Still trudging through and doing my revision of this year’s work, getting a bit sick of it by now. When dropped into a hugely different cities, with so many people to many and things to try, you often lose sight of the fact that the primary purpose of coming abroad is actually to study. Despite that, university exchange does tend to be much more of a “life experience” and “personal experience” rather than academic experience. Back in Edinburgh, university work (lectures, tutorials, readings, note taking) is pretty much a 9 to 5 job at the library. However here, I’ve sought a better balance between work-life-play. Once I go back to Edinburgh next year it’s going to be work work work so I may as well try and reap benefits from this year (other than purely academic). What is the point in moving to an exotic country, with new cultures to explore and integrate into, if you are just going to sit in the library 24/7 and study? I may as well have stayed in Edinburgh! The whole point of coming here was to open my eyes to the world, develop inter-cultural communication skills and inter-personal skills. I do feel like I’ve been thrown in at the deep end, and the few first weeks were tough, but I have grown so much more self-assured and confident from being here. I’ve met friends from all over the world and now effectively have contacts over all the globe. But all these learning curves and opportunities could not have been maximised if I hadn’t invested a good deal of my time into pursuing them!
However, I also must not lose sight of the fact that I am still a university student and still must concentrate and focus hard on my studies. It’s just difficult to do that when I’m sitting next to a window which overlooks amazing greenery in the city parks, huge modern skyscrapers, food courts with enticing smells, a ridiculous amount of shopping malls, people zooming about everywhere on foot and in cars, an intriguing blend of cultures and races – from Malay, to Chinese, Indian, Eurasian, and Ex-Pats from everywhere – street markets and a hustle and bustle that just drags you into the city centre. So much of this is unlike anywhere back home, even the hustle and bustle alone I’ll miss, so why not go out and enjoy it and explore it while I can? Well, I’m telling myself, this is all well, but I must pass these exams! I must focus and discipline myself to just get through the couple of weeks of examinations… not long. After the exams are over I’ll still have some time in Singapore to explore guilt-free 🙂