Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

How to Study and Not Get Bored

As I am writing, I have just completed my final exams of my final year at university, or at least a major part of it. One more exam to go! :)

I have received multiple requests to write on study tips and today I will share with you what I believe is ultimately a crucial aspect when studying for any exam and that is MOTIVATION.

Trust me, I know how it feels to suddenly feel like you have no motivation to study. You feel like doing something else instead and then you know you cannot because exams are drawing near so you feel down. You get your books to study and you genuinely do not feel like it. You feel like everyone else is having fun, the time of their lives. You feel like want to study but you do not have the 'mood'. 

If you are feeling like this, the first step is to be aware of it. Aware that your motivation is slightly low today or at that moment. So how do I deal with it? Well first and foremost, I will ask myself why do I feel like that and what do I feel like doing? If the answer is simply that I felt bored doing the same thing, I would try to implement some changes. It is very important to listen and be kind to yourself. Do not spoil yourself too much but listen to what your inner self needs and wants to do.
Usually, if this happens after some time of studying, I would stop to take a break. But if this happens at the start of my study session which is usually in the morning, I would try to implement a change in one of the ways below:

  • Change the subject, maybe you feel bored studying that subject.
  • Change the method of studying between reading, writing, listening to lecture recordings and watching helpful Youtube videos and highlighting. Always doing something in your study session makes it more interactive
  • Change the location of where I study. If I am really unable to go to the library or university at that time I will just change position. Please believe me how much this reaaaally helps. I change from studying at my study table to the floor (I even bring my study lamp to the bedroom floor) and to studying on my bed or in the living room. Changing your posture really stimulates your focus when studying and prevents boredom.
  • Do what you felt like doing. Go out, watch a movie or something on Youtube. Make yourself spend some time completely not thinking about studying then you feel guilty and this gives you a push and the drive you need to continue studying.
  • Buy something for yourself to motivate you to study. For me, it does not have to be something expensive. I got myself two new highlighters which I was excited to use and some healthy study snacks which I do not buy on normal days. I treat myself to a McD ice cream which I love every time I accomplish something.
  • Study in groups or with people around you like in a library or with friends. When you see many people doing the same, you will realise you are not the only one in the position and you will naturally feel like you want to study just like everybody else.
  • Have a clear plan on what you need to do each day so you are motivated to meet that target for the day. For me, if I have no target for the day I can easily feel demotivated but when I set a target I am more likely to stay focused until I reach that target then I say to myself 'Well done, target achieved for the day' but if I do not manage to reach that target I will say 'Well, maybe the target was too high, no worries I did my best. Let's continue tomorrow or another day, I will make sure I set a day at a later time to make up for what I did not finish that day. This way I can fulfil the target for tomorrow and only if I have extra time that I will fit in whatever I missed. Do not be too hard on yourself.
  • Remind yourself why are studying, what results you want to achieve and imagine yourself getting that amazing results. It will motivate you.
  • I read before that imagining and believing that you will do well in an exam is so important for you psychologically. Imagine you going to the exam hall and able to answer all questions well and result come out and you excel. Imagining good things in your mind will make it even easier and eventually a reality. If you go into the exam hall with a mindset that says 'I will be able to do this' it is proven scientifically then you are more likely are even if the questions are difficult because you already told yourself it will go well. I am not sure how to explain this in a better way but I hope I made it clear, any questions do feel free to ask me :)
  • Exercise exercise exercise. Your body produces happy hormones and it helps you stay positive and motivated when you exercise. It could be cardio, yoga, dance, anything but do not ever underestimate the power of exercise. If you observe the people around you, those who are cranky and always in a bad mood are those who do not exercise ;)
  • Eat healthy and at regular times. It does not help if you are feeling hungry. You will easily feel demotivated just because you are hungry. This is a no no for me, I always make sure I eat a big healthy meal for lunch and on time. I try to buy different things so I do not get bored. I buy lots of fruits, walnuts, dates and raisins. Also, some of my favourite chocolates. They help me stay motivated when studying. 
  • Finally make prayers. For me this is crucial and my prayers helped me so much throughout. Whatever religion you are, it feels good to know there is a higher power  in charge of what eventually happens and has control over everything. In my religion, I need to work hard then just pray to God and He will do the rest and help me. Its called tawakkal and for me it helps me so much. 

