Transitioning back into “normal life” + Early days and good vibes + Semester begins!
Today was the first day of the semester for me and in all honesty, it was oddly satisfying to be back in the zone and just see everyone. The past year abroad doing my internship and student exchange has been almost dream-like, filled with experiences that was everything and nothing that i imagined it would be and yet about five times better than i could have asked for. And yet a part of me– especially when i was studying in Bandung– felt really out of place on campus and half the time it was like i was walking around like a headless chicken, no clue as to where i should be or what i was doing. I never really felt like i was there there. Eventually, I totally stopped giving a shit after a while and completely made it my main focus to have a ball of a time there, spending as little time as possible on my assignments and being in campus and as much time in clubs and bars and malls when the mood struck…which was every night.
So being back in Brunei and in my home university (which i can no longer deny that i have come to love and cherish and treasure with all my heart) is like a breath of fresh air after the smoky haze of Indonesia. It’s great being in a place where you know people and people know you and especially, and you should never take this forgranted, speaking the same freaking language as everyone else. Oh God. I’ve missed this. It feels amazing to know that i’m back on familiar ground where i actually have a chance of excelling and knowing whatever the fuck it is i’m supposed to do… and you know what? Even if i don’t, I actually have friends and people i know to text and ask without having to feel like an incompetent fool! And if they don’t come through, i know where to find lecturers (and their offices without getting lost in a maze of different faculties) who will answer my questions and understand where i’m coming from without thinking of me as a nuisance! I mean, not to say my lecturers in Bandung weren’t very nice, some of them were very accommodating (holler at Pak H!), however, i perceived an air of very mild jadedness about them whenever addressing us “foreign students”. I don’t blame them, to be honest, because i understand where they’re coming from. Every semester new gormless Bruneian students show up to their classes not having a freaking clue as to what to do or where to go, some of them not even bothering to learn the language at all before going there and they all ask the same questions and it’s just a cycle that carries on every six months.
TL;DR: I’m finally back on even ground where i don’t feel stupid cause dis be ma turf
Obviously, it’s much too early to predict how the rest of the year will be like but if it turns out to be as interesting and filled with good vibes as today was, then i am set til December, guys. The day before we were having lunch and listing out all the different people that we weren’t looking forward to seeing, conversation that was punctuated with frequent sighs and exclamations of “what?! Isn’t he/she done? I thought they were graduating! Eugh i just don’t want to have to deal with him/her again”. But after a morning of sitting in a crowded lecture theater filled with buzzing freshmen and feeling old (and kind of smug at the same time no denying it lol), by noon it felt great to be sitting in a classroom where people are calling out your name and showering you with hugs and asking you how your whole year went.
And because all the fourth year students have just gotten back from their respective discovery years abroad or away from campus (it’s part of our university programme to spend the fifth and sixth semesters doing internships or student exchanges abroad), most of us haven’t seen each other at all for a year which makes for a great reunion when you bump into people you forgot even existed. Everywhere you hear people asking each other, “How was Korea?” “It was great! And L.A., did you bump into any of the Kardashians??” “Vietnam though! Did you have fun??” “U.K. was great! It was snowing while i was there and i didn’t want to come back!” “I heard so-and-so did an internship in Phuket!”. And everyone looks so well and there’s a healthy glow all around, it makes for such a great buzz.
It was also interesting to see how some people changed! Like some people ended up a little bit… “curvier” (but then again a lot of eating can happen in one year, i mean hello– i do a lot eating in one night, so no fingers pointed here) and someone who used to be quite butchy started wearing a hijab that went all the way down to her knees and some other person d.i.y’ed their hair hooker blonde and decided it would be a great idea to match it with garish coral lipstick and a hideous blood orange top, so in other words, someone looked like an orangutan. But it was still all great fun! Obviously, i did end up rolling my eyes once or twice throughout the day upon laying eyes on some unfeasible person that i’d be happy to never come across again in my life but other than that, it was all laughs.
It’s currently 7.30am and i have a briefing on graduation to attend at 12 which means i have to get up at 10.30 to get ready. Creyes. Thank God i took that long nap last night! But yeah here’s to the beginning of a great academic year and new, lasting friendships! ❤
That’s all for now!