Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year, New Me-en

Dear Blog,

This is my first post of 2017. It seems like my blog readers enjoy reading my personal updates ;) I checked the stats and the number of clicks for my recent post 'Updates of my Life at Uni' is double the one on 'Life Goals'. I have several resolutions but I will just share a few which I think can benefit you or give you an idea on ways to improvise yourself.

I feel that this new academic year has been a new chapter for me in a sense that I have developed into a better person. I do feel that after some changes and chapters in my life, I worry less about what people think of me and I focus more on improving myself and living my life- being happy, simple and who I want to be. I used to worry a lot about what people say, this and that, I worry and tend to overthink. As long as the people closest to me are happy with me, I shall do what is best and things that I enjoy doing. This is one of my resolution, more carefree and living life to the fullest without overthinking too much.

On a different note, friends may come and go. This is something I learned recently. It is hard to let go but the most important thing is to surround yourself with positive energy. Maybe a friend is gone because they brought too much negative energy in your life. Yes, we did have amazing memories but the past is the past and let's make the best of the present. I am trying not to be attached to people. I know I am living in the UK now and making amazing friends but I also know that eventually, I want to return home. And with that, comes goodbyes. Being less attached to people is one of my resolutions. Sometimes, the friendship becomes one-way and only if I am not too attached makes it easier for me. Sometimes, friends want more time than I can give them. This becomes tricky as well. I think I have dealt with both situations in 2016 and it makes you feel like a game of tug-of-war.  So now I learned that there needs to be a balance. In the UK, I am able to make more friend time compared to during my short visits back home. This becomes tricky. One thing I know for sure is that there are a few people even after these so many years, still keep in touch and care to remember important dates and drop a message to check in or make an initiative to skype. There are people who are not good at keeping in touch but when I meet them, make up for those days of lost contact and shower me with amazing gifts. Friends and family play a different role in your life and the same goes with different friends. There is less likely a person who does everything or plays multiple roles for you. If there is then that is most likely your mother, father or partner most of the time. When I think this way, I have less expectation of other people. With less expectation comes more positive energy and actually more things coming your way. This makes me even happier when I receive something from people that I do not expect. And as for me, I do my role and do what I can to spread positive energy. I am thankfully good at remembering birthdays and I enjoy giving people gifts and I like the traditional way of writing cards. I also like giving surprises or finding a common interest with my friend, then going out to do it together. I also enjoy hosting guests or cooking for people. So these are my ways of showing appreciation to people I care about. By thinking of ways to spread positive energy and make other people happy, more positive vibes would come to me. Do not ever underestimate the power of giving. God mentioned that He will reward those who make a human being happy and He promises that giving charity will not make you poor, only vice versa ;)

Another resolution is to lead an even more healthy lifestyle. Less carbonated drinks and more water and tea. Less sugar in my tea. More fruit snacks and salad for dinner. Gym yoga gym yoga! Exercising keeps me positively boosted and fills up my time well. I am following this Youtube video by Boho Beautiful and doing some of her exercises at home. 

Read more storybooks. I realised that I have not read storybooks in awhile. I do not think I read any in 2016. I recently got a Russian classic book called Anna Karenina. I have been reading motivational books like Chicken Soup so yes, of course, a bookworm like me has been reading but what I am focusing here is non-fiction storybooks. They take me to a place and gives me a nice, relaxing feeling when I am deep in the story. I miss that feeling, I shall read more in 2017. 

Another resolution is to visit some friends, this is more 2017 plans rather than a resolution to be honest. But I do intend to step out of my comfortable cosy room and go out to explore this amazing city of London and UK when I do have the chance. Classes and coursework are my priority but when and if I do get a chance, this shall be one thing on my to-do-list. 

Try new things, go to new places or restaurants. I am just feeling quite adventurous lately and trying new things excite me! I would like to at least have a one-time experience to some eating places that I have got on my list. 

Take more photos and capture memories. I realise the importance of taking photos and videos especially when looking back at old photos and seeing how much they helped me remember happy memories and made me smile when I look at them. My sister and my dad are the ones who are good at this, good at remembering to take videos and pictures. I shall improve :)

Write more on my blog :) I think this resolution has been evident recently I have had a nice Christmas holiday with more time to write here while writing up my master thesis. It is going well alhamdulillah and I am submitting it in a few days, do pray for me.

Have a nice year, month, week and day ahead.

I am feeling so content alhamdulillah. Had a nice workout session earlier and was in the library doing some last minute things before my submission. 

It's January!! My birthday month. My mum's birthday and also six other close friends. I am going on holidays soon after my submission and will update on that. 

Lots of love xoxo

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Life Goals

Dear all,

Here is the next post requested and since New Year is approaching, I thought this would be nice.

Hope all of you are doing good, in good health and happy thoughts. I am listening to some zikir now on YouTube and had a complete rest and stay-at-home day. Yesterday I left to Westfield early morning for Boxing Day shopping and enjoyed it! Got a few new things and some gifts for some very special people.

It is my fourth year now studying abroad in London, I can hardly believe how long it seems and fast it feels at the same time. Alhamdulillah I am so thankful to Allah for helping me and rewarding me with this golden experience. Every big achievement comes its sacrifice. I have been working very hard for these past few years and then enjoy the remaining days I have for holidays. I have had tough days, tearful moments (being a crybaby doesn't help but crying is like therapy for me as it relieves any negative thoughts for me- I cannot see someone cry painfully as I will immediately start tearing as well). I feel like this final year I have been more 'all-out' compared to previous years where I am more reserved and private. I do not like sharing much about my life publicly but this year I have been more open and confident. Being away from home, I usually refrain from going on social media because I can easily feel homesick if I see too much things posted by people. I strongly do not recommend someone away from home to go on social media too frequent. I prefer to get updates from my family, my <3 and close friends via WhatsApp or skype with them and I make the effort to maintain a good relationship with them. I know some people cut off relationships at home when they are away because maybe its too much for them to take to know they are missing out, but I try to look at it positively. To me, I am going through a positive experience that not many people have the chance to go through and its amazing, I am in London! One of the most sought-after cities in the world. I try to make the best of it and experience as much as I can.

