Oct 21, 2018

Hello! It's been a while since I wrote here - 10 months to be precise. Blogging has always been on the back of my mind, but priorities in life and procrastination took over. I'm not really sure how I should write my first post back. It's quite hard to put into words how you really felt in the past year, especially when the first half hasn't been an easy journey. All this time, I kept my thoughts and worries in my head. I'm in a better place now and I think it's time to let go, reflect and start afresh. Here's part one of my story this year as well as some photos from my graduation in May.

In your final year at university, you'll most likely be thinking about life after graduation. You could be working, studying or traveling around the world. There are plenty of different options. I had no idea what I wanted to do. Although I enjoyed studying biomedical science, I never fancied working in a lab environment and I didn't what other job options were available. Besides, I wasn't ready to face the 'real world' and be an adult. In the end, I did a Masters in Public Health at Imperial to give myself an extra year to explore my options (since three years of university clearly wasn't enough). It was one of the best decisions I've made and I really enjoyed studying Public Health.

After my Master's degree, I had to accept the inevitable and start the job hunting process. I knew the graduate market was extremely competitive and it's hard to get a job when you don't have experience, so I was mentally prepared it would take one year to find a job.

As time went by, the whole process proved a lot more difficult than I imagined and I became super stressed. I was going through the (miserable) rollercoaster of job applications, interviews, and rejections. I was mindful of the graduate employment gap. I felt like I was falling way behind my peers, most of whom had already found a job or were making some sort of progress. It didn't help either when relatives ask a bunch of questions, such as "what are you doing now?", "what kind of jobs you looking for?", etc. These questions were already on my mind and I don't need anyone to remind how clueless I was with my life.

It's not how you fall, it's how you get back up that matters. I can't stress enough how important this is. It's easy to get stuck in a rut, but you don't want to remain there. Here are a few more takeaways from my experience with post-graduation and job hunting.
  • Having the right perspective and attitude. Getting rejections is a normal part of the job hunting process. Honestly, I didn't feel great each time it happened. Instead of wallowing in sadness, I would pick myself up and reframe it as a learning opportunity to do something better.

  • Some jobs aren't meant to be. Looking back, I'm so glad that some things didn't work out. There were some things that didn't feel right, such as the location, company culture or even the role itself. Sometimes, receiving a job rejection may be a blessing in disguise.

  • Realising everyone is on a different journey. With Facebook and Linkedin, it's easy to see everyone do their thing and think you have to do the same. Everyone is on their own path, so don't compare your journey to others.

Hard work does eventually pay off. I'm now working at a healthcare consultancy near Manchester. So far, I am loving it.

To all those struggling: Making the transition from university to the real world isn’t easy. But you’ve got to believe in yourself. See how far you've come? Be proud of yourself, you're doing great. Keep going.

Jan 6, 2018

My last trip to Winter Wonderland was rather eventful. Anjalee, Yong Xue and I decided to have lunch at Liverpool Street before meeting up with Maria when she finished work. Because we had lunch quite late and not to mention the traveling time, we couldn't make it in time to Hyde Park station for 3pm, and so we rescheduled for 3.45pm instead. Unfortunately, Maria left her phone at home, so she didn't get the message. Once we realized this, we tried to get to there as soon as possible (we actually arrived there at 3.45pm), and tried looking for her but to no avail. It turns out we must have just missed each other as Maria waited at the station until 3.45pm before heading back into Hyde Park.

The funny (or not so funny) thing is that a similar incident happened back in the final year of university. In this case, Maria's phone had died and she waited at the dessert place (where we were supposed to meet up), but we were waiting for her at Yong Xue's flat instead.

Things never happen the same way twice. Perhaps in life, we could be in the same situation as before, but the outcome will be a bit different. There's always something that changes, whether it's ourselves, the people, or other circumstances. Winter Wonderland is more or less the same each year. But, every time I go, the experience is always different. After knowing Maria is safe, the three of us decided to go to Winter Wonderland after all. Here are some photos of that day.

Nov 12, 2017

The internal dialogue begins with questions like “Where is my career going?” “Who am I supposed to be?”, and the always popular, “What am I going to do with my life?” But is this really fair? Are you supposed to have it all figured out? Exactly what should we be saying to ourselves at 23? - The Everygirl

It's been a while since I celebrated my birthday with my family. For the past few years, I would celebrate it with my boyfriend and my friends at university. Funny how my mom commented that I don't need a birthday cake anymore, but I insisted on having one. No birthday is complete without a cake!

Turning 23 marks an important point in my life. I am no longer a university student and I'm about to enter this 'adult' working life. There's a lot to figure out, so I want to set myself birthday goals this year and see what I have achieved on my next birthday.
  1. Career: Get my first job, somewhere I can learn and grow.
  2. Wellness: Be healthy both physically and mentally.
  3. Passion: Build on my interests, namely blogging, photography, and learning Korean.
I'm aware these goals are quite broad and vague, but I wanted to give myself some flexibility and see how things turn out. To the question at the end of the above quote, my answer would be "Believe in yourself".