All the best and hope these tips helped :)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Speak to Miss Meen

Hello there! Selamat Hari Raya to all :)

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying whatever you may be doing at this point- may it be studying, working, holiday-ing hehe. The key point to staying happy is to stay positive and content with what you are doing, where you are, who you are with, whenever you are doing it and for whatever reason you are doing what you are doing today. Life is certainly not perfect but it is those little imperfections that build our character and the amazing person we are today. Yes, there is always room for improvement but always stay thankful for who you are and what ever you have achieved in life and believe in yourself. One you do your part, let God do the rest. 

I'm on my summer break and thought you might be interested in something I have started doing to help and reach out to all my blog readers especially students.

Motivating and inspiring people is something I always want to and keep on doing. Although university life has certainly robbed some blogging time away from me, I want to be able to continue giving motivation and providing support to students like you. From many emails from my readers, there has been multiple requests of discussing issues related to studies, time management, family matters, etc. From my experience, reading a motivating article has its benefit but speaking to the other individual directly is even more effective and has a different advantage because then the advice can be more personalised and you can create a two-way communication instead of one. I enjoy reading blogs, books and articles most of the time when I need general advice but when it becomes more specific, I always feel like speaking to someone about it. As I was thinking about this, I realised that this may apply to you too and I have now started a Consultation and Motivation Service.

This session is called Ask Miss Meen and slots can be booked on weekdays and weekends, timing can be discussed to work around both our schedules. Details are below:

via Skype/ Live Chat
 One-to-One Meeting 
(Ampang area only)

Skype/Live Chat RM35/hour
One-to-One Meeting RM50/hour

Topics you can discuss:

Study issues
Time management
Family matters
School/university-related topics
Self-esteem and confidence

First 3 people who book a slot get 30 minutes FREE!

All conversations will be private and confidential

Other services you might be interested:

Mock Interview
 (Skype or One-to-One Meeting)

Skype RM35/hour
One-to-One Meeting RM50/hour

Proof-read Service 
(checks include vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure and suggestion on how to improvise)

1 Personal Statement
 (UK, local & overseas University applications)

2 English Essays

3 Public speaking/ Speech 

4 Job/Internship/University Resume and Cover letter 

5 Scientific journal 

Service 1, 2, 3: RM 10/document 
Service 4: RM 15/document 
Service 5: RM 20/document 

( All FREE 1 Revision)

If you are interested drop me an email at

*Note: One-to-One meetings only available until end of September

Stay healthy, safe and happy. Looking forward to hear from you! Take care :) 

Friday, September 12, 2014

SPM Tips: Sejarah

Dear SPM students, 

If you are studying for History, you know that the number 1 requirement is memorisation. Almost everything for the subject revolves around memorising facts, dates, names, places, sequence of events.

The textbook is very packed with writing and jumbled into long essays so I decided to make my own notes. I wrote everything in the textbook and spend hours and hours making my own notes and writing every single important thing in the text book because my aim was that I just wanted to use my notes. Once I completed them I did not require the textbook any more other than referring to the pictures. 

If there is not enough time to do very detailed notes then brief mind maps are sufficient as long as you still refer to the textbook when doing revision. Either way is alright because it depends on you and how you like your revision :)

Think of easy ways to remember a sequence. When you are doing this you really need to imagine the story in your mind. Some people even draw comic strips or catchy pictures to remind yourself about something. 

Find similarities about the past and the present and relate the events to your life or to something you are familiar with.