This relates to my life goals. I realise that the reason why some people do not relate to this or feel the opposite is because of different priorities in life. For me, family is of high priority. Career, education and status are important as well but I would want a balance between the two and not solely focus on the latter. As a student my education priority is high as everyone can see I put a lot of effort and sacrifice in ensuring I produce high-quality work. 

Now that 2017 is approaching, its time to create new life goals. For me its always following this same theme : 1) achievement and education 2) religion wise 3) relationship with people- how I can be a better person. After these 3 main themes, I then list down some places I want to go. I enjoy travelling a lot especially with family and my loved one. The person I travel with is important. Usually if I have one close friend that wants me to be there, that can be enough for me to want to go anywhere. It's not really about the place or anything really, I am fine going to any place for the sake of accompanying a good friend who wants me to be there. For me, feeling wanted is an important factor to determine whether I go somewhere. Cost-wise, important as well. As a student, this can be tricky. I tend to spend extra money on shopping, one of my favourite things about London! I have some places in mind that are on my travel list and it motivates me to save money so that I can travel. Travelling freshens and broadens the mind, I strongly encourage it. 

I have been referring to friend a lot. This applies when I am living abroad, friend priority goes up the list. At home, I would need to re-compensate family time first. It is tricky living abroad, all these things come up and I try my best to make sure everyone important knows and feels that they are important to me.  Sometimes it gets tricky but since everyone is busy as well at this time of life, early twenties, people understand thankfully. Final year of university, graduating, finding a job- its nice to catch up and have new things to update. Its the time of a turning point in our lives. Creating new chapters. Yes, it can be a roller coaster ride but keep your life goals clear. What do you want to achieve in life? You may not have the answer and that is alright. We are all still young so relax and loosen up yourself a bit. Things will go into place eventually. God has good plans for all of us. When you receive His blessings, be thankful. If you are still waiting, then make prayers. 

I realise that I am good at having a positive perspective and focusing on my blessings. Its a good thing because alhamdulillah I look at the glass half full and not half empty. It really helps me feel good about myself. It makes me feel more blessed and even if there is nothing much happening in the day, I can simply feel happy just because the sun shone for a few hours in the afternoon or because I saw a cute ladybird in the kitchen or because someone was kind to me at some point in the day. I am giving examples so that you could apply it to your life and your long term life goals. Whatever your goals are, everyone wants to feel happy and positive and all the pleasant feelings. Do not think too much about others or compare your goals relative to others. Instead, take good examples you observe around you and apply the good in yourself and learn from the bad. Being happy about other people's happiness shows that you have a cleansed heart. And a good heart is the start and key to pure inner happiness. 

With a good heart, it is easier to feel happy. Aim for this if you are seeking inner happiness. Helping other people also makes you feel good about yourself. Help in whatever way you can- small charity, donating unwanted items, mowing someone's lawn, helping an old lady cross the road, observe and do any little thing you possible can. Make the idea of helping people one of your life goals. Fix a day and time maybe for you to help on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. 

Health-wise, aim to eat healthy and exercise! I do not refrain myself from eating what I like. I am thankful that I am born with a strong taste for salad and fruits over dessert. However, I recommend please do not completely stop eating what you like eating. Eat if it makes you happy, just remember to eat moderately. I enjoy ice cream and eat it all the time even if the temperature outside is 5 degrees Celcius.

I always aim to improve myself as a person. I believe that nobody is perfect and there is always room for improvement. Add something that you can improve about yourself or your habits to your list of life goals.

Make it a habit or put a reminder to look at your life goal list every month or few months. Alternatively, write it and put it up in your room or home screen on your laptop.

Start thinking of your life goals and may you have a wonderful 2017 ahead. Warm wishes from LittleMissMeen, take care :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Update of my Life at Uni

Hi guys, hope you are all doing well and that SPM went good. I am sure that exam times are not my favourite and there could be certain papers that you felt more confident than others but that's okay. Over time, I realise that yes exams are important but try to look at the bigger picture and your long term life goals. It will make you feel less daunted. 

In this post I just sort of wanted to write a little informal update on what I have been up to lately at university. Honestly there has been nothing too interesting for the past two months. I have literally been spending more than 12 hours a day at the lab or library focused on my research project. It has drained me mentally and emotionally and physically. I go home, eat pray and sleep and start the day again the next day. I am very disciplined in a way I do not get easily distracted until I get my work finished or accomplish everything I set my mind to alhamdulillah. In the weekends then I would see my friends, go for social events or visit my cousins. A close friend of mine would visit me when I am too busy and one night she even brought dinner for me because I was too occupied with work that I did not feel like eating sometimes at night...not I do not recommend it.. I went to the gym less but still managed to squeeze time once or twice for yoga and gym. I accept it that I got very busy and hectic when term started because I got a nice long rest over the summer.

I really enjoyed my research project. I got to work in one of the cool labs in the basement where nobody gains access apart from the people in the research group and there are less than 10 people in the group so yes, not many people get to go in the lab. I used geochemical equipments like the Kiel, Clumped isotope, ICP-MS and CL-EDX and even a dental drill. Some of these I have never seen before or even seen anything like it. There was a special weighing balance that would open and close just with the wave of my hand. It had a motion sensor or something like that. Research life can get a bit quiet at times but thankfully there was a friendly lab technician and some phD students that I met on a daily basis when I collected data. All very much more experienced than me and I learned a lot from them. I made friends with a Russian girl who I got along well :) I have met and made friends with people from many countries but this was the first time making friends with someone from Russia. I really enjoy this experience abroad in London where I meet people from all sorts of countries and I am surprised how I can find common ground and get along well with people from very different backgrounds. And the best part is not only meeting them but being good friends and you learn so much about their culture and lifestyle and perspective. Its easier to make friends with Europeans than British people in my opinion as the former are more open to different cultures. The British are mostly conservative and only easy to make friends if you have the same lifestyle (especially drinking ;) but not all of course, this is just my general observation. I have some really nice British friends in my class. Its 90% locals and 10% internationals in my class.

