Category Archives: University

2013 at a glimpse

2013 is coming to an end and since it’s been a good year all year round I thought I’d share some highlights :)

I had a wonderful final year in the UK

Your final year in university is the most important; you have one last chance to step up your grades and make the most of your time in university all at the same time. I’m glad I was surrounded by fun-loving friends who were serious about their studies but at the same time serious about making every moment abroad count.

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I graduated with an LLB(hons)

5 months since I graduated!! Time sure flies, read about it here :)

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I did a good amount of travelling

I was blessed to be able to visit a few countries in Europe this year. From Scotland to Bosnia to Austria. Each are individually different, have different societal personalities, tell its own story of struggle yet offer so much natural beauty to appreciate. Travelling is so wonderful given the right company and weather and I was blessed throughout. Looking forward to more adventures next year!

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Salzburg, Austria

My brother got married!

It was such a momentous occasion as we welcomed my SIL into the family. I finally get a sister! Hehe

Happiness in tiffany blue

And I started a new chapter in my life – the CLP

I’ve somewhat written about this so I’ll follow up with an update – it’s been 3 months and a new term is about to start. The challenges slowly dawn upon us with the workload and studying but I’m just so glad I have a great support system to fall back on; my classmates and parents.

HELP University’s inaugural law dinning

A good year is a year that was good all around and so I will be ending 2013 with a smile and a handful of memories. Couldn’t have asked for more.

End of term

So my term holidays start tomorrow and I couldn’t be more thrilled but just before that…I have a mock exam to sit.

What is it with mock exams that make you feel just as scared as the real one? Maybe it’s cos it lasts 3 hours and the teacher only told us 2 weeks beforehand…

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I feel nervous as anyone would (should?) but also playing in my head is the excitement of the holidays.

So my thoughts go a bit like this…

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Can’t wait to properly unwind. A break much awaited. Happy holidays to all xx

Graduation 2013

The bestfriend recently blogged about her graduation which reminded me – I hadn’t blog about mine!

July 2013

It was a wonderful day. The weather sadly did not reflect that but the atmosphere did, and that’s all that mattered. While the rest of my cohort took the opportunity to dress up, I decided to keep it simple with a white shirt and a black skirt; representative of legal attire you could say :)

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Posing infront of my law faculty, my favourite building on campus!

It was a rather nostalgic day for me because it was also my last day in Reading and the last time I’d be seeing my friends for a while. I was thinking about how fast 2 years passed by and how much I was already missing the little things like walking to campus, hanging out on the grass with friends, getting coffee in between classes and just spending quality peaceful time in my student accommodation. I took the opportunity to live my campus life to my fullest and so I don’t really have any regrets, just a lot to miss for.

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My law school buddy from day 1 :)

My time in Reading has been nothing short of pleasant. I grew up a lot in those two years and a lot of my education took place outside the classroom. Cliche, yes I know, but definitely truthful. Many of the most touching conversations which have subsequently shaped my outlook on life took place with the locals in Reading, ranging from the halal butcher to an elderly on the bus to my flatmate. Going to university abroad should not just be about having an extended holiday, but an opportunity to learn about different cultures and take home valuable lessons. I definitely have no regrets doing that.

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The convocation itself went by rather swiftly but it was the words of my Vice Chanchelor that made it meaningful. He touched on the importance of living a life full of service, that the greatest fulfilment in life was one dedicated to the service of others. Definitely something I strive to live for and hoping that whatever I decide to embark on will prove to be worthy of such fulfilment.

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Happy day. Nostalgic day. Momentous day.  I had my parents by my side so I couldn’t have been happier. Still can’t believe I’m a law graduate :)

Going to law school

I received an email comment on my blog by a sweet follower (thanks for that!) asking to share my experience in law school and what to expect etc. I think that’s a great suggestion because I used to have 101 questions before applying for it as well and I would get typical comments like “oh it’s hard, make sure you read a lot” “make sure you do history in alevels” blah blah. But I wanted to know more about university life in general. I think that’s equally important. I wanted to hear something different. So I went to university and found out myself.

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Reading law as a first degree isn’t hard actually. Being in university isn’t hard either. Heck some find it to be a breeze (cos work is the killer). And from what I’ve heard and seen, law school only seems to be hard till you meet the Bar/CLP course (which comes after). Now that’s harder. Harder to manage, harder to pass (I have yet to experience this, makes me nervous actually). And btw, totally different from law school. Law school teaches you theories and principles. Learning to apply it in proper practice is a whole another chapter.

It’s hard to comment on what exactly to expect because every [law] school is different. The workload and assignments given is different, the expectation of attendance and performance is different and generally each body of students is different.

I went to University of Reading and I loved it. My classes and timetable became more relaxed as I progressed into 2nd and final year. I HAD SO MUCH FREE TIME. I wished I made better use of it (don’t we all) but I don’t regret anything. Life in Reading was sweet. But like I said, every school is different and depending on the ranking, reputation and size of law school, the system will be different. Some do 12 subjects divided into termly exams, some (like me) do a fix 5-6 for 1 year. But it’s no biggie.

