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Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Wrap up


2017 felt like it was 4 years combined into one: pre-sky, post-sky, summer break and the new semester. It was just so long! 

RECAP

Poland


Poland, even though super stressful is still the best trip during uni within europe I’ve been on. I went snowboarding on real snow - and I left with a whole new perspective on men and how I’d rather not live with one. But it also made me realise how I’d love to be one, just because travelling with them felt more adventurous (we went hiking!) and they’re always up for anything - even though you’d really need to force them sometimes.

SKY


SKY and my SKY team will forever have a space in my heart. It made me grow and it also allowed me to witness my friends developing themselves. I met amazing people from different backgrounds and had different perspectives of life but in the end, they all lived a life where they did things that were meaningful to them. I saw how people were under appreciated just because they don’t speak up. I also saw people who took credits for things they didn’t do just because they know where to find the opportunity to. 


But what really matters is that we all contributed, my SKY fam contributed, our guests contributed and everyone involved contributed. And we all gave and got something from that.

Post SKY

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When SKY was over, I was lost and was not at my best - mentally. But I managed to distract myself through CIPTA so I was actually thankful that it all happened. Because, without which, I probably wouldn’t even have had the drive to join it. Went to London for a week (skipping classes because what’s new) to learn more about start ups which lead to a productive (kind of) summer break with my two buddies. While studying for my finals, I was still not mentally ok which reflected on my results but we have to move on in life. 

Summer Break


I had an amazing summer break! It started with Paris with Michelle - which was so much fun. It reminded me so much of Slovenia (minus the partying) just because we did a lot of hanging out. Just sitting, enjoying the view, people watching, sitting by the river, things like that.


Then I went to Malaysia on Qatar Airways a few days after Saudi decided to boycott them. I always end up flying via exciting countries. It was Turkey a few days after the coup in 2016. In Malaysia, I celebrated Eid at my grandparents’. Only felt how different it was without my grandpa but everyone managed to figure out how to fill the gap that he left when it comes to preparing for Eid. I casually invited people I knew to come over for Eid and I enjoyed catching up with people from high school. Also had our annual barbecue night with the baes (just without the bbq this time). 


I caught up with my jellybabies after 2 years of not seeing them, we went on day trips and overnight trips. Planned to go abroad but ended up at Bukit Tinggi and Genting Highlands which was still extremely fun nonetheless. We also had a staycation at an condominium in KL. Hung out at Susu's apartment with Susu, Ana and Iman with a lepak sesh at the mamak and McDonalds - cos perlu. Did the typical "I'm going out with Iman but now it's getting late so I'm sleeping over". And for the first time, I wasn't around to help Susu pack for America. I’ve missed them and seeing them over the holidays kind of made it up to it - a bit. 


Also went to Cameron Highlands with Mak, Kak Nour and Kak Aisyah. I like the cold, as you can tell. Had lunch with the fambam a few times and also had grandma staying over with us! I enjoyed her staying over because I've always felt like I wasn't ever doing enough as a granddaughter so on one of the days, I forced my brother along to take her plant shopping.


I went on a trip to Japan with my brother and later on, my parents joined us. A lot of banter, arguments and dealing with the grandpa (my brother) for 2 weeks and then had to tone it down for the 10 days that my parents were there with us. Japan was a whole new experience on it's own. Every day was a challenge especially when going to the market. I wish I had learnt to read Japanese because it would have made everything so much easier. To say that I enjoyed it, I had my bad days and good days. But my favourite days of the trip basically made it all extremely worth it. 


It was also our first family 'travelling' trip abroad so that was also a bit of a challenge. Our trips since we moved back to Malaysia would usually be very laid back, going to resorts, just chilling out and enjoying each other's company. So this one was different because we were going to a city and I feel like as a family, we're very used to going out to see nature so it was different. I do hope to go on another trip like this, but maybe not to a city. Somewhere like New Zealand might be nice, or Hawaii... Poland maybe. Somewhere all of us would wholly enjoy.  