Now I am on Christmas break and tomorrow I have got a visitor from Cardiff and another friend from Bristol next week. Both my friends from Malaysia during high school and A-Levels. I am staying over at my cousin's house for Christmas and can't wait for Boxing Day shopping! I have got a list and shopping is one of my favourite things about London. I try to spend wisely and moderately but I often use my savings to shop as it makes me happy. I am now eyeing lipstick, to be honest I never used lipstick before. I always use Nivea Lip balm with a lip liner sometimes but this time I am thinking of getting lipstick. I like shiny things and I got a Body Shop eye stick and recently got their membership card. Amazing!

I had an ISoc social with free pizza last Thursday and hostel social gathering last Friday. It was so nice I enjoy meeting new people and just socialising with nice people. Last Wednesday, a Bukit Indah primary school friend came to my flat with her sister. I cooked tomyam and garlic-herb baked chicken for them and they enjoyed it. It was so nice meeting them and we had a fun chat till midnight in my room. Then last week I managed to arrange two phone calls, one to my Bangladesh bestie and on Friday my high school bestie. 

I am replacing the days I missed for Ramadan fasting now. I have one day left now since I fasted yesterday and today. Its so nice since fasting is from 620am to 355pm. Last night I ate buka 4pm so by 8pm I felt like eating again, oh gosh so hungry when its cold. I decided to go meet my Spanish friend downstairs and had fruits and tea at her flat. 

I feel more relaxed now that I submitted my draft for the MSCi thesis. Final submission is right after New Year but even getting the draft done makes me feel sooo relieved alhamdulillah. The night that I submitted the draft, I got a text from my Pakistan friend and asked if I wanted to go out for Japanese dessert. I was like oooh yes sure. We went to Wagamama for Mochi icecream. Feel like showing you pictures but its so much effort to transfer them from my phone. If someone comments that they would like me to include photos, then I will make the effort ;)

Last weekend I was giving myself a break since the previous weekends I was busy at the library. So last Saturday, I decided to cook curry, tomato rice and chicken flavoured brocolli and carrots for me and my Malaysian friend. Then that night I went for dessert with my Cypriot friend  for her birthday. I surprised her with a gift and balloon. Before meeting her I was so tired after cooking that I fell asleep and took a one hour nap. If you know me well, I am not the kind of person to take day naps so when I do it means I am super tired. Then last Sunday, I went swimming at the gym pool. Its free for Imperial students. I did 12 laps then went home and had a movie skype session and watched BFG:)
After that I decided to continue working after a good rest that weekend. My Pakistan friend texted to meet so I went to see her and also did laundry that night. I bought this mask thingy from Herbaline and took it to her flat so we could put it on together. We looked absolutely funny but it worked nice on my skin after I washed it away. She told me it was best not too talk when we had our masks on so I tried my best not too move my mouth when talking and would burst out laughing because the words did not come out clear. We decided to meet today to exercise or do yoga so I might go after this. 

I ordered a Russian classic book and it arrived yesterday I was so excited! I enjoy reading and haven't had the chance to read a proper storybook in a long time. I am not sure how fast it would take me to finish it but I'll get there :) 

So now during this break and at this point in term, I am just working on my thesis and making the best of my Christmas break. Its the first time I have a break with no exams. So relieved but yes still need to work on the report. InsyaAllah it will go well. 

I had a £5 M&S food voucher so I went there yesterday after break fast and used it. Oh dear I am in love with their Columbian Coffee and Walnut cake I ate two slices earlier and need to control myself from having more. It is so nice ! This is coming from a person who usually likes salad over dessert and goes to buffets and manages to skip the dessert option, yup that's me. So when I like a particular dessert it means its exceptionally nice!

So much going on in my life and its good alhamdulillah. My grandma called today because she missed my call as she was watching a drama.  Its so nice to talk to her, she says that she likes it when her grandchildren call because it makes her feel important. I would just like to say to all children and grandchildren out there, please guys, one day you are going to be old and grey and vulnerable at some point in life. Please remember that when you do good, good comes to you and vice versa. Please remember to appreciate your elder ones. Yes I agree, sometimes you do not have same opinions or do not agree with your elders on particular things but in the end they are family. They are much older and experienced than you. Imagine, if you were old, wouldn't you think the same? That young people know less than you because you have gone through much more in life so younger people should show respect to the elders. Regardless how your elders are, just simply try to at least be accepting and be kind and show that you care. One day you may be in their position and you would not have a grandparent because now you are the grandparent. Please treat others how you would like to be treated. Young people nowadays often forget this and I am speaking for myself as well as I always need to improve. Friends nowadays tend to care less about each other and too overwhelmed by their own problems. Try this when you are in a good mood and try sending a message or calling someone you were once close and have not spoken in ages. It would make them very happy trust me. Build new and healthy friendships and try to rebuild good friendships and see if they work out.

I'll end this post with a positive note and a little motivation for you to take away. Throughout these past two and a half months, its been a rocky journey. Research includes tears, frustration, joy, new findings, long hours or repetitive work, uncertainty, lone working, team working, hard work, perseverance, flexibility, positive perspective and more to the list. But if there is something I want you to take away today is to believe in yourself and think possible. At times, it seems so impossible given a restricted time period. However, please have some faith in yourself. Do and discover things that would give you the motivation to continue doing your best. 

I like sunny days and that is one of the cons of being in London for me. It always cloudy and gloomy which does not help with moodlifting but lately there has been  a number of sunny days and even though they lasted only for the afternoon, I make the best of it and make it like a little motivation booster to remind me that I can do this. I put up personalised motivation cards in my room so that I will always be reading and reminded of what I am capable of doing and as constant daily reminders. Motivation is something you constantly need so its good to find ways that help you motivate yourself regularly. 

Have a nice motivated and happy and healthy week ahead. Holiday periods are always nice. Take care guys :)

PS: My cute little brother has been going to so many badminton tournaments. Recently he went to the Badminton Finals!!!! He came in 2nd for his age group and that was the first time ever. I am so proud of him :)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Keeping Yourself Motivated

Dear readers,

Thank you for voting in my recent poll, I have not been writing much but I have been keeping track of the poll votes:)

Since I have posted some recent study tips, I decided to write on the next highest voted topic which is Keeping Motivated.