Read the history textbook like you are reading a story book and make sure you are not sleepy when you are reading. The best time for me to read history was either when I just woke up and had breakfast or after a cup of coffee. Also the time of the day which I am most alert works best.

Do loads of practice questions and find the answer on the spot when you are unsure. I find that doing questions help me remember better especially when I get an answer incorrect.

Find acronyms to remind yourself about a particular place/name that fall in the same group. For example the pahlawans or tokoh tempatan; if the first letter of all those people start with K, D, S, M and R. The find a catchy statement to remember that "Saya Memang Suka KaDet Remaja". This is just an example but this is one way to help you memorise things in groups.

Remember not to eat things like Maggi and fast food that may affect your memory. Eat more raisins and nutritious food, fruits and vegetables. Read doa's to enhance memory:

If you ask me, History is one of the subjects where revision is the simplest because it requires memorisation and repeated exercise. The pattern is almost the same and less variety of things to do compared to other subjects. However, History is one of the most challenging because it is purely facts and not much understanding. 

Refresh your memory even on the day or night before exam because it constantly requires refreshing the facts. Just read, prepare and do your best, that's the most you can do right? Don't worry and I wish you all the best! :)

This post may also help you:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Confidence in Yourself

Dear all, 

Today I chose this motivation topic because I believe that confidence plays a vital role in any part of your life and like always, I enjoy writing a topic that many people can relate to. 

Whenever people hear the word confidence, they immediately imagine giving a speech on stage. Well, that's a good one but what people do not realise is that confidence involves very little things like feeling appreciated at home and the ability to speak out your feelings to another individual. Or feeling that you are accepted or rejected by the society, your family or friends can also play around with your confidence. It doesn't have to be something big. For instance, someone ignores you or excludes you from an outing. You can easily feel rejected and your confidence zooms down. Confidence is something that varies from time to time and also depends on the situation. Its not exactly right to classify a person as confident because he/she may be confident to speak on stage but not very confident to socialise. What's important here is to ensure that your confidence level is balanced and to give it a boost everytime it drops. I don't fancy people who make themselves confident by feeling superior to others. Yes, confidence is feeling good about yourself but that doesn't mean that it needs to involve the credibility of other people. If you always use other people to measure how good you are, you won't go too far because you are putting that person as the limit. Push your limits and try not to compare too much. Yes, there will be people in this world much much smarter than you and no matter how hard you try, it would be a supreme challenge to reach their level but should this lower your confidence? NOPE :) Everybody has their talents, strengths and weaknesses. They may be super good in their career, work, studies but how about their personal life? How about expanding their talents like do they learn music, play sports or ( whatever your talent is) like you? Or if you feel like you do not have any talent but you have a good relationship with people and God, then that is a big achievement. Does that other person have special relationship like that? Or does their life revolve around 1 particular thing. 

At times, your confidence is challenged when everybody else does something that you do not do. Let me give an example to make this easier to explain. When I first reached UK, I was really looking forward to the ice breaking session and when I got to know it actually involved drinking and partying at the bar, I knew I was not going definitely. Most people did, the locals mostly. I waited for a week to see if there was going to be any other interesting activity but no. Just partying, drinking, pub crawling that sort of thing. Finally I stopped hoping because by the end of the month, I realised that this partying and drinking is going to last forever. Whenever there is a prize-giving or something, the prize is sometimes a bottle of wine, beer, champagne, alcohol. Its a shame how they assume that everybody drinks, well I guess the majority of them of course. However, you need to have a stand. If you do not drink, then you don't. Not even a little. Even if 90% of the people around you do something that you do not do, having a strong stand can really boost your confidence. If you just go with the follow and do it to fit in and not because you like to do it, your confidence level will drop and you will be worried that they will find out that you are not acting like your true self.  I personally do not like this getting drunk environment, I have no intention to offend anybody and respect people's opinion and that certainly doesn't mean I hate people who do so. Not at all. But that's my stand and for me to respect people who behave differently, I believe that they should respect it when people think otherwise as well. 