I opened up a lot to my brother and he, to me this summer break. It seemed like we kept so many things to ourselves and never really expressed it. I’ve always thought that I was having it bad but it made me realise that both of us went through things, felt things that were not the same, but didn’t make the other’s problems any less difficult. Happy to say that we managed to talk about things more than we ever had since we moved back. Also felt as if I got my best friend back - this might be thanks to the fact that I stopped talking to a lot of people. 

First Semester of Final Year


Final year got very difficult and still is getting difficult by the day. Also tried to blog frequently again but assignments kept on getting in the way. Finally getting paid to do things I enjoy doing - which is fun but because money is involved, I would always question whether I'm doing enough. 

Just got back from a trip to Germany with my best friend, Syaza - without Jared and Q which was sad but I enjoyed the company nonetheless. This is worth a blog post on its own.


Conclusion


I faced a lot of ‘reality’ which I was previously too naive to accept. I think that broadened my mind but also made me want to step out of this ideal concept that I made for myself. It also made me question a lot on why I'm doing what I'm doing. Why I should continue doing what I'm doing even though it's not reflecting my thoughts and feelings. It's making me question my faith, my principles and more than anything, it's making me question my heart. 

I've lost a lot of the confidence that I used to have and I'm now extremely introverted. I don't talk to people as much as I used to, I'm really keeping to myself a lot these days. And I feel like everyone would go through this phase in life. But through it all, I'm still getting through the days with some happiness. I've lost friends this year and I've lost trust in people that I used to trust. I've realised that sincerity is important in every relationship you have so I started drawing the line between acquaintances and friends.

For the past few years, since I left high school, my travelling game went up a few notches. Mainly because my parents and MARA decided to give me money to see the world. This will soon stop because 2018 will be my transition year to the actual adult life that I have, for the longest time, been delusional about living. Truth is, being an adult won’t get you money every month without working for it. 

I am unable to foresee 2018 being easier than 2017 as there seem to be a lot of challenges ahead but I do know that I'll learn a lot and I look forward to that... kind of. In the end, for every assignment you get, you'll end up submitting it in anyway. So it's the same with life, you'll get through the challenges in the end anyway. Stay strong everyone and happy new year. 

There were so many people involved in my 2017 and I did not get to record all of it but this is some that I managed to. Thank you for being involved my year whether you're in the photos or not.
It wouldn't have been a meaningful year without all of you. 





Sunday, November 12, 2017

Scared of Meeting People

The thought of having to meet someone new or someone I'm not close to scares me. I normally wouldn't just go up to someone (who aren't my friends) and talk to them but when I do have to, so many things will go around in my head. I would plan out the conversation, the way I approach them, how I would say hi, what I would do with my hands, whether I would stand or sit, how casual or formal I should be. It scares me. It usually takes me ages to just gather up the courage to talk to them.

It's the same through email too. I take so long to write emails because I just need it to be perfect. I would write, rewrite, get people to check it for me, get people to improve it for me, get people to proofread it for me and all just to confirm a meeting. But bit by bit, I'm improving. Since I started working, I've had to write quite a few emails and I don't take as long as I used to. I still use my mentor cum best friend when I'm unsure but I get less nervous before sending out emails these days.

This leads to a story of last week when I decided to email an academic staff without thinking through.  I wrote the email, read it through once and on the spur of the moment, sent it. I freaked out. Not only did I email her without thinking twice, I also initiated to meet up. But you know what, it wasn't so bad. I met up with her, we discussed about the entrepreneurial culture in the university, she referred me to someone and immediately after that, I emailed my manager/supervisor to set up another meeting.

I'm guessing that things get exaggerated in your head when you're nervous and think too long about it. So, if you have an unsent email in your inbox that you're too scared to send to someone because you're asking them a question or asking them for help, read it through once and just press the send button. If they don't answer your email, then it's not like you haven't tried. 

However, when it comes to meeting people... I still take ages to convince myself to just go and talk. But try convincing yourself nothing bad is going to happen. The other day, I approached someone in the co-working space (took me days, though) because I see her all the time. I didn't die and I gained a new acquaintance that I now say Hi to every time I go in for work. 

