Hey guys! It’s been a minute hasn’t it?
As most of you might know, I basically vanished for the last three or so months. I stopped blogging to a large extent and I stopped replying emails related to the blog (I’m so sorry. I’m working on catching up now).
I promised you that I would update you as to why I disappeared and so here it is as well as a couple of life updates so you can catch up.
1. My Internship + The Scholarship
I have spent the last six months working towards a scholarship. As many of you will know, I want to be a journalist and I’ve dreamt of working at Singapore’s national newspaper ever since I was 14.
So I applied for the Singapore Press Holdings scholarship. It is an incredible scholarship that I have been eyeing for many years. I submitted my application in January and by March, I had passed the writing test and the first interview.
There was an internship at The Straits Times, an appraisal and a final interview left.
So I started at The Straits Times in March. I was in Digital for five weeks and then I moved to News till I quit on June 16.
It was the most intense three months of my life. While getting to be published in our national newspaper was so incredible, the hours were often very tough. I never knew what time I would end so I could never make plans. I would frequently end at 11:30pm and I really had no life.
Of course waking up in the morning and seeing my name in the papers made everything worth it. But this job really put my priorities into perspective.
My weekends were spent making up for lost time with my family and friends and I had little time for much less including reading and blogging. My life was consumed with work and I couldn’t figure out if I was happy or not.
You would think achieving your dream job at 20 would be the best thing ever right?
In the end, I was told through a short email that I hadn’t made the cut for the scholarship. This was a huge blow after working so incredibly hard and for so long for it.
However, I believe that everything happens for a reason.
I spent the day crying and then the next day, I went back to work. I still remember how drained I was. Like all the fight had left me.
It didn’t seem possible that after working so hard and throwing myself completely into the internship, I had still fallen short. Don’t they tell you that you get what you work for? I worked so incredibly hard.
My future was hanging by a thread. I was supposed to get the scholarship and that scholarship was supposed to fund my education in the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Without it, everything would be very dicey.
Of course it didn’t help that an editor who I didn’t know very well, decided to sit me down and tell me that I would never make it as a journalist and that I should quit while I was ahead.
Remember that scene in Gilmore Girls where Mitchum Huntzberger tells Rory that he doesn’t think she “has what it takes.” to pursue journalism? Yes. It happened exactly like that and I felt exactly the way Rory did because I too have been working to be a journalist for what feels like my whole life.
So I went back to work the next day. I was going to tell my boss that I was going to quit by the end of the week. But then an email came in from Nanyang Technological University (NTU). I had somehow, by God’s grace, gotten accepted into their English programme.
Instantly, my whole life fell into place before my eyes. A year of stress and worry just melted away.
I extended my internship for three more weeks thanks to some tough love from my aunt and uncle and made my decisions.
So I, who always makes very calculated decisions, jumped headfirst into what has been the biggest decision of my life. I accepted the offer the next day and extended my internship by another three weeks and all was right in the world.
2. Starting University
So now, I’m on the cusp of starting a four year degree at NTU. I will be studying English and I hope to minor in Communications Studies as well. I start on the 31st of July.
As a reader, you can imagine how thrilled I am that I will be in a course where I will be studying language and books and authors. It’s truly perfect for me.
As for becoming a journalist, I still intend to do that. I’m still freelancing with Popspoken and I intend to continue as a journalist after I graduate. The opinion of one person is not going to push me off my path. I truly feel that I have what it takes to be a journalist and I love it more then anything so yes, I have taken his criticism and I have taken out what I felt was useful. But the thing is, no one is born into a career.
Lawyers become lawyers through law school. Doctors become doctors through medical school. No one is born a lawyer or a doctor or a journalist. You get there by working yourself to the damn bone.
If you aren’t struggling, you aren’t growing and you aren’t getting better.
3. I Graduated
In May, I attended my graduation ceremony from Ngee Ann Polytechnic. I technically finished school in February but the ceremony was in May.
My whole family came down including my uncle and my grandma. Later, we had dinner at Din Tai Fung and my aunt and uncle got me a bouquet of flowers.
I had a lovely time and honestly I just feel so accomplished. I mean it’s a big deal to graduate even if it’s just a diploma (for now).
4. Twenty Three Pages Turned Three + 200 Followers
Last week, Twenty Three Pages celebrated its third birthday. I can’t believe how time has flown. It’s been such an adventure and I’m so thankful for the community that I have built up here. Some of you have become more then just friends. You’ve become siblings and people I can confide in. People who protect me. So thank you.
Speaking of which, Twenty Three Pages also hit 200 WordPress followers last month. I’m so pleased and I would like to welcome my new readers into the fold.
So yes. That has been my life for the past three months. I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. I’m trying to read again. I’m coming back to my beloved blog and I’m slowly but surely clearing the stack of unread blog emails.
Thank you for sticking around through this mental time. I promise to be better at this now that my life is settling to a large extent. By the way, if you want to read the articles that I’ve been writing during my hiatus, you can access them here.
Love you all!