Nobody is perfect and at times, you weakness can make you lose you confidence slightly. Cheer up and learn to laugh at yourself. Don't take life too seriously all the time and do not be too hard on yourself. If you say something wrongly and somebody corrects it, say thank you and learn from it. If it was funny, laugh along. Don't think "OMG why am I making a silly mistake", because the person who corrected you is not perfect themselves and may have once made some silly mistakes as well. 

Finally, having confidence in yourself helps a lot in exams, interviews or presentations, etc. Once you have prepared, just go for it. Remember that you have prepared and you will give your best. Having confidence is linked to a positive attitude. At times, having too low confidence may affect your performance negatively. You are prepared and will do good, but because you keep telling yourself that you will not, the brain believes it and fails to behave normally. When you receive the result of your interview, test, etc, if they respond negatively or do not offer you a position, then do not feel disheartened. Always remember that it may not be because of your performance but because they had limited spaces and that they were filled by people who had priority or more experienced in ways that you are yet to achieve. It had nothing with you not being good enough and take that as a learning experience. Whenever you apply for something and do not get it, its a good idea to always think that it was not meant for you and it was good practice for whatever that is coming your way soon. :) Always trust that God had good plans for you. And not achieving something you really hoped for may actually lead to another door that is more beneficial and more interesting.

Have confidence and try not to let anything mentioned above to demotivate you or push down your confidence. Believe in yourself because if you do not, then nobody will. 

Have a pleasant weekend and hope you enjoyed reading!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tips on Memorising Facts

Hi there, hope everyone is doing great! I just came back from an amazing trip and will be blogging about my holidays soon. Since I realised that there are 2 similar post requests on memorising tips, I thought I'd begin blogging on this topic first.

For many of you (including myself) I know that exams, trials are coming up and there can be so so many things to memorise. Well, here are a few tips that you can do whether you are trying to memorise historical facts, scientific information, a sequence of a particular event or even names of people/ processes.

  • Make your own notes. It can be really helpful to read your own handwriting as you are very familiar with it. For SPM history, I actually wrote out notes for every single page in the Form 4 and 5 textbook which took me months... If I had it now I would snap a photo and show it to you. I didn't like to read the textbook because it was too wordy and had big chunks of words. So I told myself I'll be reading it for the first and last time while writing my notes. Thus, I made sure that I had every single important info excluding diagrams/ pictures of people. I would refer to my textbook for those purposes. Please be aware that this is not always necessary and would not be helpful if you have limited time for exam. I started early like months before my exam and did it bit by bit so that was fine. So choose your methods wisely :)
  • Decorate your notes and use colours pens or highlighters when studying. To me it makes learning less boring and more interactive. Something funny is that when I study I must hold on to something (a pen/ a pointer) and write or highlight. If not I'd drift off or my mind would tend to wander away. 
  • Use acronyms. For example, the phases in mitosis (biology) P M A T. PM Already Tukar representing Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase. That time when I was learning the topic I got news about the new Prime Minister in our country. Another one would be the Scientific Classification: 'Ketua Pengawas Can Organise Funny Gay Songs' is for Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species. And there are so many more, I use it all the time and create my own as well. Sometimes if there are a list of names, try grouping those that start with the same letter and memorise them accordingly. 
  • Avoid eating fast food, maggi ( thanks Priya for reminding me today) and junk food which are not good for the brain especially when exam draws near. Eat more raisins, fruits, veggie and carbohydrate.
  • Don't cram too much at one time. Relax while you are reading it and when you don't put too much stress on the brain, it will remember facts naturally when you repeatedly read something. Try to understand what you read instead of reading blindly.
  • Drink a lot of water. It important to ensure your body is always hydrated and the brain functions better.
  • Try a change in environment sometimes. It can be really dull and boring to be at the same place same time doing the same thing. A change in study style may help the mind to be more alert.
  • Silent areas are helpful when you need the mind to focus on something. Turn your phone on silent of possible and avoid any possible distraction. Not for too long of course. Once the mind is tired it will lose focus so take some snack or exercise breaks.
  • Read it out loud. It always helpful to hear yourself reading it. You can even record yourself reading out the facts that you need to memorise and when you are tired of reading, just replay it again and again and try to get familiarised with it.
  • Try asking somebody to test or question you on that particular topic.
  • Close the book and try to repeat what you are trying to memorise,
  • Search online if there are any acronyms that people shared.
  • I know this is not easy but try to not think of too many things. If there's something bothering you or there is something on your mind, just say to yourself, I'll be right back as soon as I'm done reading this ^^
  • Continuously read it and go to the next chapter even if you're not sure if you have memorised all from the earlier ones. Just proceed because repeating the same thing too long will make your mind lose focus and you tend to look at the words blindly.
  • Finally pray and remember to read the doa mula belajar everytime you start studying. Seek guidance from God to make it easier for you.

