Studied at NUS over the weekend.

That happened to put things into perspective. In about a year’s time (if everything goes well), I will be walking these hallways, flagging the shuttles here, living the life I’m supposed to want. It seems almost straightforward, a clear cut route we’re all trained to take. Or rather, what my parents want. To them, university’s the win-it-all, the ticket to success, a prerequisite before a life of normalcy. Understandably so. In retrospect they grew up under different circumstances, inevitably different mindsets and impulses. I also find it hard to agree with them on so many levels – most of all, that one should be content with the status quo. In their minds, NUS’s utopia, and anything else is incomparable.

On the way home last evening, I probed the idea of studying in the US with papa. Not that I’m in the least qualified to warrant any hope of studying overseas. My lacklustre grades deserve no amount of consideration. The radio was speaking on a college fair, and the conversation lapsed into a discussion on universities:

“What if I want to study overseas? What IF I get a scholarship, and have the chance to do so? Not that I can la. Just saying.”

“Aiyo overseas for what. NUS is good already why are you so negative. We want you nearby you go so far for what.”

There’s this view, that Singapore’s a safe haven, and that everything else out there is dangerous and less ideal. That we should be thankful for our top universities (rankings ha ha), low crime rates etc. Yes definitely, I see some modicum of truth in that. It’s but for that reason I yearn to see new things – we live in such a homogenous society, a tried and tested way of life – such is an apparent ideal. Am I inherently selfish for thinking so? That I’ve gotten already what I deserve, and should yearn for no more? I still want to see more, for it’s amazing out there. The other day I searched “anthropology” (interested in this major but it’s only available at yale-nus, and mezz says I should take history – it’s more wholesome as a discipline or something) on STjobsearch. All I got was a few postings for polytechnic lecturers, a few senior programme directors at a local museum. It was pretty disappointing – all those required some amount of experience, and were in no way suitable for an undergraduate. Did the same search at a NYC job directory and what did I get? Here goes:

Field Technicians – Cultural resource department looking for…. archaeology related digs, feature identification and processing, soil identification, excavation and recording; hiking in rugged terrain

Housing Specialist – basically a social worker for the state, working with families, young adults in foster care to find housing; training at-risk children etc

Child Welfare Specialist – the name says it all

Criminalist – involves forensic science, identification etc

Programme Assistant – stuff regarding planetary sciences, anthropology, history etc

Researcher/Ethnographer – some company research stuff that sounds pretty interesting ok I shan’t go into detail

Such fascinating opportunities! I’ve listed only a few from the cover page. Shows how diverse job opportunities can actually be. There’s a whole new world out there, and I want so much to see it. But. Singapore will always be my home – where I grew up, and where family will always be. It was mentioned on a recent article about familial ties, that immigrants with weak ties or none at all tend to find integration into their new home relatively easier. I’ll likely never (I think) stray far from home, for it’s part obligation, part love. Damn, I’ve gone off on a tangent again!

I still find it hard to imagine myself in a the shoes of a university student, the routine of which seems to me inexplicably confining, or mundane at the very least. That being said, my views are formed from secondhand experiences – I am in no position to confer judgement on what university entails.

Still! The future holds yet so much potential. Fresh opportunity, undefined boundaries, and youth! The very freedom of youth! (Age scares me. It’s chuck full of wisdom, yet eerily debilitating. That for another day.) I simply can’t wait what’s to come. That’s bad too. At this point of time, the A levels seem like an unfortunate obstacle. I find it enduringly tough to scavenge for even a little motivation at all.


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