Life



Because it's the weekend and I'm tired of the Diamond, I told myself that I have to go to the park while the sun is still out and before it starts getting cold. So I did. I spread my mat out at the Botanical Garden and sat on it - the coolness from the grass went through but because the sun was out, it wasn't too bad. I managed to finish another chapter of a book I just bought from Amazon - Secrets of the Tomb: Skull & Bones, the Ivy League and the Hidden Paths of Power. Unfortunately, an hour later, the clouds started gathering up in front of the sun so I had to leave. However, I felt so much better after getting some fresh air. I felt more alive, I felt revived. I hope there won't be a day when I can't go out to the park or the woods when I need it. 


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

First Breakdown of the Semester

I had my first breakdown of the semester this week - on Monday, at the Diamond. Fortunately, it wasn't during the peak hours and I had my buddies with me which was comforting but embarrassing. The reason? I haven't had time for myself all week since last week and the workload was just getting to me. But I bursted after I submitted my reciprocating engine quiz and got it wrong. 

I think things get tough when you have goals that you want to achieve but bit by bit, things happen that makes you feel like you can't achieve them. It will make you feel incompetent, dejected, useless, regretful and that you are just not good enough. But look at it at a bigger of point of view, you've gotten so far to get to where you are today. 

So, are you really incompetent? 
Is there nothing at all that makes you happy?
Are you sure you've never been useful to anyone before?
Isn't there anything that you don't regret doing?

I've realised that talking to people helps. I was lucky that I had my friends with me when I broke down. Hannah bursted out laughing when I started crying - but so did I. I was confused as to why I was crying. Amir and Zafran were even worse! They ignored the whole situation after Hannah told them about it. But Hannah talked to me, she reminded me that there's more to everything than just getting the answer to the quiz right. Amir talked to me too, he told me that I can do this and I can get through this. Zafran just told me to stop being a baby. But in it all, I think sometimes, all you need is a few words of encouragement to keep you going because you've gone so far to just give up. It's okay to cry, guys. 

Besides that, I have recently realised that I'm starting to really be open about the troubles and problems I'm facing. Back then, even though I am a complainer, I used to keep things that really bothered me to myself. Would never tell anyone (especially someone that isn't a peer) about my insecurities or any really personal problems that I'm facing. Particularly, the ones that I think people would feel as if it is petty. But today, instead of keeping it all to myself, I went to my supervisor and I told her that I was lost. I couldn't see where I was going, I feel like I'm behind, I couldn't see how my project is even related to engineering and I don't get why I'm not good enough for the grade that I'm trying to achieve. THAT IS THE BEST THING I'VE DONE THIS SEMESTER (as of now). 

As a conclusion, if you're facing problems, seek for help. It can be a counsellor, it can be your parents, it can be your supervisor, it can be your tutor, it can be your friend and it can even be a stranger. Talk to someone, if they offer a solution, think about it. If you're not happy with the solution, talk to someone else. If you're afraid that people will talk about your problems to other people, then talk to someone like a counsellor or your tutor. 

If you feel like life is being really hard on you, I hope you'll talk to someone and I hope that it'll help you as how it helped me. 

Updates!


Studies

My final year is getting to me and I feel like going back to third year. On Monday, I had a very interesting assessment day for Tribology where we went to four different stations with different components to analyse the wear mechanisms and suggest ways to reduce the wear. I got my results for it today and I'm happy about it. I'm still not over the Engine quizzes that I keep getting wrong, though.

Work

I had to change my shift from Monday to Friday so I hope to get more done towards the end of the week. I will also be doing 'Pitch Your Way to £1k' next week so check it out and join because, you'll get a free drink and the possibility to get £50 or even more, £1000. Basically, you have nothing to lose.

Life



I had dinner with my friends and my new friends - that I forced to become friends with me just because they live in the same house as my friends. 

I've been thinking about how I've been here for 2 years and I haven't really used my opportunities well. There are so many experts in so many different fields that are literally just a walk away and most of them are happy to talk to you about what they know. Therefore, I decided to just go for it. And because of that, I'm meeting a lecturer tomorrow to talk about the entrepreneurial culture in the university. I am extremely excited about it, especially because I'm really interested in the topic and I have so many questions that I just want answers to. I do hope that it will go further than just me getting answers to my questions but I'll update on that later.