I wish all of you the very best and hopefully this post will help you :D

Friday, April 4, 2014

Managing Your Time

In response to anisnaqiyah:

13 Mar 14, 08:08 PM
anisnaqiyah: oh I forgot to tell something :p all students at my school should take 10 subjects so I take sc pure+acc
13 Mar 14, 07:52 PM
anisnaqiyah: salam kak :) wanna ask u some ques :)how u manage ur time to study,homework,tuition,school activities ? btw i'm form 4 ,asmarian :) and i love to read you blog ! its really help me a lot ! :)

Hello everyone, hope you are having a nice week. Anyhow, the weekends are just 1 day away. Speaking of time, Malaysia is now only 7 hours ahead of UK because last Sunday we had the 'Daylight Savings end' thingy which made me so confused last year. Its now early Spring and I like being outdoors in the day because the weather is starting to warm and beautiful flowers are budding.

Time flies so fast and while we only have 24 hours a day, we always hear people saying 'I have no time' or 'I wish I had more time' but in both cases, that is impossible because everyone does have time and it is up to us on how well we manage the time we have each day of our lives.

Speaking of time management, let me start by sharing a story with you about my final year of school. As this blog was created only after I finished school (before SPM results) you might want to know how I managed my time on my SPM year. Ok let's start. 

In January, it was basically the start of the year and also my birthday month. I had my birthday bash at RedBox since it was the last year of high school. SPM revision has not started too intensely at that time since we were still learning our Form 5 syllabus. I started group tuition in Chemistry and Physics at the beginning of the year to brush up my form 4 & 5 knowledge. Other than that, I had school from 720- 230pm each day followed by co-curriculum activities from 3-430pm and since I lived quite far from school plus the rush hour, I usually reached home by 6 or 7pm.

My tuition would be at night like at 8/9 pm once or twice a week. I like to spend more time to study independently so I didn't go for too much tuition or seminars. 

Speaking of extra-curricular activities, you must be very surprised to hear my commitments because at times, I am surprised myself. I was the Secretary of the Prefectorial Board (equivalent to Student Body in some schools). Being a prefect is busy enough because you have duty almost everyday, spend the extra minutes before school to pin up all your badges and name tags, bring your blazer and wear your tie, miss a few minutes/hours of class due to duties and come extra early on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for briefing at 7am(if I'm not mistaken). Being the Secretary of this organisation is even busier. I write out meeting minutes at least twice a week, then go back home and type it out. File it then send it to Mr Tan, our discipline teacher to sign. If there are any mistakes or anything I typed that he is unhappy about, then I would have to re-type it. There are 80 plus prefects and luckily we had a Secretary assistant. Each month, we would collect every single prefect's blackbooks' (the book they use to write disciplinary issues of students everyday) and we would split it into 2. I would carry it all home, then type it all out then stamp and sign everybody's blackbooks. My dad created the Excel spreadsheet that our school is using today. If not we would still be writing out the disciplinary issues which is more tiring.