Have you ever had a long to-do list but not felt like doing any of them? Have you got a submission due but sometimes not in the 'mood' or just not in the correct momentum? Did you ever feel bored of doing the same thing over and over again? Do you often need a tight deadline for you to work hard towards a submission because otherwise you do not have the drive? 

To me, these are all signs that you are a normal person with normal feelings. However, these normal feelings should be overcome in order to achieve certain goals in your life whether they are educational or career goals or even smaller things at home like keeping tidy or managing grocery and laundry etc. 

So how do I keep motivated? Trust me, when I have repetitive and monotonous tasks like studying for exams or working towards a submission, I often feel the same. I have to push myself a little harder to get things done and then reward myself so I am motivated to do more and keep going.

The first key thing to keep yourself motivated is to ask yourself these questions. What is your favaourite food? If you could treat yourself to something nice to eat what would you get? Do you need something new to buy like a pair of shoes or a new bag? What do you wish of having or buying that you have not yet been able to buy? For expensive things like a vacation or so, maybe your motivation would be saving money to buy the item once you have saved enough.

Second, always always always have a to-do list that you check daily. If not then you need to paste sticky notes on your door (that do not fall easily) or sometimes I write on my hand hehe. These lists help you keep track of your daily or hourly goals, what you want to achieve and help you have a direction when you get things accomplished. But often, I know that to start is often the hardest part!

Third, to overcome that hard part of starting, let yourself do anything you wish before starting any work. Limit yourself to an hour or a few minutes of just doing anything like chores etc or browsing the net. Its fine, sometimes the best way to focus on your work is to feel ok I have done all I need to do, now I can start working. So relax and let yourself do whatever that is you need to do but add like a timer or alarm to remind yourself that the time is up and then you need to start working.

Fourth, remember step 1 when you asked yourself those questions? Now is the time to use them. Reward yourself for anything difficult you manage to do. Do not underestimate the work you do, give yourself credit and reward that sheer hard work and long working hours by getting your favourite meal or buying yourself something new.

Fifth, as much as it is good to save money, when I am working hard for a deadline or tired or during exam season, I try not to be too stingy with myself and ensure that I spend that money on eating food outside so I do not need to worry about cooking, take public transport if I am tired and want to reach home soon or give myself a massage treat once a term if I really need it. I ensure the heating is on high and good for me in my room and that I eat all my complete meals and sleep early. To me, its ok to spend that extra money on yourself and living comfortably within means. I know some people save money so they can travel which is nice, my mummy used to do the same when she was in uni in USA (I imagine her young, long hair, super slim and pretty from photos). I love to travel but I only travel if I have extra money after spending money on these things. I am more of a stay-at-home person and if I travel too long even in the UK, I will miss my cosy room in London ;) I know this depends on the person's priority and not many people I meet have same priorities like me but I recently made a close friend that agreed with me on this entirely. 

Finally, take breaks during your work to refreshen yourself and meet people, chat, spread positive energy with hope you will receive positive energy back. Do your hobbies and exercise :) Exercise helps mentally and physically trust me. Remember to reward yourself and then continue working and not stop the cycle there. Hard work will pay off, so stay motivated!

If you forget why you are doing something like working or studying in a particular company or doing a certain job role, remind yourself why you are doing it- Interesting job? Good money? Good experience? Good location? Get to treat yourself and loved ones? Want to buy a house? Want to graduate magna cum laude? Want to repay the kindness of your parents and make them proud? Remind yourself of the purpose you are doing what you are doing today.

Keep it up, 2016 is coming to an end and a fresh new 2017 awaits. Keep motivated! :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Let's GOMO, Not FOMO

You must be wondering what GOMO and FOMO means, well I certainly did when I heard from Eventbrite about the fun fall project they organised this Autumn to promote GOMO and getting people away from Netflix and Chill and encouraging people to go out more often. 

GOMO simply means Going Out More Often and FOMO Fear of Missing Out. I hope this blog post will be beneficial to readers or spark some ideas on how to GOMO!

As a finalist university student, I totally understand how we often have busy schedules and can be anti-social at times...  I try to not be guilty of this...but basically the idea of GOMO really starts from having the interest in interacting with people and spending time with them. Interest is the number one key factor in my opinion which determines whether a person wants to go out or just stay home and get on social media or watch movies on Netflix. When people do get on social media, they realise how other people are having so much fun and then they feel like they have been missing out. But if they had put in some time to go out and interact with people, they would not have that missing out feeling. The funny thing is some people even feel pressured to post something online regularly to show and tell people how they are having a good time. It is not necessarily good or bad but the idea of genuinely having a good time going out and interacting with people is important. Human beings are created in a way that they like to socialise and interact with another and isolating yourself for prolonged periods of time will certainly be detrimental to your health and can promote negative feelings about yourself and about life in general. Do not ever underestimate of having a quick chat or catch up session even if you are busy. For me, its easier to catch up with friends when meeting up and speaking to them like on the phone or Skype rather than text messaging- my least favourite. 

Now I would like to share with you some things I implement on a daily/weekly/monthly basis to ensure I GOMO and not FOMO. 

Personally I enjoy reading and hearing about people's updates on blogs especially, I wish more people would blog sometimes or make their blog public but the truth is, it is so so so much better to hear updates from people in person rather than just by scrolling down social media and seeing what's new. Interacting with someone builds a bond and friendship with that person and like they always say, a thousand friends may not be enough, but one enemy is too many. I'll try not to deviate too much from this topic but what I am trying to say is that it is always nice to meet new people, new friends and interact and build good relationships with them. You never know how they will be helpful to you in some way in the future like updating you about a new job opening or a nice flat that you might end up staying or they might not be helpful in those ways but instead simply make you feel good about yourself and keep you happy and motivated. 