Also, I bought myself a Leuchtturm notebook which I hope will stop me from forgetting things and will sort my life out for me. It's new so we'll see how it goes towards the end of whenever.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Bought a domain name!


If you're up to date with me, you'd be able to see how this blog can be accessed through asmahamid.com! I've been wanting to have one since forever but I always felt that I did not want to waste my money. Little did I know, it's not that expensive or difficult. It did take me quite awhile to decide and figure it out, however.

It all came about when Sus said that she wanted to get one so I decided to search it up. I texted my family saying that £10/year wouldn't be too bad but Dad helped me search around and he found cheaper options. I then realised that there are more services out there that's related to this new world I'm trying to explore. Below are a few things that I understood from the 'research' that I did before getting a domain name:

a) Domain Name

Basically just your basic www.xxx.xxx. It's just a name - that's it. To register, registrars will take care of your domain registration and renewal, so you pay them for the service. You're unable to do it directly with ICANN (the people handling all this) because you basically just can't (refer below).

Source: ICANN

Registrars like GoDaddy and 1&1 will charge you very cheap for the first year but then the price will increase significantly for the years after. Compare registrars and decide who you want to go with, I obtained the chart below from Cosmotown.com.


b) Hosting

A hosting service is basically a 'space' given to you by the provider. You can do whatever you want with this space - including making a website but it does not provide you with the service to actually create this website - just the storage space. Provided that you can build a website from scratch or you have a web developer, this would not be a problem. However, if it is an issue, the next section is handy.

c) Website/Website Builder

A website builder is a platform or a service that provides you with tools and templates to allow you to create your own website without having to excessively code. Wordpress, Wix and many of the registrars in the chart above provides this service.

In the end, I decided to go with just getting a domain name from 1&1 because:
  • I don't know how long I'd like to keep this domain name - basically doing a one year trial run (I'm paying £1/year this year - would pay around £14/year for the years after)
  • I am too busy to be making my own website (because assigning the domain to this blog is already a little bit complicated - this is how)
  • I am already on blogger and it allows to me to have my own domain name linked to it - for free
  • I don't want to be paying a lot for something I'm probably not going to use (hence, I did not go for the web hosting service/website builder)

Life Update!


Work

My initial project got scrapped (by me, as advised by Liz) due to the fact that international students under a Tier 4 visa are not allowed to engage themselves in any business activities. This includes selling/trading things on any kind of marketplace (ebay, etsy and etc.) You will be deported if the home office finds out that you're 'self-employed'. This would mean that my platform would only be available for home students which isn't very ideal.

However, Liz did help me come out with other plans which involves skills exchange. After a few days of thinking, I decided to have a main project of creating a platform to aid skills exchange and a subproject which is of a skills showcase. But because the skills showcase will be big enough on its own. I'll be writing proposals for two different projects. YEAY?

Studies

I'm half way through the semester and I'm overwhelmed by the amount of work that I have to do. My final year project is starting to really speed up so I'm trying my hardest to keep up with it. I've been spending my whole Monday and Tuesday night doing my FYP but it really isn't enough time. Besides that, I have 3 different assignments to also do. It's starting to get really difficult if I must be honest. Last year, I took a lot of modules that were 100% exams so now I feel like I'm in second year again.

Life



My best friend came over from Germany for 5 days! We went to a Halloween Party that played KPOP which was SOOOOOOOO FUUUUNNN. We also watched an Alice in Wonderland show (thanks to Mick for telling me). Unfortunate that since she has gone back, I'll be back to staying at home every single night. Syaza was really lazy so we stayed at home when we were supposed to be going out of Sheffield. But honestly, because we stayed at home, we managed to catch up and have a lot of discussions about life. She also got to meet all of my friends that I've always talked about so that was interesting.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Life Update!

