Saturday, August 21, 2010

They Were Right

I was told this was going to be an amazing experience for reasons x, y, and z. You can fill in the blanks for what those variables equal. More importantly, this should clue you in that I am in school mode that I am using variables in my blog post. Point being, they were right. I am focused (for the most part) on the readings and homework I have to take care, yet I'm having a great time. Possibly to great of a time, actually, to the point that I feel guilty that maybe I'm enjoying myself too much.

I've gotten into a great routine that involves going to daily lectures, meeting up with friends for lunch and dinner, playing basketball soon thereafter, then on some nights heading downtown to go clubbing. It must be that I have way too much free time that I am able to maintain this balancing act. For now, I have only 1-2 hours of lecture Monday thru Thursday. That leaves what feels like an infinite amount of time to get work done while still being able to go out and gain a full appreciation for what Singapore has to offer.

I will recall my week so you can see what I mean. Monday and Tuesday were pretty straightforward: class, lunch, relax, dinner, basketball, sleep. Wednesday is ladies' night in Singapore so that is the big night for everyone to go out. So I found myself on the bridge at Clarke Quay where dozens of foreign exchange students start their night before going to the club of their choosing. I enjoy such forums because of the opportunity it provides for people to catch up with friends who live on different parts of the NUS campus in addition to having the chance to meet new people, as well. Later, we went to Attica, a club located right at Clarke Quay and I think it's safe to say everyone had a great time. I could still hear the house music ringing in my ears the next morning.

Thursday started out a little rough considering I had a two hour 10 A.M. lecture for "Mechanics of Materials" and I was feeling less than 100% to put it lightly. I went anyway since I am trying to preserve the balance between work and fun. I am a huge proponent of the "work hard, play hard" mentality so there was no way I was missing class.

Friday was the most hectic day of the week for me. It included, two lectures, a meeting with my USP (NUS Honors Program) advisor, and going out to Sentosa, an island resort located right off the coast of Singapore. I had a very engaging conversation with the USP advisor about adjusting to life in Singapore and getting more involved in USP activities. I'm going to be honest and say now that I have very little interest regarding said activities. I just can't see myself sitting through seminars on Tuesday, playing board games on Wednesday, and watching movies on Thursday. I came to Singapore to participate in things that are unique to the country and/or region of southeast Asia. No offense but I'd rather meet local Singaporeans on the court or hang out with other exchange students downtown or elsewhere on campus.

I am, however, playing for the USP basketball team. I have training from 4-7 P.M. today. I am very curious about how good (or bad) of a decision this may end up being. It is for the Inter-Faculty Games (IFG) at NUS where different departments or schools compete against each other in a variety of different sporting events. My USP advisor suggested I play since I mentioned I've been at the PGP courts almost everyday since coming to Singapore.

I mentioned going to Sentosa before, which was nice to see but the club we planned on going to, azzura, didn't seem to be as good as advertised so myself and a few other friends left early. From what I saw, I got this weird Disney World vibe that made me feel like I was in Florida when in Sentosa. It must have been a combination of the Universal Studios Amusement Park and the quaint atmosphere provided by the shops and bars in the area. I have heard that it is much better to go during the day to hang out on the beach and relax. I will do what I can to find out for myself considering it only takes thirty minutes to get there by public transportation.

That's all for now. I will keep posting entries and photos as often as I can. Now I must do some reading, go train with the USP team, then head out to who knows where later...

-J Coco

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