Last semester in foundation, Week 10

In a blink of an eye it’s already week 10 of my 3rd semester in foundation!

It’s the last semester in my foundation year at university, a crucial time for all of us trying to get into our preferred degrees. Getting into medicine definitely takes a bit more effort due to the higher requirements. But I’ve been lagging behind a bit, as I get tired easily. Coming up next week are two exams, one assignment deadline, and possibly a live presentation – there is no time to lose. (And yet I’m blogging! I’ll start after this. 😛 )

I love learning, but I haven’t been able to keep up with so many courses (subjects) at once. Lately I’ve been quite clueless with regards to my studies. So, I’m planning to ramp up the efforts and give it my all from now on till our final assessment week. I’ll do that until my understanding improves.

Everytime I return home from campus, I’m pretty exhausted. I become thankful then for the next day, which is usually purely online, so I can rest when I need to. Nevertheless, exploring the campus has been a lot of fun. We tried out a few restaurants in the area, and I learnt a lot of Mandarin terms for certain types of food, through asking friends and observing the menus. It was fun to eat together and chat about random things.

The wifi connection in our campus sometimes is not so good, and our lectures lag a lot. But those are small things and we just find our way around it, such as studying on floors where the connection is better.

We also had to shoot a video for one of our assignments. We tried to shoot a brief intro and conclusion in one of the stairways at our campus – it was quiet enough since this is the COVID season. But it was a great laugh when one or two people would enter the stairway and wonder what we were all doing.

Finally, I hope you – whether you are a random local or foreign person or one of my coursemates from my university – will be with me as I run toward this small finish line in my academics. I thank you for reading, because then it feels as if you are with me. There is a lot to catch up with and I am maybe more than slightly worried that I cannot make it. But I will do my very best, to catch back up so that my courses become enjoyable again. I’ll do that, so that I can come back and share with you the joy of learning.

And of course, I will also get to share with you the joy of relaxation after my final assessment is over (in a few weeks time).

See you in another blogpost! ❤

Returning to campus – finally!

After 6 months of attending online university lectures, we finally were allowed to return to campus for certain classes on the 1st of March, 2021!

Yes, indeed, it’s already 26th of March today, and I’m in the midst of heavy academic load, with the coming week filled with exams, but I thought I’d take a wild risk and stop by here to do a brief update.

Besides, the 1st of March (Monday) is certainly a fun date to remember.

The night before, it was a bit nerve wrecking, but I fell asleep eventually. Surprisingly, when I was finally on campus, I did not as awestruck or nervous as I thought I would be. The campus was very quiet, as most of the students had still chosen online mode.

Our campus has a very strange architectural layout, but you get used to it. It’s quite fun to navigate the university, with stairways hidden here and there, narrow corridors, and lights with sensors. I kept thinking that this must be a different experience for us as compared to our seniors. If we had entered our foundation year while the block was choked full of students, a lot of details may be missed.

I met my assignment teammates in real life for the first time, and we chatted animatedly. Then our lecturer arrived. “Is this my class? Are you my class? Yes lah, should be my class.” She asked, carrying her lab coat, all the while walking at a very fast pace toward the lab on the right. We laughed, surprised to meet our lecturer for the first time. Then we put on our lab coats and entered the lab.

The lab has really bright lights, and for such an early time in the morning it was a little jarring. But I entered the lab with much curiosity. That was the first time I’ve been in any sort of learning space with a group of students, ever since I graduated from high school in 2019, due to the COVID pandemic.

Our first lab session was to dissect a goat’s heart. I did most of the dissecting while my labmate took many great photos. The heart was a little slimy and slippery. This was my very first dissection, as I had never had a dissection lab experience in high school. Some others already had the experience.

Actual goat’s heart, 1/3/2021

After that, we went to the library to attend our online classes. As I did not have a laptop then, it was a little difficult to access some learning materials (I finally got one last Monday though! I’m thankful for the convenience now). It was amusing to be able to see our friends unmute themselves to answer the teacher when their names were called, then here an echo of their voices through our earphones.

Then came our last class of the day – chemistry tutorial. There was a lot of “Sir, we saw you just now!” “Sir, you were walking about in front of the lab, but didn’t see us” “Well students, I saw two girls in the lift just now. Who were they? Who were you?”, and of course, a lot of real time and echoed laughing.

Then it was the end of the day. It takes me about 30-45 mins to reach home from my campus. I returned home quite tired but also happy.

Everyday, I remind myself that I truly must make the most of my experience at university, so that I will graduate without regrets.