Some of the social activities I do are in the evenings or in the weekends and include some of the following:

  • Organise and celebrate a friend's birthday. I think birthdays are the best time to organise a social gathering because its a happy event and people are always eager to meet for birthdays
  • Join a society and meet new people who share the same interest, for me I do Yoga and Gym classes. Apart from keeping me healthy I enjoy meeting people who I can connect with and having a similar hobby helps us find common ground
  • I build relationships in the flat I stay. I would go for welcome parties, Christmas dinners and BBQ parties that my hostel organises to interact and meet people who live in the same place as me. I know that the close friendships I've built upon starting university have mostly been at the hostel because it gets more personal when we are living together or close to each other, These neighbours are our immediate source of comfort or people we might see on a regular basis so I make time to meet and spend time with them. 
  • Invite friends over to your place for a sleepover or just simple be the one to ask them out, it does no harm to out your ego away. Ego eats up much of quality social life
  • Do some things on a regular weekly or fortnightly basis, for instance watching a movie even on my laptop every two Friday nights with a friend helps to make me go out more often rather than trying to find a new time each week. A fixed time makes it a like a habit and is more likely to happen compared to something that needs to be planned each week. 
  • Put aside some social time each week in the weekends where you can unwind and relax, Within these hours, I will try to plan something with my friend like invite them over to cook lunch together and it is definitely more fun cooking  with a friend.
  • Visit people, I like to visit my cousins when I have a free whole weekend and play with the little one! Its nice just to be in a different environment at times and it keeps you refreshed. People enjoy it when you visit them, it makes them feel special because you put time to travel and come to their place so I certainly recommend this because I personally enjoy it when people visit me. 
  • Being an international student, I also have family and friends back home whom I want to keep in touch. It is so tricky trust me plus the enormous 7-8 hour time difference. I usually am able to skype with my family in the weekends because I am in college the whole day most weekdays and then able to skype with friends who go to bed a bit later like after 9pm even till 2am Malaysian time. University is busy as it is and keeping in touch requires consistent effort. What I believe is that true friendships will stay and GOMO will certainly encourage it.
  • Plan short day trips or outings together like shopping sprees! Update each other when you know something new or if there is a discounted trip. Holidays together definitely helps you build even better relationships. 

That is a summary of what I do in attempt to go out more often and build good relationships with family and friends. Hope these ideas might help encourage you to GOMO and live a balanced university life. Yes, uni life is so hectic, trust me I understand 150% and believe me, building good relationships with people is definitely a key motivator for myself to keep going and doing my best.  I am always looking forward to the fun activities we plan with each other either at the end of the day, end of the week, end of the month or end of term. It all makes a difference but it is also important to know your priorities and ensure that you have time to get all your work done.

That's all for me so let's GOMO so we won't FOMO :)

Here is a link to Eventbrite's event ticketing page selling online tickets for you to organise events or to get more involved.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Motivation Video to Keep Motivated and Doing Your Best

Homeless student achieves victory! Truly inspiring :)

SPM Tips from 11A+ student


Dear all, here is a special post from my friend May Lee Cai Ling who obtained straight A+  in all her 11 subjects. Thank you May for your  sharing your ideas in LittleMissMeen. Currently, May is doing her A Levels under JPA sponsorship. She obtained Biasiswa Nasional 2010 which is awarded to top students in MALAYSIA. I am not sure what is her ranking but wow that is a great achievement. FYI, she just had to write what course and what country she wanted to go and they offer full sponsorship. Awesome right? If you are want to know who this awesome friend of mine is, her picture is in this link:
(Second from the right-beside me. This picture was taken from Utusan Malaysia the day after our SPM Results were out)

Related posts:

 So yesterday she messaged me and told me that she has already emailed me these tips for my blog. Here it is: ENJOY! 

