Rays of Splendour


Leave a comment

Halfway through with summer school

Done with 2 weeks of the summer semester alhamdulillah! 2 more weeks to go before the semester ends!

This is the first time ever that I’ve taken an inter-semester session. I’ve never taken any back in my undergrad days and neither have I taken it during the previous few semesters of post-grad school.

So I never knew just how much motivation it would take for me to psych myself to get to classes even. Seriously, I’ve been lateĀ  for practically EVERY lesson these two weeks and it’s only because I took such a long time to convince myself to get out of the house and go to class. I’ve been approaching the TA during breaks to inform him that I’m there and to mark my attendance that I think he’s probably super annoyed at me by now.

Anyway, all I want to do for now is just take a break after the 4 grueling months of spring semester. I get exhausted simply running through my mind the schedule, deadlines and number of meetings with professors to acquire their signatures to settle various administrative issues during the spring semester. When it finally ended with the submission of my last assignment, all I wanted to do was take a break.

So these past 2 weeks of school had naturally been one whereby my mind seems to be out of place. On the one hand, I’m physically there in class and alhamdulillah, 90% mentally there too as I listened to the lectures and tried to absorb the knowledge disseminated. However at the same time, I feel another part of myself just itching to be elsewhere but in class and doing the assignments.

So the rest of the time, my mind and body have been thinking and desiring so much to go on holiday. I do not know where for now but yes, I just want to goooooo somewhere and explore new things.

I feel pretty much stifled and unmotivated after being so dormant like this. In fact, I’m so stifled and unmotivated that I actually do not have much appetite even. Nothing seems to whet my appetite so I’ve been eating things like bread with butter or simply noodles with veggies for my meals.

I look forward to going back to Singapore for a proper break but ironically, I also know that I’ll probably be bored and be even MORE unmotivated because I’ll be spending my days largely alone as my family and friends would probably be busy working.

I sound so cranky right now and all because I’m just emotionally and mentally exhausted.

I need a break, badly.


Leave a comment

Back to solitary life

For the past few months, I’ve had a friend staying over at my place. It felt nice to have a roommate and basically, a companion these past few months. However as of this week, she has gone back to her country for a holiday and at the same time also moved out of the apartment.

These few days, I found myself adjusting back to solo life in Seoul. It’s back to days of waking up, spending my days and turning in for the night to an empty apartment. Since the last time I spoke to my mom on the phone 2 or 3 days back, I’ve not spoken nor communicated with anyone at all.

In the meantime, I’ve been sick but alhamdulillah I’ve gotten heaps better at the time of blogging this. Recuperating and attempting to get well by myself like this made me realize how it is that there could be cases reported whereby no one knew someone living alone had died in the apartment until perhaps a week after their death. I know it’s morbid but I now understand why that could be so. In a context whereby you live alone, lack social connections so basically there is no one who checks on you nor know where you live, and then you fell sick or an accident occurred in the apartment, it’s no wonder cases like that could occur.

That aside, it’s also back to days of scrimping on money. I knew I was lacking money when I got back to Singapore but seeing how it was Ramadan and Eid season – times when the family uses more money than usual – I didn’t have the heart to ask the parents for money to bring back to Korea. So yes, it’s back to days of making do with less.

I haven’t bought any bread since I finished it a few days back so that’s one expense less. Thank goodness Korea sells salad at such a cheap price (1000 – 2000 won only for a packet!) so my meals these few days are just white rice with salad and tomotoes and erm, lots of Eid cookies and crisps which I brought over from Singapore! Hahahah. Alhamdulillah, I still have a few cuts of chicken left which I’m trying to make last as long as possible by only cutting like 5 tiny slices to cook whenever I get too hungry. Lastly though I’ve lots of free time since school is only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, I’ve not gone out. Going out = spending money on transport. Hence, I’ve been staying inside the house since Thursday.

I think I’m really becoming an expert in not spending money. Lol. On a serious note, I appreciate so much my house back in Singapore. When I was back home last week, the whole kitchen felt like Heaven cos it was overflowing with food!

Now, what else should I do to entertain myself in the house till Tuesday afternoon when class starts again?


