Week 2: I Listened to So Much Justin Bieber and I Don’t Know Why

Photo Aug 31, 6 11 16 PM

In 2013, I moved into my single dorm room on the 4th Floor in Fisher Hassenfeld. It was my first time being away from my family, and now I’ve been enrolled at Penn for two years. But this morning—in fact, most mornings—I wake up almost needing a moment to calibrate myself to my surroundings.

To put it simply, sometimes Penn just does not feel real and I felt that way this past week more so than usual. Call it denial if you like, and you would not be wrong. Like I said, I was hardly mentally ready to come back to school. My first week of classes went okay but I still found it difficult to digest the fact that I had readings and assignments to do because all I wanted to do was still to eat maggi, sleep, watch Korean dramas and listen to Justin Bieber (which is so odd for me–Justin Bieber, especially. What?!).

Photo Aug 24, 6 07 52 AM
Accurate representation of my first weekend back. That’s 2 packets of mee sedap btw, just so you know. Can you blame me? It really lives up to its name.
Photo Aug 28, 6 43 03 AM
I contemplated instagramming this with some sort of poetic caption or something (because I had nothing to post because I was indoors so much).

Not to be cheesy or anything, but I was really stuck in a post-summer daze. I mean, I guess that’s understandably normal, and I wasn’t alone. The day after we got back to Penn, my friends Shahirah, May May, Hui Jie and I stayed in Shahirah’s and my apartment pretty much all day talking about how crazy it is that we’re juniors in college now and still don’t have much figured out.

But we have to have discipline and responsibility and whatever, right?

So besides classes, last week I also took a couple of walks in the city, went to my gym classes, cleaned the apartment and went back to cooking meals for myself. Oddly enough, it felt strangely nice to be on my own again.

Photo Sep 01, 8 10 32 AM
Morning-ly omelettes.
Photo Aug 31, 7 08 05 PM
Lazy night salads.
Photo Sep 01, 4 45 45 PM
Fitting for 31-degree C days.
Photo Sep 01, 12 55 23 PM
I was craving pasta but refused to pay $30 for a bowl (what is that, RM100? *shivers*), so I made this and it was my favourite thing I made this week. (Not so) fun fact: I was very sad when I finished it.

It felt nice to cook myself breakfast, lunch and dinner again. It felt nice to reach 10,000 steps a day, to run errands on my own without waiting for someone’s car to be available, to be able to walk out to get froyo, walnut shrimp and dan dan noodles and to have so many of my friends from all around the world within walking distance again.

Honestly, I forget how much I like taking care of myself until I actually have to be independent. Although, that said, yesterday I was imagining married life and started crying because I don’t wanna ever not live with my parents, hehe (hashtag anak sulung paling manja). I miss my family so much but I’m not going to talk about that right now because I’m not really in the mood to entertain another one of my 20-minute crying spells.

So, anyway! For now, I have to fully snap out of my ~easy breezy summer~ mood. I need to accept that I need to work very, very, very hard. It’s going to be slightly uncomfortable to go back to pushing myself, but I think I’ve been doing the bare minimum for too long and want to step it up again. Plus, I don’t really have much time to spare for this annoying case of denial I have because the semester will pick up very soon. My first exam is in 2 weeks, I think. Yikes. Wish me luck!


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