 The stamp and signing part was fun because the school provided a special stamp with my name, followed by my position and school name. It looked so professional as if I was already working hehe. These are the things that motivate me to continue my job- me thinking how lucky and how fun it is to do all this. If not how do you think I was motivated every single day and month to do all my duties and study and do homework and go for tuition at the same time. I also had this handy dandy notebook with a big spiral and a shiny green pen that I would use to record meeting minutes, so everytime I had to write I would have a good feeling because then I could use that notebook. I also have duty at the main entrance every alternate mornings. I don't exactly do anything there, just monitor the prefects but still I have to be there till 8am which means I miss out the start of some classes. But we prefects, have this loyalty to the board when we signed up and I would bear the challenges for the honourable position and certificate at the end of our service. 

Other than that, I was also the President of the Debate Club. This is a totally different story and not related at all to the previous. We had iced blended sales, face-painting ( my ideas after discussion with the committee on how to raise funds and I thought it would benefit us financially and also be fun!) during Sports Day, IU Day, I also organised BLADES Cup (an annual competition that students of different English based societies would another for a friendly debate- I wonder if they are still having the cup till today??? because I bought a really big and nice trophy for it). I still have more to say but let's proceed to my next commitment. I was also the Secretary of Temenggung (the Blue Sports team in my school), list goes on collect books to be signed by teachers. Other than that, I was appointed the Secretary of Girl Guides ( Renjer Puteri) but unfortunately I had to let down that post because there is a rule in school that you cannot be the Secretary and President of 2 different organisations at the same time. Of course, our special Student Body was an exception and did not apply to that rule because we went through thorough interviews ( I had 1 interview to become a prefect then another interview when the teachers nominated me as Secretary) and background checking to make sure we were suited for that role regardless whatsoever activity we decide to take part in. 

I am only naming the main things, I have not mentioned any social events, any projects, assignments, homework, own revision, own notes and personal hobbies that I also do in my almost-no-free-time. But you get the big picture of what I'm trying to point out and yes all of this was in 2010 alone. Thanks to my mum for giving me the motivation and always supporting and being positive, sending me to school each morning and picking me up at random hours. If not for her, I'm sure I wouldn't have made it that far. In other years I had different commitments, maybe related. 

After my little story, I would advise the best way to organise your time is to know your priorities. Always carry a little book for you to write anything you need to do. Plan your day, your week and your month. Wake up knowing what you need to do each day. If you don't get to follow exactly as planned, then its ok. Happens to me many times. You just need the drive and realisation on what you need to do, then focus on getting it done. Sometimes, you lose focus and don't have the mood to do something. Don't force yourself. Its not worth it because you won't produce good quality work. I had 9 subjects to study for and 21 papers to sit for, alhamdulillah all A+. It not impossible, it requires persistance, hard work and also pray to Allah. Try to perform solat hajat everyday especially when your exams draw near. Read motivational books and success stories, they really inspire you because those people remind you that its possible. Keep a distance from negative people/ narrow-minded ones who always try to belittle you or tell you otherwise. Remember that the more you study, the more people can feel threatened and they may do/say things to make you feel demotivated. Brush it away, have confidence in yourself, remember God and let Him punish/decide what to do to them. You just need to focus on your life because its too precious for those kind of people. Wake up early each day and try to have enough sleep. Exercise and keep fit, trust me exercise really helped to elevate your mood and prevent body aches and sickness. Eat healthy food and always allocate enough time to eat well and sleep well. Don't ever ignore these 2. Put a reminder on your phone for important or urgent things. Just live your life everyday saying to yourself that 'I will maximise this 24 hours' and just do it. Don't overthink and don't let a moment pass by in the day feeling bored with nothing to do. That's one of the principles in my life.
Believe in yourself because if you don't, nobody else will.