Leave a comment

End of spring semester

*dusts blog*

It’s been almost a solid 4 months since I last blogged. The last time I did this was at the start of my spring semester. Alhamdulillah, the spring semester is over as of last week and results are out.

I feel considerably more relaxed right now as opposed to the last few months. These few months, ‘deadlines’ were constantly at the back of my mind. Somehow after I’ve cleared one deadline, there was always some other deadline I’m worried about.

If I could summarize the spring semester in one phrase, it’d be “Finding direction“. I was constantly in search of a direction on what to research and write about the whole of the semester! I guess my mind wasn’t in the mood to blog in between constantly researching, brainstorming and then going back to the drawing board if I found the angle I want to research on to be inappropriate.

Currently, I’ve signed up and am doing a summer semester. It’s my first inter-semester session as I’ve always gone back to Singapore during the summer or winter break.

The campus seems quieter than usual. Less people, less noise. Even the whole vicinity of my apartment seems a whole lot more muted. So this is how inter-semester sessions are like.

The most important month of Ramadan has also come and passed. Alhamdulillah, I managed to experience 3 weeks of Ramadan in Seoul.

I’d thought that I’d be in Seoul the whole of Ramadan and also Eid. However with His generosity, I was given an opportunity to fly back home to experience the last week of Ramadan and the first two days of Eid. I am so, so, so grateful to Allah for allowing this to happen. The time with my family and friends whom I love so much was short but alhamdulillah, I feel full inside.

Nothing beats being around the people you love. As I reflect upon Allah’s blessings, I’m made to realize yet again how the people He has placed around us represents one of our biggest rezki in life.

Sometimes in praying and asking God to open and grant us rezki, we tend to define that word in terms of the financial aspects. However in doing so, we forget that Allah’s notion of rezki can be limitless. It’s not just an increase in your bank account as most people – myself included – tend to construe rezki to be. It comes in various forms and the people which He has surrounded yourself with who fills your heart which such contentment are one of them. Through them too, Allah grants you other forms of rezki.

Amazing isn’t it?

To my family and friends whom I love so much, I look forward to days when I will be able to be your side again. And I pray so much that Allah grants me the opportunity to do so, amin.


Leave a comment

Start of second year in Korea

I’ve been back in Seoul for exactly two weeks.

After arriving here on 25 Feb, I’d spent the next one week and a half settling into the apartment and familiarizing myself with a different routine compared to Singapore. I’d spent the time unpacking the contents in my luggage and storing them in the cupboards, cleaning the apartment, changing bedsheets, doing laundry and stocking up on fresh groceries and household products. I had also used that 1.5 weeks to settle any outstanding admin issues like paying the rent and utility bills, returning overdue library books and settling my timetable.

School only officially started on 7 March for me! Alhamdulillah, it’s going to be a three-days school week for me this semester. I’m kind of looking forward to the no-school Thursdays and Fridays as I intend to fill those times catching up on school work.

On 7 March too, I had a friend who came and will be staying with me till the end of the month. It feels great to have a roommate for the next 3 weeks. While I treasure the solitary times I have been spending in the apartment, I must admit that I welcome even more having someone living with me.

The companionship that I derived from having someone live with me these past few days has kept my spirits up. I still miss the people back home a lot but I also know that I’d have felt worse if I had been alone.

And yes, I miss people back home a lot. Those feelings strike me more acutely during those times I lie on my bed just before sleep overtakes me. My mind and heart seem to automatically take me back home and suddenly I will find myself thinking of the people there as soon as I close my eyes.

During those times I’m reminded deeply of how no matter how much I love and embrace the knowledge and experiences I’m able to glean here, my heart isn’t fully here. I know with a conviction that as soon as I’m done with my studies here, I want nothing else but to be back in Singapore where home, opportunities, future, and people I love are, insyaAllah.

P.S. I turned 33 on 7 March too. That date was mentioned twice in this entry but only when I was about to post the entry that I realized it was also my birthday! It’s my second birthday away from Singapore but alhamdulillah, I felt the love from all the way there. Really thankful for the card and present I received from the bffs, as well as the video greetings from them and the colleagues!