Thoughts. Experiences. Inspiration.

Never underestimate the value of random natter!

June 30, 2013 0

After I graduated with my A Levels in 2004, I was due to go to Warwick to begin my Political Science and Sociology degree. On Rinpoche‘s advice however, I did not take up my place and stayed in Malaysia instead. After touring a lot of colleges and looking at the courses offered, I decided to do a degree in Psychology at the best local place possible.

I joined HELP University College (or HELP College as it was known back then) in July 2004, at a time when all of my friends were going abroad to begin their foreign university lives. Not only was it difficult because I felt left out, but what I’m about to admit will make me come across as a snob (and I’m not afraid to admit that I was).

I was petrified of going to a local university. I’d been educated in an international school for my entire life and except for my cousins (and one friend who’d joined our school from a local one just to do his A Levels), did not know anyone from the local schools.

In fact, I’d been educated in just one school for my entire life, and my life revolved around school and family so I didn’t even know anyone outside of that circle. I had all sorts of (irrational) fears: what if I forget how to speak English? What if I don’t understand the lecturer? What if I’m made to study sejarah (history), morals and bahasa kebangsaan (the national language)? How will I cope with those classes in Malay? What if I don’t get along with anyone? After all, in my old school, I’d grown up with the people in my class – we moved on together from year to year, so making friends was never an issue.

I’m very glad I went to HELP. Going there pushed me out of my international school bubble, and exposed me to all sorts of people and situations in a way that my old place had never done, as much as they tried. It also prepared me for my time in England – I joined Warwick, this time to do Psychology, in 2005 and had a very difficult four years, financially-speaking. The maturity I gained in HELP did help me to deal with those trying times in England in a more positive manner than I might have otherwise dealt with.


I also made friends whom I’ve actually kept in touch with throughout the years, and today I met up with some of them. Many people won’t understand the value of this, especially because they don’t work the ‘crazy’ hours that I do (I have a reason for that though!), but sometimes it is just nice to hang out with people who have nothing to do with your work, but also have no judgements against what you do. Especially because I work, eat and live with the same people, it is nice to hang out with non-Kecharian friends, without any purpose in mind. It’s nice to see people without having to dress up and impress them; it is nice to hang out with people whom know you from back in the day, so even if your hair is slightly greasy and you’ve eaten just a little too much, you know the worst you’ll get is a friendly jibe, which you can retaliate with an equal comeback.

Never underestimate the value of random natter!

Don’t get me wrong, no one in Kechara tells me I can’t hang out with my friends. It’s my problem – I really enjoy what I do, so I find it hard to stop and I’ve never been the most sociable person anyway, so I’m not always the easiest person to get a hold of. But once in a while, it’s nice to do something out of my self-imposed bubble and today I got to do just that. We did what most Malaysians normally do on weekends – go from restaurant to restaurant, eating, drinking, watching F1 on the TV at the mamak and talking about everything in the world…and amuse them with the below photo of me looking unrecognisable in Tatler June 2013 hehehe it was a nice break from what looks set to be a crazy week, with construction deadlines for this Thursday!



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