At the beginning of y2s1 I told Nat about a film project I did before I started university, and we decided to buy two cameras to document our school journey for the year! Film photography, to me, is like buying clothes online - receiving them feels like Christmas, and you never really know how they are going to turn out on you. Some clothes look even better on you than they did online, while some just don't fit at all. Film is the same - when you develop your photos, some turn out so dark that you can barely see anything, while some are more beautiful than you imagined. We developed our ph this week and I was so excited! It's been two years (almost) since I last developed a roll of film! In fact, I still have a roll of film from June/July 2015, just before I matriculated into law school.
But such is life. This academic year has been... Tiring. I very much preferred year 1, where you had a full "year" to study your modules - crim, contract, tort etc. Cramming two heavy law modules (i.e. company + property; and public law + equity) in one semester really compresses the subject and forces you to (somehow) keep up week after week. It is like a flood of water being thrown upon you, and you are to filter and somehow absorb the water as best as you can. I much preferred having time to digest what I'm learning. The best module this year was definitely corporate deals. The learning curve was somewhat steep as you (and your group mates) are very much expected to pick things up yourself, but I guess it's good training for the future. I was also blessed with great group mates, which I believe made a lot of difference.
What is scary is how I'm now halfway done with law school. My first year was significantly busier than my second, where the excitement of entering university saw me joining various school activities and overcommitting to projects during the summer of my first year. This year, I took a step back and decided to give myself some breathing space. It definitely gave me a lot of time to step back and do a lot of reflection, and shaped me in more ways than I can imagine. At first I felt like I should be *getting out and doing something with my life* (and honestly, I still do from time to time) but - I've come to realise that it is better not to do anything than to just do things for the sake of doing them. After all, i'm still (relatively) young (I say this just as I turn 21) and this freedom is to be treasured.
That said, I am beyond excited for this Summer!! First up, I'll be going to Melbourne and Sydney for two full weeks with Nat! Melbourne is a place that I've always dreamed of going to, what with its vibrant coffee culture and aesthetic cafe food. I have so many places that I want to visit and I can't wait to blog about the whole experience here. On the other hand, Sydney is somewhere familiar (this will be my fifth trip there) and I have a lovely list of places I would love to visit and even revisit! I'm also looking forward to heading up to the Blue Mountains where we found the cutest airbnb to stay in. I need to start clearing photos in my phone to make space for all the ones I'm going to take there.
When I return I'll be doing two internships, one in June and one in July. Hunting for internships has really showed me how God's timing is really perfect and that everything is ultimately in His hands. I'm so thankful for the opportunities and I'm very excited to start work!
The photo above was taken from our bench in school - Year 2 certainly requires you to stay in school more often, so Nat and I would eat lunch at this bench near the OTH Building in between classes/pro bono (usually ubereats and the occasional home-cooked meal). On a side note, I would highly recommend doing the University Court Friends (UCF) scheme for pro bono! It's very eye-opening and it definitely improves your people skills, not to mention that everyone there is really friendly and wants to help you learn. It's great, and was a refreshing experience for me.
On good days when we finish school early, we'd head out to lunch around school. We used to go out every Friday for Friday dates in Sem 1, when I had Fridays free. The first photo on the left was taken at Sixth Avenue (featuring my duck noodles), and the other three photos were taken at Toby's Estate, where we had brunch on a Fridate.
Of course, we studied too. Interestingly, most of my second year was spent studying in various Starbucks/Coffee Beans - there aren't many cafes around us at Botanic Gardens, so we'd travel out to Holland Village/Rochester Starbucks/Sixth Avenue. That said, there's a lovely new place at Serene Center called The Bakery by Woodlands Sourdough and it is the one new place that I've visited in the last semester. The coffee is wonderful and the toast, while expensive, is loaded with lots of good, homemade toppings. I finally got around to trying the toast last week and I do regret not having tried it earlier. Both times I got the nut butter with honey and sea salt, atop a slice of perfectly crunchy-chewy sourdough. I can't wait to start catching up on the coffee scene in Singapore this summer. I'm looking forward to having pockets of time to travel for good coffee.
I'm also looking forward to going on many long walks, especially in Melbourne and Sydney! I'm not much of a cardio person, I hate running and I still can't cycle (unless you count cycling with training wheels). Hiking/walking is up to my speed. In the past year, Nat and I have walked the Treetop walk, the Green Corridor (from Rail Mall to Holland Village/Buona Vista), Henderson Waves and Bukit Timah Hill. The Green Corridor is actually undergoing some form of utility works right now, and both times we needed to get out somewhere around Jelita (along Old Holland Road) and walk along the main road to Holland Village/Buona Vista. My favourite walk was the Henderson walk - it is close to nature yet you're walking on a nice, shiny (and relatively clean) boardwalk through the trees. It's a little short, though. I also liked Bukit Timah Hill, a smaller version of the Elephant Nature Park walk I did in Taiwan with my mom.
Remember how I said that I couldn't cycle? Nat brought me to West Coast Park in an attempt to teach me how to cycle. Unfortunately, that didn't quite work out. I wonder if I'll ever learn.
Beach dates were a common feature of our holidays and recess weeks. I've never been much of a beach person, but these days I'm starting to appreciate the beauty of lying on the sand and listening to the sound of the waves in the background. Law school is a hectic place, and the beach is a great respite from that.
Other highlights of the past year include: starting on the Mentalist and Friends. I know I'm a few years late to both, but better late than never? I've also turned 21 (just a few days ago, actually) but the day itself really felt like a non-event because it was sandwiched in between my two exams. Nat brought me out for a lovely dinner at Portico Prime though, and he even led me on a little treasure hunt to find my presents! That really brightened up my day. My family brought me to Corner House for lunch the Saturday before, and it was a nice time having lunch with the whole family + my grandma + uncle + Nat. It's getting harder for all of us to find time to go out for lunch together these days, so these moments are definitely treasured.
So summer's here, and what a year it has been. I've learnt a lot, but the greatest lesson I've learnt is to continue lean onto and trust God at all times, be it good or bad. I've met with many blessings this past year, and through it all He has been so, so good to me. The transition from first year to second was harder than I thought it would be (PSA take everything people say with a pinch of salt - ultimately just focus on yourself) but everything is conquerable with a good spirit and positive attitude. That was something I struggled with this year, but you live and learn. I'm hoping to realign myself this summer, gain some focus and enjoy the process of doing so. I'm also going to start baking more often and refine my cake recipes!
Here's (possibly) my favourite picture from the whole roll of film - this is Ojo, and she's turning five tomorrow! I still remember the day we brought her home, and she was just three months old then. Time does fly. We're one week away from Australia, and I truly can't wait. The next film instalment will be from Australia, and I can't wait to share the photos already! (The photos will also be a lot less underexposed, I promise - half the photos couldn't be shared here as they were too dark.)