I have so many half-done posts and I'm not exactly proud of it. I had the intention of continuing my Japan trip posts but when it comes to writing and expressing things, you need the mood to actually do it. I used to write when I'm sad (I have a private journal) just because it made me feel so much better but there was always a need for all those times that I had to write.

So today, I'm writing because I feel empty? 

I'm three weeks into my final year (OMG I know, it feels as if I got into uni just yesterday) and I'm so busy that I've never really had time for myself lately. Unfortunate but it's time to get serious. Throughout my 2 years here, I've always been a borderline first but because of what I went through emotionally last semester (I feel), my overall grades (along with my ability to socialize) dropped so I'm motivated to do really well this year. 

What have I been up to this academic year?


Work


I am an enterprise intern at USE! It's so exciting especially because I'm getting paid to do something I enjoy. I'm currently working on my own enterprise project which will be on providing a platform for students to get into entrepreneurship. When I came up with it, my intention was to allow students to generate income from their hobby. I plan to organize a series of engagements to get people to explore how they can make money from their talents. It's very new so I can't clearly see when it's going to launch but I do hope that it'd benefit everyone.

Studies

I also have a final year project that I'm working on. To briefly summarise it, I have to define 'dexterity demand' and then from that, design a puzzle that requires high dexterity demand based on my definition. For all of you who doesn't know what dexterity is, it's difficult to really define it as everyone would define it differently but it is basically a skill that involves voluntary movements to carry out tasks. It seems very simple but after talking to Anna (a PhD student that's helping me out), I've realised that you could go so much deeper into defining it. I've been really excited about this project especially after talking to Jen (my supervisor) and Anna so I hope that throughout this 'journey', this project wouldn't turn into a burden.

Since I'm doing my masters now (it technically is), I've realised how a lot of my modules are based on researches. Therefore, I would have to read a lot. Can't be slacking off anymore because it's no longer about the text books and it's no longer about calculating what the force is and things like that. It makes me nervous but at the same time, I've had really interesting lecturers teaching my modules especially for Building Physics. I can do a 9AM no problem for his class.

Life


A lot of things happened during my summer break and I feel really sad that I'm not living with my family and that my best friends aren't a drive away anymore. But since I got back, my homies here have been nothing but supportive (and very realistic). And my sister is only a few hours away (she goes to Oxford Brookes) so that's really exciting. After two years of not doing anything for my birthday, I finally did this year! My sister and I went to London (bless her for taking some time out) and I honestly really appreciated it. We walked around to museums and galleries. Also had cake and went shopping. When we had to leave, I felt really sad but of course I didn't show it. I'm not attached to her or anything but I now wish that she goes here or somewhere closer instead (even though I initially told her not to).


My circle of friends has extremely shrunk but I do feel closer to the ones that have been with me for the past few years especially after all the arguments and banter that we've had. I haven't been involved with any society activities because I really want to concentrate on me this year but it has been a bit difficult not socialising. Also, isn't it amazing how last year, Amir and I directed SKY but this year, Hannah and Zafran are leading it. I'm extremely excited for them and I know that they can do better than what we did last year but as a previous director, I still have my worries. I keep some thoughts to myself but some, I don't. Up until now, they don't really need my help but Zafran is starting to feel what I felt last year and I believe he's going to learn a lot from it.

On a different note, I go to the gym now! OMG I know, me and the gym sounds a bit off but FOR GRADUATION! I did some yoga fusion the other day, got me in pain for three days. Felt like I just came back from snowboarding but I look forward for the next session (or at least I try to tell myself).

And I think this is worth mentioning, my skin has gotten so much better and I'm not even using that many products. Also, I've been a big massive believer of Korean skincare but I'm currently using a Japanese cleanser, toner, sunscreen and moisturiser with Bio-oil. My bb cream is however, Korean so it's still there somewhere. But I am so glad to have found those products. So much love and appreciation for them. Hoping to blog about them but knowing me, I probably won't.

I think this treated a bit of the emptiness I feel but I hope to figure out how to actually get rid of it, properly.  