Reading is required, definitely. How much reading you do differentiates you from other students and as the cliche saying goes…the more reading you do, the more you’ll know and will be able to contribute to discussions in tutorials.

What you did in pre-uni does not really matter. I’ve met many who did all sorts of subjects, some did all sciences, some did the typical english lit, history etc (like me). Of course you will be at an advantage if you do subjects such as history and english literature because it develops your language and analytical skills. But from what I’ve understood, doing subjects like math would equally put you at an advantage for it teaches you logical thinking (argued to be lacking in many law grads).

I chose to read law because it’s a professional degree with a wide career path and high relevance in any industry. Not all who study law become lawyers. In fact so many people who venture out into journalism, business, politics and the like have law backgrounds. But it’s what you learn in law school/university, the kind of knowledge imparted from your lecturers and subjects that challenge your thinking and mature it in the process. Learning to write better essays, understanding theories and applying it to problems, developing critical thinking; just some of the many important aspects of law school you will take away when you leave. It’s great. University really teaches you a lot.

If you ask me, yes I found law school hard. The environment was superb but I did not always meet the expectations of the subjects. I’m no good with arguing about legal principles and theories (highly dreaded) but I do enjoy application and so I guess I prefer doing the CLP more because now it’s all about applying the principles.

The best advice based on my experience would be..

i) Always go to tutorials, you get to recap on what you learned in the lecture and get answers to tutorial questions that could potentially come out in exams

ii) You don’t have to read every single case (daunting isn’t it?) but if a lecturer insists you do, read it. Reading cases is good because it tells you about the law/principle.

iii) Studying last minute is a really bad idea. You get nervous, tense and easily forget what you’ve just studied. With law, theres so much to know!! So have good time management and organise your oh so free time accordingly.

Reading law is fun. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot just by attending lectures. University is even more fun. So always make the most of it!

On finishing law school

I don’t think it’s really sunken in.

That I’ve finished my degree. That I’ll be graduating from law school in a week!

3 years has passed by so fast. Many keep asking when I’ll be returning to the UK and are always so shocked to know that I’m actually done. What? Really? Mashaallah, 3 years passed by so fast *cue stares-into-space moment*

It’s like I invoked a sense of nostalgia in them. Ceh. But in all seriousness, I left UK last month with a huge feeling of nostalgia myself. Naturally as humans we always await the day for something to happen but when it does, we stop for a second to ponder how fast that period of time was, how we wish to pause time to enjoy what we have left.

But I try not to do that. My iPhoto collection of photos over the past two years is excellent at reminding me of how many memories I’ve made. I’ll definitely miss them for sure – weekend trips to London, tea time in town with the girls, cooking dinner together, fretting over unfinished assignments and tutorial work, looking forward to Spring days, Malaysian Night’s, trips around the UK, everything really.

I guess I’m not just saying goodbye to university life, I’m also bidding farewell to a life abroad. The second time I’ve had to do in my life but hopefully not the last! While a life abroad is always so exciting and idealistic, in essence there is nothing quite like living back home. You don’t have to try so hard to fit in and there is no such thing as feeling home-sick. So to be frank I’m quite relieved to be home. I’ve missed my goreng pisang!!

My life as a law student hasn’t ended yet tho (boooo) so there’s still one more year of exam stress and books stacked on the table for me to go through.

For now I look forward to returning to the UK, to graduate and to then enjoy some beautiful European scenery before returning home for good. Am excited!

Write your worries away

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What I do when I start to feel stressed or nervous. Write in my diary. Nothing like writing your worries away, releasing your woes, spreading it on a page, and locking it up afterwards. Definitely a good managing exam-stress remedy.

Almost done

I’m bored of studying.

My back hurts.

Im running out of ideas of what to cook.

3 papers left.

1 week till my exams are over.

2 till I go home.

Time is going to pass by so fast!!

Keep calm and study on.

I CAN DO THIS.

#finals

Easter Holidays

Easter break has begun and my accommodation hall is so peaceful and quiet. Excellent time to take advantage of this and start studying I’d say. ‘Cos yeah, 1 month till my first exam… (SAY WHAT!)

Sometimes I get so cooped up in my room and it just feels stuffy and boring so I like to have a change of scenery and study in the kitchen instead. Together with a hot cuppa, I’m feeling re-energised already and the day doesn’t feel too mundane – especially considering this is what I’ve been doing all week! (and weeks to come) Oh exam times..

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Weather’s still cold and gloomy guys! So much for this post below ↓ Somebody please bring a proper Spring so I can have an excuse to step out for a bit!

Cooking diaries

I love home-cooked food and I especially love my moms (who doesn’t love their moms’ cooked food!) so I made sure to get a few easy recipes from her before I left to UK. Ironically I only really started properly cooking recently since my schedule is less hectic now and I can take a little bit more time to cook in the kitchen.

