Friday, June 8, 2018

University Journey - Appreciation Post I

 

College and university life were the toughest I have gone through, I tear up realising that it's all coming to an end. Once I enter this next, longer stage of life, I will obviously miss it even though I wanted to jump off a building or in front of a car half the time.  

However, I couldn't deny that I only got through this because of the people who were there with me throughout my journey. I lost some and I gained some along the way but things happen for a reason and I'm thankful for every single person who means or meant something to me during this journey. So this is an appreciation post - like how I did one for when I left high school, here's one for university. 


I lived my life in Sheffield with two houses, one where I pay rent and actually have a room and the other, where I 'bunk' and stay in the living room. I spent a lot of my first and second year hanging out in the other house mainly because there's a telly and I usually felt lonely. My 'housemates' treated me like a brother so we were able to do a lot of things comfortably together. We cooked, went on holiday, had movie nights, played games, went on outings, worked on SKY and took the mick out of each other a lot. I appreciate that they took in a lost child (me).

Therefore, my appreciation goes out to Syed who never fails to make me laugh but I'm mudah terhibur so that would explain things. Thank you for listening to me when I force you to listen and thank you for lightening up the mood when it gets dull. Then there's Kimin who I have never treated nicely, but, thanks for being nice when I'm never nice to you. Thank you to Kema as well, it was quiet without you around during our final year here because these kids cave up without you. If it wasn't for Kema during my first and second year here, I would have probably died of boredom because Kema would always ajak us to go out and play. Also, shout out to the kids at home - Sazlee, Hazim and Aidil for not kicking me out of the house.


Hannah was my roommate since college who then turned into my flatmate the rest of the time. She was there through everything - my breakdowns; my heartbreaks; when I couldn't find the will to get out of bed; when I wanted to kill people; when I wanted to kill me; my horrible cooking; my loud shouting, singing and talking to myself; and recently, through the nights at uni (amazingly enough). There were times, I'm sure, when she wanted to kill me and there were times when I wanted to shred her into pieces but neither of us moved out.

Hannah wasn't just a friend, to say that she's one of my best friends doesn't describe her well. She's a category of her own. She has the vibes of a mum, step mum, MIL, supervisor, mentor, senior, boss, discipline teacher, chef and a maid but in it all, she was the best temporary partner, companion, comrade and 'significant other'. If I had to write everything about our journey through university together, then I would have to write an entire book. 


Then there's Zafran. Since college up until now, we has always ended up having to work together. If we spent the same amount of time but instead, on a business, we would be Hewlett and Packard, Ben and Jerry, or Proctar and Gamble. But we didn't so that's that.  

Zaf is a dad, a brother, a sister, a gay best friend (he's straight) and a colleague to me - all in one. He takes care of me, gives me the attention I need but he's not the perfect best friend. He doesn't answer my calls or texts, he abuses me, ditches me and believes that sleep is more important than me. But because he's around, my Dad (actual Dad) can have a peace of mind.



Amir and I started arguing in MFI. We're of the same kind so it's hard for us to get along. But in it all, we survived university without killing each other, we led SKY 2016/2017 together and joined CIPTA as a team. For two people who don't get along, we work pretty darn well together. He was to me, what he was to everyone, a personal advisor, a close friend that listens attentively and a person who is always there when you need him. It is a rare occasion that Amir and I could meet up and not argue but he takes care of me so well. Because I don't see him much these days, I have grown to miss him.

This little gang we have going on here made university and life in Sheffield fun and liveable. While I'm away from home, I found home in them. Thank you guys, I love you and I'll miss all of you once you guys are back in Malaysia, getting rich and raising your kids.  I have more people to thank but this is getting too long so I'll make another post!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Selfish Decisions


I recently made one of my biggest and most selfish decision ever. Do I regret it? Not yet. Will I? Probably not. When I went to the career fair, I questioned myself a lot. I kept on thinking how every single decision I make is for my own personal interest. I applied for certain jobs because I knew that I would get more from those opportunities. I also straight out said no to people asking me to contribute back to the society (through teaching) because I knew that it would not give me any direct benefits.

So then I wondered what is the reason of me being sent here? (I'm not self sponsored) I'm getting tonnes of money spent on me every year since college. And where is all that money going to? To the development of someone who in the end, prioritises herself and not the development of the country.

And so I asked around. I wanted to know what other people felt about this. I asked them questions like do they feel as if they've contributed enough, do they feel that they're worth the investment, do they feel like they've met the objectives of them being sent here. Out of the many people that I asked, only two said no.

Initially, I got upset, I wasn't happy about how they also make decisions based on their own selfish reasons but at the same time, they can believe that they're still worth the investment. Because I wasn't able to. Whilst I don't feel as if the money has been wasted on me, I felt like someone else, who has so much love for the nation would've been more suitable to get this kind of opportunity.

But then I've realised that we are all just humans. We try to grab every single opportunity that we can, whether it's for own benefits or for the benefits of something else. We don't know where that opportunity will take us. In the end, we're all just going through doors that would open, to places we don't know where it leads to.

And so, I don't feel bad anymore for feeling selfish. The 'selfish' decisions I make now might just benefit more people in the future. It might not. I'm not God so lets just enjoy life and see what's to come our way.

I'd like to thank everyone who answered my questions, who tried to make me understand things in their perspectives and for allowing me to see the bigger picture.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My Malaysian Career Fair Experience


The Malaysian Career Fair started a week earlier from my university’s Easter break. This meant that I had to skip classes, miss out on work and rearrange my meeting with my supervisor. It was worth it. I went not expecting anything but I left learning so much from the whole experience and from talking to talent acquisition specialists, recruiters and employees.

I won’t give you employability tips, tell you how your CV should be or teach you how to network but I’ll tell you what I’ve learnt. I have had a few companies that approached me before the career fair itself to screen me and invite me for interviews.

With one of them, I had a phone interview, video interview and a psychometric test that I had to do before the final face-to-face interview where I was offered a position. Throughout the whole process, I felt so welcomed to the company and I wasn’t even in it yet! It was for a position that is not within my field but I was considering it because it has always been something I wanted to do. Which was why I decided to go through with it from the start.

This company tried their best to ensure that both my phone and video interviews were set to be at a time that was reasonable for me. Which I personally felt was such a nice touch just because I have told them that I wouldn’t mind waking up early. When I met the team in London, the person interviewing me talked to me as if she really wanted to get to know me. She wasn’t even in HR! I enjoyed the experience so much because it really felt like a two-way communication. After that, she sent me in to talk to someone from HR who told me what it would be like to work for the company. And as if that wasn’t enough, they invited all of us for a cocktail session to get to know more about the company and the programme.

In it all, they went through that extra effort to show all of us how much they want us to join the team that it just made me feel very appreciated. One of the things that I’ve learnt is that make sure that the company treats you like they want you as much as you want them. It’s not a one-way process. When you do your research, don’t just research on how to get that job but also research on whether the company is the right one for you. In the end, though we should not feel as if we’re entitled to be treated that way, it is really important to understand that you, the one who’s applying for the job, will be bringing money to the company once you join. They say beggars can’t be choosers but have value, work for a company that you actually want to work for.

(Had this in my drafts for awhile but didn't get around to posting it until today)

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.