Things that I did for SPM =D
General comments:
·         NEVER leave a question blank. Write anything but not nothing. Do your best attempt for each question.
·         Allocate your time properly. Do not spend too much time to produce a perfect essay especially for sejarah and science essays, you won’t get the points that you might lose if you do not have enough time to complete the other essays. If time allocation is 20 minutes for each essay, that’s it, after 20 minutes, stop whatever you are writing and proceed on the next question. Come back when you have the time.
·         DON’T SLEEP or leave early during the exam!  If you have plenty of time, check, recheck and check again until the end of the paper. 
·         Make sure you shade your answers correctly in objective questions.
·         Look through all exercises that you have done before. You should have make notes on the difficult ones before, so take some time to read through them.  
·         Have at least 6 hours of sleep. Stay alert, don’t make careless mistakes.
·         Stay calm, don’t rush or panic.
·         Make sure you have everything you need (pens, 2B and HB pencils, rubber, ruler, calculator, IC, the piece of paper that you carry into the room, etc.)
·         Check the exam timetable every day! 
·         If you have problems, ask immediately. 
·         Don’t sleep too late, have a balanced and regular diet.
·         Don’t forget to laugh and smile every day. =) This keeps stress away. Have confidence.
·         Maintain your momentum even if you just have one more paper to go!
·         Pray hard!
BM and BI 
·         I read quite a lot of sample essays. If you get any tips for essays, I don’t think you have to read samples for each and every topic. Eliminate those that you know for sure that you won’t attempt. Focus on those you are confident of. 
·         Learn the interesting phrases and write them down somewhere, then reread them the night before the exam. Obtain useful points from the sample essays, you will find different topics having similar points, for example, gejala sosial dalam kalangan remaja. 
·         Don’t panic when you get your exam paper and find that you have not prepared for any of the topics. Think of related topics and find appropriate points that might be useful. 
·         Read and reread the exam questions. Make sure you get it right and fully understand what it requires. Even though you may have prepared for one of the exam questions, the instruction of the question might require something different from what you have read before.
·         Write down ANY points that cross your mind, regardless of whether you are using them or not so that you will not struggle to remember them when you are halfway through writing. The points help you to brainstorm too. 
·         When you write, remember NOT to put two points in one paragraph. Each paragraph for each point. Write the MOST IMPORTANT points first. Organise the points so that they follow a certain order. For example, you can start with peranan kerajaan and end with peranan individu or vice versa.  
·         For BM essays, we are required to write as long as possible. You should have been told this before, but do spend more time on your long essay. For the short essay, don’t elaborate TOO long, stick to the points that you are required to include in every paragraph (isi, huraian, contoh and kesimpulan) and write not more than 4 lines for each points. For long essays, stick to the points also, but elaborate longer. Use definitions, peribahasa etc to elaborate and include a few more examples; remember to extend on the examples by relating them to the main point given.      
·         This might be quite hard for certain people, but bigger handwriting really does gain you some advantages. Your essay will look longer and the examiner will be happier to read your essay. Remember to leave a line before starting each new paragraph.
Novel and Komsas/Literature:
·         Well, some seniors who obtain really good marks for this component might not agree with my way of studying, but I think there is no other way of understanding the text fully unless you really go through the texts not once but a few times especially for the novel. Some reference books provide good synopsis but I don’t think that will be sufficient for full understanding. Knowing the FLOW of the novel is important in a way that you do not have to put too much effort in memorizing the plot and the nilai-nilai. Even if you forget about the points that you have memorsed earlier, you can simply make some out yourself and get them right. Knowing the flow is even important when it comes to the random questions like “what do you learn from the novel, how do you think it is important” etc. Due to the very limited time, it is easy to get panicky and you can hardly think. Understanding the text will allow points to pop into your head as you write. Anyway, it happens to me…
·         For literature/komsas questions, prepare by reading and doing as much exercises as possible. Check the answers and learn them. But do try the questions before you check the answers, for some of the answer schemes provide only the main points and so you need to give your own elaborations. It is always better to have 1 or 2 extra points to back up your answers in especially in BM.
Ringkasan/Summary and Tatabahasa/Grammar: 
·         Your teacher would have taught you the correct way of doing it. Follow their instructions!
·         Be careful on simple things like punctuations (full stops, hyphens), capital letters, etc.
Mathematics and Add Maths:
·         Remember to label the axis of graphs and write correct unit.s
·         Look through exercises that you have done before and make sure you understand each and every one of it. 
·         Normally I don’t do practices the night before Maths exams, unless I have finished going through all the exercises that I have done before. Doing exercises is too time-consuming. For me, doing tough questions the night before Maths exams will just get you all worked up and frustrated. Difficult questions should be attempted and understood long before the exams. What you do before the exams is just to refresh your memories on them.  
·         Teachers will not be happy with this, but I really do find tips extremely helpful in studying for Sejarah. However, it is very important to collect tips from various sources and from different people so that you can put them all together and have a whole collection of them. Then there is a higher possibility that what you read will come out in the exam. What I do before the exam is to go through the tips one by one.  I know it’s a bit risky, but last-minute study, what to do? =b    
Moral (Sorry, I don’t know about agama Islam):
·         Well, remember your DEFINISI!
·         Do your exercises and past years (trials) properly. If you are too lazy to write whole essays, at least do in point form so that you can go through them before the exams.
·         I don’t know what format they require you to do this year, but make sure you know the correct way of answering. Listen to the teachers’ instructions!
·         Practice makes perfect. 
·         Be careful in calculations. Don’t panic when you can’t balance your account. Skip and leave it first , then come back if you have the time.
BIO, Chemistry, Physics:
·         Do past years papers. 
·         Write precise and concise answers, straight to the point.
·         For most of you, Chinese will be the last paper. Don’t WASTE the given time, use that time fully to read more essays and look through exercises.  
·         Don’t take 剪报 and 日记for granted.
·         Read sample essay. For the first essay question, you might find it useful to read texts from the Paper 2 comprehension questions because they provide some interesting stories with moral values.  
·         Remember the format for letters, notices, etc
·         Remember the proverbs and meanings. I don’t realy care much about 出处 , just have some rough knowledge about them. 
·         Do more exercises, look at sample questions.



Hi guys! For those who don't  know me, I just completed my SPM in 2010 and recently started college. Last week I promised to post on SPM Tips and I know some of you have been waiting. I'm terribly sorry for the delay. PMR is in 8 days and SPM is in a month. I still remember the feeling weeks before SPM. I would NOT look a the countdown if possible because it makes me nervous. I just basically know how many weeks left and just focus on what else I need to do before the big day instead of making myself all worried. For my trials, I got 8A's 1B ( B for Physics) so I was asking myself: " Can I get straight A's or not?" With the new system of A+ A and A- which was implemented 2 years ago, it makes the whole thing a lot more stressful I agreed. But! That is not a reason to not excel. It should be a motivator to strive harder. Yes, nothing is easy in life. Even now, I'm doing my A Levels and I am not going to say it is easy because that's not true. Everywhere you go, anything you do, there are challenges but we need to learn to overcome those challenges and not give in to them. If you are doing something and feel no challenge at all, it means you are not using your full capabilities to the max. Just saying# Thats a bad sign.

Alright. Let's begin. My sister is also taking her SPM this year ( we are only a year apart) so I know the recent updates for SPM students. In this 1 month, the first thing you have to do is get a piece of paper and write down all the subjects you are taking. Leave some spaces in between . Then list down ALL the things you need to do for that particular subject before SPM. Remember to write every little detail and do not even leave out a single thing. After you get everything out of your mind, you're done with Step 1. 


Add Math- Check all formulas ( Form 4 and 5)
                - Do all past year paper
                - Do Soalan Negeri Lain
               - Focus on * (a chapter that you are weak in)
               - Remember to bring 2 calculators, protractor, ruler, compass, flexible ruler if needed

Chemistry-  Review all definition and equation and important diagrams!! ( For example Dehydration        process is a popular diagram under Chapter 3 Form 5)
                - Do all past year paper
                - Do Soalan Negeri Lain
                - Remember colour of metals and Electrochemical series of metal (position of H )

English -  Do all past year paper ( For essay not very important to do past year paper because they will not repeat the same question)
           - Do Soalan Negeri Lain ( Do all parts of the paper- especially negeri Kelantan, Tganu, Perak, Johor)
           - Remember format of essay ( for Directed Writing, follow sequence of points given)
           - Memorise important idioms and nice descriptive words ( not many but at least a few)
           - Read novel, poetry and do practice

Do the list on your own because only you know what you need to do. You can ask me if you are not sure. Once you have done this, you will definitely feel a little relief because you see what you need to do on a paper and you can cancel once you're done. It will not all be in your head anymore. 

