Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Post-graduation nostalgia

So it's the start of semester for some of my peers. I see their status updates on Twitter and Facebook about start-of-semester woes, and I feel a pang of envy.

I miss school. I miss going for lectures, tutorials, even those agonising three-hour seminars that I used to dread. I miss gossiping about lecturers, having breakfast in the canteen before class, those annoying preps promoting their bake sales or hall productions along the AS1 walkway. I miss the bustle along that common walkway, dodging past gaggles of people to get to class. I miss the start-of-semester anticipation of the content I'm about to learn, the assignments I'd have to do, the new people I'm going to meet and work with.

University was the best part of my academic life. I know I've moaned and bitched about the pointlessness of what I was learning, but compared to the curriculum of secondary school and junior college, university has exposed me to so many more trend of thoughts, ideas, theories, and encouraged me to think longer and deeper about the things I read, as well as approach it from different perspectives. I know I risk sounding like a nerd, but I truly enjoyed writing those (individual) papers for assignment. I remember scouring the library and Google books for references and links, and there was always, always room for independent thought and expression. The best lecturers I've had in NUS were those who encouraged in-class discussion and facilitated it well. Language and the Workplace, and Language Planning and Policy were the two modules I learned a lot from. Prof Wee is concise, eloquent (I swear, he talks like he's writing a thesis. If I transcribe his lecture, you'd understand. How does that mind of his spin so quickly!). Heavenly Mathematics was another module that I enjoyed thoroughly, because Prof Aslaksen (I really hope I got that spelling right) was so passionate about what he was teaching it practically radiates from him. It seems the role of the educator shouldn't be undermined in the process of learning.

Three years, over just like that. Part of me wishes I were back in school, while another part is happy where I am interning at Cosmo.

I'd like to stay on, if they have a position open. Pay aside, this is what I want. This internship allows me to attend events where I meet different people from different industries, get to know what they do; plus, I get to write about these events (tastings, product launches, etc). I've been to other interviews for other industries and jobs, and the working environment either seems too stale, or there is no corporate ladder to scale, or the job scope just bores me no end. After an interview last week, I returned to the Cosmo office and the difference in the working environment was so palpable. Here, it's bustling and humming with activity and voices. And the topics aren't about finance, the economy, politics and the like. Here, we talk about fluffy things: makeup, beauty products, scents, boys, fashion, food, travel. The only thing I can think of that's holding me back is the pay. But we can't have the best of both worlds, right?

I can't believe I'm ending this entry with a cliche. But it is what is it (and there's another cliche for you!).

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