Friday, August 25, 2017

Japan: Osaka I



Going back to Malaysia was a choice I made based on the reason that the whole family was planning on a trip abroad and I did not want to miss something that big because of my own selfish reasons (of wanting to experience the summer in the UK). But I also didn't want to go back just because of one week. So I decided to extend a week of the trip to nearly a month to really experience the country. Since I went to Slovenia, I had realised how much I enjoy trips that aren't overfilled with activities and places to go. From then on, my trips to Poland, Paris and now, Japan are exactly like that.  

Our trip was of a week in Osaka, a week in Kyoto and a week in Tokyo. I'm two weeks into this trip and in all honesty, I enjoyed Kyoto so much more than Osaka just because I've discovered that I'm not into that city life. I'll share what I liked and disliked about Osaka then I'll get on with the itinerary and how much my brother and I spent. 

Osaka, was basically, just that. The city, a lot of lights, a lot of shopping places and a lot of people. It was unfortunate that the temperature was and is currently extremely high as it made it a bit difficult to appreciate walking around. We were always searching for shade and praying that the sun would be covered up by the clouds. The only time I managed to enjoy myself was when we went out at night - mainly because the sun wasn't up. 

We stayed at the same Airbnb throughout the week and I was deeply disappointed by the flat we got. It was on the fourth floor, there wasn't any washing machine though it was said to have one and it was incredibly tiny. But I lived. However, I didn't really find it that bad until we went to Kyoto. 

Every day, we would leave the house around 10-12 or later thanks to my brother who seems to enjoy sleeping and would only wake up when I wake him up. Having a week in Osaka didn't seem too long at first but towards the end, I guess we started getting bored of the place. There wasn't much to visit and I don't think I'd like to go back to Osaka unless on a business trip. 

What I've realised about Japan is that everything seems to be very expensive. Initially, we thought that as long as we don't eat out, we'd be fine but every visit to market would cost around 1500 yen (RM60 | £11) and that's just buying the basics such as bread and drinks (non-alcoholic!) for two people that would last a day or two. 

This seems to all be very negative but I do appreciate some of my time in Osaka. The lights at night are amazing! It's also pretty close to Nara which was more of the countryside but very pretty! Plus, we ventured out a bit to the outer part of the city and it was nice seeing less of the hustle and bustle. Everything was also a walk away from where we stayed so overall, it was a nice city experience. 


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SKY 2017 I

That's everyone pointing at the 'SKY', by the way. 
I won't lie, I regret not blogging about SKY continuously whilst my team and I were working on it. It makes reflecting on myself and my team harder as there's nothing that I can look back to. 

When I took up SKY, I told Syafiq all this BS on how I'm going to do this and that, not even convinced that I was going to actually do it. But I worked on it nonetheless. The first thing I did was I recruited the foundation of my team. People I knew who wanted to work with SKY. At this part, I asked around who wanted to be part of it. 

It was difficult finding people. I dismissed the ones who said they wanted to think about it. I dismissed the ones who were deciding between two flagship events. I dismissed the ones who I thought I couldn't get along with. I dismissed the ones who wanted more than what they were offered. Don't get me wrong, I didn't do it because I wanted to. I did it because I had to. It may not be the right way, but I was, back then, weak as a person and I needed people who believed in me and my visions. I needed people who would make mistakes with me but still stick by my side. I needed people who would help me decide and support my decisions. I needed people who are patient enough to get back on track with me when we get lost. I'll be honest, we had our disagreements but throughout SKY, these people did exactly just that.

When we started our SKY 2017 proposal, we went through so many difficulties. From losing our vision, to not understanding what was the point of SKY. SKY is currently a baby compared to SMSA's other flagship events. It may seem easy because we can basically take it into any direction we'd like to but at the same time, it was difficult because we had to dig in to the objectives of why SKY was initiated and make sure that we followed it. 

This stage was one of the most difficult parts of SKY and it went on for ages! We changed so many things. We had to take a step back and look at it from a different perspective so many times. I was frustrated. We talked to people, we discussed, we decided, we then took a step back and realised that it wasn't it. So many times. The proposal was changed up until the last month before the event date.  

But did anyone from my executive team run off? Nope. They all stayed.