Next, start doing your work. Don't get distracted by unnecessary things. I admit last year at this time I had to sacrifice some things like missing some fun event or going jalan raya. Make some sacrifices, pray, fast for Muslims and ask God with a humble heart to make it easier for you, to keep you from feeling scared, to give you the confidence and to help you remember what you have studied and answer the SPM questions. To be honest, I did not actually have a timetable. I just write down what I had to do. After I was done with that each day, then yaay! 

Be discipline and watch your time. I'm not the type who would stay up late at night to study. Ill wake up after morning prayers at 6 and study, nap in the evening if Im tired for 1 hour. Then sleep at about 1130. I do go out often to be honest but I try not to when SPMs around the corner. If I do go out, Ill bring something I can read along the way or Ill sacrifice the night to study. The day before my Chemistry exam, I actually went shopping for shoes...urgh I remember the guilt... but prepare early. It is NOT too late ever. SPM is not the end of everything. You have a long journey of life ahead. Stay happy and just give your best. If you have given your best, thats all that matters.

 If there's anything else you need to know, feel free to bug me. I totally don't mind hehe :D All the best!

Here are some posts you may want to see: 


Monday, November 7, 2016

Motivating Yourself When Life or Studying Feels Difficult


Dear all, 
I am writing this especially for SPM students who are having SPM this Wednesday. But I didn't want to put SPM tips for my blog title because this motivation is for everybody, regardless whether you are sitting for an exam next week or not.

First, I want you to think back at the time life felt challenging. Think of what you did, how you dealt with it. Next think of your wonderful achievements. Helping someone in need is also considered a big achievement in my opinion. Finally, think of somebody else's life challenges. Something much worse than yours, a tragic death, war, illness and natural disasters. Your mind will automatically tell you that your problem seems trivial. In the case you are experiencing one of the worse, please bear in mind that God will not test you with something you cannot cope.

Before I go further, let me tell you a story about myself.

 This weekend was one of the most challenging for me. I am sick and I have a lot of work due. Despite my sickness, I still need to cook and take my medicine. Then suddenly I realised that I'm running out of grocery and I feel too tired to cook. I ate my medicine and tried to study and do my work but I couldn't as the medicine made me drowsy. I didn't want to sleep because I wanted to finish my work and battling my tired feelings and keeping awake me made me feel miserable. So then I thought of not eating my medicine so I wouldn't be sleepy but that made me feel more sick. Most of the first years were going out, joining events etc and some did not even do the homeworks yet. Finally my mum and my <3 made me realise what I was doing to myself.  They gave me the most moral support I could ever ever ask for. I started to realise I was putting it too hard on myself, trying to do everything (including things that were not on priority list). It was like my inner self was saying "I'm sick I want to rest. I have studied too much, I want to do something else." But my mind was ignoring the remarks and didn't consider any of it much. My mum reminded me how much I like blogging and that's what encouraged me to write right now :) 

When you are in a top school, the feeling you get is much different. More sacrifice comes along with being in a world's top school. But hey do you remember that diamonds ( the best rocks in the world) are formed under high pressure? So whenever you feel pressure imagine yourself as a diamond in the making ;) Pressure just makes you stronger and better, you just need to know how to loosen up and overcome it. I guess so far my work has been mostly manageable but some things like programming can be totally hard that I'm completely lost because we were expected to know how to do it WITHOUT being taught. These are the times people in normal schools will feel thankful. That's why we have pros and cons either way :) But if you ask me do I like my classes and education here. Definitely YES, the geology department is amazing. We study different rocks and minerals in practical class. The department makes us feel so welcomed and at times we just get motivating emails from lecturers saying "You guys did amazing! Great job well done in..... I'm so proud of you". They never fail to remind us about every tiny little thing and help us, responding to our emails within minutes, giving us free geological kits and even a free reading week every term so no class! No other department except for Earth Science and Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering has reading week. I do have 6 modules this Autumn Term until first week of December. In other universities you normally have 2 or 3 only. That is not including my independent 3000 essay to submit by March, my extra subject - Global Challenges, my workshop twice a week, club meetings and etc. Busy right? hehe
Well yeah, these are challenges of being a student. 

 Kensington Palace

Wanna hear about fun stuff? Ok well I went to Hyde Park with my <3 to feed the ducks and took my new teddy bear in my handbag. He left it on my kitchen counter while I was making breakfast and I was surprised to see it there. Plus, it had a hoodie! As if it can feel that its getting cold here in London,sooo cute >.< Then last Friday we had a  surprise for my friend at Hummingbird Cake Shop. We divided a rich red velvet cake into 7 slices so one piece was like 5 cm thick ;) Then we went to Bayswater to eat dinner at Khan's. The benefit of being in London is that everything is near you. Today there was a charity event "Smoky Not Smudgy" for females and they had so many things going on from muslimah fashion shows, cake making, threading, facial, make up, massage, hijab for sale, jewellery, cupcakes and etc. I had the 15 minute massage for 7 pounds just now and wanted to do threading but the lady had left. Then my friend and I went to the 
library and my mummy actually ordered pizza for me all the way from Malaysia. The love of a mother is too great <3 she wanted to help me because I was sick and that was really touching to come back from the charity event, getting a call that pizza was downstairs. 

My conclusion here is that for all of you facing any difficulties, let the bright side of life dominate your heart, mind and soul. They always say 'look at the bright side' but the true fact is that you can see the 'dark/difficult side' too. And you can't escape that. Just like you can't escape your exams. I remember how afraid I felt because I wanted to get all A+ but something I must say that in the exam hall, don't think of that. You can ONLY think of that  while you are studying, not while you are doing exams. In exam hall, your goal must be to answer ALL questions and also remember what you study. Thinking that 'I want to get all A+ ' will just make you panic especially at last minute. While I was doing my SPM paper, I didnt think of getting a high grade but I was more focusing on being able to answer ALL questions and remember what I learned. InsyaAllah my answer will be accepted. So you need to do the same. 

