Friday, May 8, 2009

It's all over - after 4 years

It is finally over. After a long journey of 4 years, my sojourn at NUS has finally come to an end - marked by my final paper yesterday, which finished at 3pm. The moment when I walked out of the exam room, I suddenly felt my shoulders are completely free of burden - wait. Free of burden? Not exactly true...'cos there are bigger things to do after this! However, I am just gonna enjoy this moment, which I have very much so earned it - after countless hours of mugging, headache, sleepless nights, late journeys home, and what nots.

Looking back at the four years in university, I can't really say that it has been an ideal experience, for many reasons. Perhaps mixed with a heavy dose of idealism, I have always wanted varsity life to be a colorful one - one that has many components to it: lesser focus on studies, work opportunities, chances to meet tons of people, partying, outings and stuff. However, after going through everything, I am sad to say that a major part of university life is still buried in books, notes, lectures and midnight oil. I consider myself to be quite hardworking already, but as the saying goes: "for a tall mountain, there is bound to be (at least) one taller than that". This feeling is amplified whenever I passed by the YIH study rooms when nearing exam periods - there would already be students 'camping' there to study, some of them even overnight. I am sure this is so too in other parts of the school. I have to hold my hands up though, that I can never mug this hard - and seriously, I don't see why I should despite knowing the perennial importance of grades here.

My experience with the chemical engineering course is also a relatively rocky one - there have been times when I was really struggling, the stuff that I was studying just cannot get into my head, or worse, look absolutely alien to me. There were a couple of modules that I nearly failed, or so I thought, but fortunately, I didn't. The multitudes of modules that I took did open my eyes to many things though, to the facets of chemical engineering and beyond. It is a very tough course alright, and to be able to make it through is, in itself, an achievement.

Due to the heavy academic commitments, most of the people I got to meet and socialize with naturally came from my course - and there are a few that are truly formidable in terms of ability. I am also being exposed to pseudo-political maneuvrings and undercurrents, which made me sick to the stomach in some instances, to still see some of them and be able to tide over the awkward moments with feigned smiles. Those that have been there before, you know what I mean. Not that I like it, no one does, but we all have to deal with it. It is, after all, part and parcel of the route of maturity and independence. But if you ask me whether I would select this course again if given a choice, I would give you a negative answer. Once is enough, I would like to try something else. For an over-engagement in mechanical stuff does make one lose a bit of edge in terms of fulfilment of relational needs and sociability.

That said, I feel that I have gone through a lot, and learned aplenty too. And as I hit my quarter life mark, things are chugging on faster than usual, I have noticed. But I have to bite the bullet and carry on. And to the one that I thought was the one, it was a short, bittersweet memory that I will never forget, forlornly so - just that fate does not ordain us to walk the same path. Anyhow, you can bet that one day I would emerge with the hand of the other. So long.

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