Et voila! Easy meals which take no more than half an hour to prepare and cook (except for defrosting and marinating meat) and are a combination of my moms super simple recipes + my own improvisations. My mom always tells me that the recipe can be the same but different people tend to produce it differently according to their technique. But most of the time meals like bihun sup or goreng remind me of home and that makes me happy enough :)

Bihun Sup

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Bihun goreng

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Pasta mixed with minced meat and cheese
(when I ran out of tomato sauce!)

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Sup Ayam

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Nasi Lemak

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P.S: Can you tell how much I love my Malaysian food? Nobody can take the Malaysian out of me!

Spring’s here!

Dear weather, it’s officially spring so please don’t let me down and be sunny every day ok?

Ok la, almost every day is fine too.

It’s officially Spring and not to mention the start of the easter break tomorrow! Albeit having to stay in to study, I’m very much looking forward to sunny and warmer days, trips to the park with my sunnies perhaps? Not to forget, change of wardrobe! Always my favourite part.

Wednesdays are my free day and I was glad to know that on that lovely sunny day, Nana decided to come down to visit me before she went back to KL. So I decided to make the most of her trip by first taking her for a tour around my campus.

My favourite part is no doubt my law faculty and the lake next to it. University of Reading is generally known for its abundance of greenery (we were even awarded for it!) and if it’s anything to boast about, it would be the ambience and scenery that surrounds my law school. My law faculty also known as Foxhill House is simply an old fashioned English house on a large estate of land, overlooking a wide stretch of a calm lake and presence of ducks. Nothing beats this experience honestly and as much as it can be quite the walk, to me it’s worth it ‘cos it always feels nice and peaceful walking along the pathway. So glad it was sunny because it made for a beautiful scenic picture.

so sunny i had to squint!

After a brief tour of the university, we headed to town for mexican at Las Iguanas. Below is a view of the The Oracle Riverside which is the riverside outside our biggest mall. Again, the sunny weather made for a vibrant picture. As the weather gets warmer you tend to see ducks swimming by, and on certain occasions, boat rides open to the public!

Had my favourite Gambas for starters. I’ve been eating a lot of prawn lately and I particularly noticed that prawn in curry is just delicious. Dipped with bread is the perfect combination. Kind of made me full! Not to mention, satisfied. Amazing how food makes you happy, no? :D

A rather brief tour of my university and town, but hope you enjoyed it Nana!

Reading Malaysian Night

And finally came our turn. Reading Malaysian Night was yesterday and I’m glad to have been part of it ‘cos it very well turned out just like we imagined. We can’t really be compared to other theatre-like productions but for a decent sized Malaysian society, I think the team did a great job. Even better at being natural comedians!

A glimpse of the night.

Our MNight was called “Malaysia, I’m home!” and it comprised of a mash up of 3 scenes;  A malay (which I was part of) chinese and indian scene – all involving a character who’s just returned home to face their family and in that course they go through a certain problem which brings them to re-embrace their true traditional values. In a way it provided as a simple introduction to Malaysian traditional values, especially for those non-Malaysians who came. So surprised to see quite a number of British/non-Malaysians last night!

And 4 pounds for a decent show, nasi lemak and soya milk? Come on, that is such a good deal! Was so impressed and excited when I found out we were getting nasi lemak (extras for the crew! hehe)

Pui Shan excited to get nasi lemak

with Jolyn and Sher Hann (last year’s MNight director!)

and after all that, I went out for desserts to my favourite place with my favourite people who came to watch the show!

 Cherry on top to a good night :)

Few pictures here cos some were blur. Can’t wait for the professional pictures to come out!

Malaysian Nights

 One of the things I told myself I’d do since coming to the UK was to make sure I’d attend some universities’ Malaysian Nights held by Malaysian societies. I’ve attended a few so far and have been left impressed, been reminded of the true spirit of Malaysian culture, not to mention have even learnt quite a bit about Malay legends and folktale which to me is important.

The first one I attended was Kent Malaysian Night which happened to be its first Malaysian Night too. For a first time production, it was good and funny. So props to the team for an entertaining show :)

Kent: Ellis in Wonderland

As for the others, they were all amazing and entertaining on their own scale and props go out to each team for all the hard work and effort. I can’t imagine how many hours they put into practicing. Some top-knotch acting and singing right there.

Cardiff Festival of Diversity: Pahlawan the Musical

UCL: Mahsuri

LSE: Cinderella Story 

I went for the ones that I was free and around for and that weren’t too far away. Some came for their friends but I came because it was my first time to this kind of experience, plus these bunch of students were taking so much of their time to put up a wonderful show to create more awareness about Malaysian culture. And with excellent marketing, who wouldn’t want to go? ;)

That reminds me, in a few weeks time is Reading’s own Malaysian Night. Not as grand scale as some others, but I’m hopeful it’s going to be funny and good. Oh, and I’m in the Malay dance!