From the story I told you I actually wrote it in a sequence. The unhappy part, happy part, motivating part and how I dealed with it today. I would honestly say I am proud of myself for adapting quite well here insyaAllah. Before I came here, I didn't expect myself to adapt this easily because its my first time living independently very far away from home. I talked to my friend, Scott who lives opposite my room and he said he could never do it, even for a guy. He lives just 40 minutes away and he feels the challenge too. He even said that I'm very brave. For now, I'm thankful to Allah for planning it for me and making it easier as with His plans, I just live across the road to class hehe and also have my <3 near me and super amazing corridor friends, although some guys turn on the music too loud at times, I'm really happy to be around the poeple here now. In class 85 people is just too many and even in a month, I dont exactly remember seeing everyone and hope to know more people. Of course I know all the Malaysian, Brunei and Chinese which are all guys and 2 girls including me.

Being here also made me discover my cooking talent, says my <3 so I'm not being perasan :) I took a picture of most of the dishes I made and will blog on that soon when I have more pictures to post. 

At the end of this post, I would like you too see that life gets better. After hard times comes a beautiful rainbow. After a storm comes a sunny day. After SPM comes 'Exams are over' days. So while you are at it, cheer up, smile and study till that day comes.. Pray whenever you feel down or stressed then continue work again. Exercise and relax, eat well, study, Allah will do the rest.

For those who were awaiting my response for SPM tips, I just replied before writing this post. You can go and check my comments. I'm truly sorry that some were super long ago. If there's anything urgent you need to know before Wednesday, do comment here or write in my chatbox by Tueday,Malaysian time 4am, I will try my best to reply asap.

All the best, my prayers are with you. Take care and have a very pleasant week ahead :)

SPM Tips: Don't Let a Hard Paper Demotivate You

REPOST FROM 7 November 2013

Dear SPM students,

I'm very glad to hear your response because I would have no idea that BM paper was hard if you guys (Lyana)  didn't tell me.

First thing I want to say is that if I was in your position, I would be VERY thankful to get a difficult paper. yes, in exam halls you feel that you want to answer ALL questions accurately. When something makes you feel stuck, you have doubts and start to worry. My advice is that: Please just continue answering how your teacher, tuition centre, penceramah, anyone who has taught you. Just follow and continue answering the question no matter how hard it is. DONT STOP or WORRY. Be confident. Say in your mind " I have studied so I can definitely answer (insyaAllah) because if someone who studies can't answer, then how about the rest of the candidates?" Of course they can't make everybody fail. Certain people must get an A, and did you know if the average highest mark is 40% in the entire country then that can be considered an A too, so do not worry. Just selawat and read prayers when you get nervous.

Try not to think about anything except the exam paper at that time. My dear juniors, I remember how nervous I was for some papers until my hands were sweating and I had to bring a tissue. Even people who get all A+ are nervous and worried and scared. They feel the same as you do. When I finished a paper, I was thinking "was my essay good enough?", then I checked the answer for objective question, then suddenly I discovered that one of my answer was wrong, then I felt down. However, I promised myself not to check the answers after that. But but but, if you havent finished Biology paper for example, in my opinion, its ok to check after that particular paper. For example, you just finished Paper 2 but you still have Paper 1 and 3. Its ok to check answers. Why? If you know the mistake you did, it will help you NOT to repeat the mistakes in the subsequent papers. Don't let a wrong answer demotivate you but make that your motivation to score higher in the next paper. You will feel this strong 'semangat' telling yourself, I already got that answer wrong, let me compensate the marks in the following papers.

If you stressed, look at cute pictures like this! He is here to cheer you up. Go SPM :D

To the person, who said they are having so many problems right now. I just want to say that : everybody has problems. Some people hide it, some people share it publicly, some people keep it to themselves or share with certain people. You need to remember that you are not alone. I'm very sure that some people even experience the same/ similar problem as you. When we have a big problem, its normal to have this feeling that nobody else in the world has this problem. You tell yourself you are the only one and that makes you feel worse. Perhaps, other people are experiencing it too but you don't know. I have no right to tell you whther your problem is trivial or big. But what I can say is that every problem will be solved. How? Who? The only answer is 'you'. With motivation and a strong spirit ( prayers are very important), no matter how much another person tries to persuade you that everything will be ok, it is your mind, your heart and your soul who will decide whether to agree or disagree. Of course you need another person to share your feelings and to give you that moral support and compassion. BDefinitut in the end, you are the one who decides if you are happy or not. Nobody else. People can have the best brains, best body, best face, best life, best everything but if their heart, mind and soul are unhappy, nothing people say or do can change that. 

Sometimes I feel very down, more than you can imagine. I'll listen to music.During SPM, I used to have a playlist. Bila study till late night ( when its too quiet) or if I'm sleepy I'll drink coffee or listen to music. It helps :) Now I don't really like to turn on music when I study. Those were SPM days ;) Or during my Alevels I used to watch Laugh Gags. Ease the stress guys, don't over-study, relax, exams are not everything. I heard about the student who passed away 30 minutes after BM Fatihah. She was sufferering chestpain, back aches and dizziness for a week. Its not good to be too stressed, something I always try to remind myself. To me, I would rank health above study or work, She just started her first exam paper and didn't have a chance to complete the paper or the rest of her life. Its very touching. 

If you can't study anymore, just stop. Continue later. Don't say that other people are busy studying or compare how much you've done to others. Every person has their own limitations. 

to Cat Girl: Definition of a best essay differs for English and BM. For BM, the length of your essay is important. For English, not making grammatical errors is the key. Both require oragnised points. Starting from the main point, explanation, examples, idioms, proverbs, more explanation, conclusion for each paragraph. Also a good essay has an introduction that pulls the reader to read more as well as a conclusion that makes the reader agree with the whole idea of the essay or feel an impact. You must answer the question of the essay and give relevant points and you need to write within given time. All of these criterias make the best essay :)

I know that most of you are working hard and may Allah grant you the best insyaAllah. Dont worry too much k? 

Best wishes from me