korean a tiny bit this summer, although I’ve neglected it for a few weeks now because I am…….well, lazy. I read up a bit on photography as well but still suck at it so that’s something I really want to improve on. Major achievement, I read a book. It’s been so long since I last read a book but I was bored and it seemed like a pretty good book so why not? I also WASTED my time watching dramas, mostly Korean dramas and one Chinese drama.
Tiny little things like reading, learning a new language, photography, etc may seem very trivial to many but it felt really fulfilling, in my opinion. Overall, it’s been a pretty damn good summer thus far and I really don’t want to go back to the UK. I’m going to bea 2nd year student when I go back in a few days time and the thought of all the assignments piling just scares me. I’m also moving out which means I have to be a tiny bit more independent now. Don’t get me wrong but I’m still excited for what 2nd year has in store for me but I’m also scared. I don’t know who I’m going to meet this coming year and don’t know if I’ll be able to cope with all the shit that comes in my face.
Hopefully, it’ll be a great 2nd year of uni and a great 2nd term of being in MSSM. I’m ready for 2nd year! Maybe not so but I don’t have a choice, do I?