Finally this post has come to an end. I hope that this motivates you and helps you in a way. Let me know if there are any blogpost requests and I'll try to write more. Till then , take care!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Congratulatory Note & a Chance to Be Published on LittleMissMeen

Exactly 3 years ago, I was going to SAB (my high school) to collect my results and I remember how it felt. As people are telling me their results and sharing it online, it reminds me clearly of the very sweet memories of school life like being a Prefect, Result Day, awards, fashion show, Hari Sukan (go temenggung), IU Day and many many things which somehow seem like a very long time ago. I guess many things happen in 3 years, I got my driving license, completed my A-levels, applied for scholarships, applied to UK universities, got my visa, and now I'm here. Its so remarkable that I'm actually here in UK doing my degree. And then within 3-4 years, I may be working insyaAllah. And that same period of time was like school and today (3-4 years). Time really travels fast, its like the more technology we create, the faster time travels because my parents say that time was not as fast as how it is today when they were my age. 

Whatever, it feels great right now and I'm so happy :) It feels like I'm getting more independent everyday and I'm catching up with the pace of living independently better than I imagined. I've been cooking so many dishes, cleaning, managing my studies well alhamdullilah and even got a note from my lecturer to congratulate me for getting the highest in one of our coursework. As challenging as it is being in another country and also a world's top university, its amazing. I have some very good news which is supposed to be written in a different post so I won't spoil the surprise here ( hint: Tuesday was the AGM for yoga and AGM dinner at a veggie restaurant, so yummy). Yesterday I went for dinner at Malaysian Hall for the first time since I've been in London and something very very surprising was that, I actually felt normal eating Malaysian food. It didn't feel omg amazing or anything. I was hungry and it felt good. Maybe because I've been cooking loads of Malaysia food that I didn't actually super miss it or anything. Or maybe I'm not that picky when it comes to food, I would eat anything healthy, according to my diet and nice. I'm planning to write a post about all the food I've cooked and also about Life in Halls. Well, omg I just have too much to blog about, can't wait for Easter holidays.

Its suddenly cold here again, just when I thought the sunshine is back. Oh and btw! We will be changing our time one hour forth which means Malaysia and UK will now only be 7 hours apart starting March 30th. 

Summer break is just around the corner, I can smell it. *oops so random. Booked my flight tickets already.

Next week is the Dorset trip and the following week I'll be moving temporary to a different hall due to some electrical work in my current hall. Then the following week is holiday week to _____ which is the highlight of my Easter break hehe. Keep up with my post for more stories.

And I'd like to end this post, saying a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to all SPM students who got their results yesterday. Special congratulations to Lyana for being the first person to tell me her results and getting all A's. And also to Cindy! I know you're doing A-levels but I'm soooo proud of you and so honoured to be the first friend to know your results even when I was sleeping and thought it was a dream (woke up and saw 28 messages hehe) Very proud of you ! <3 Also.. would like to congratulate Rai for being the next UN President! Its so amazing, my friends are doing fabulous. Sending hugs from afar. And I can't believe that its my student Nasha who was the previous Pres, hoping to see you in UK soon! Once again congratulations again to all SPM candidates. I'm writing this because I know how many thousands of people just come to my blog to read the SPM articles alone and you all deserve a congratulatory note from me. 

Also also  SPECIAL NOTE: LittleMissMeen would like anyone( even if your exam was years ago) who has success stories whether it is SPM, STPM, A-levels, O-levels or anything to please send me an email to with your name, results and a short/long note on:

 'Advice for future '(eg: SPM)' candidates

Send me your inspiring stories/ advice by 15 April 2014. 

This is to encourage your juniors that success is not impossible even when it feels very hard. Imagine how beneficial it was to find useful/motivating material online. Now its your turn to contribute by writing a short note. Do send me a picture on your result day if you would like and I will publish it. Names will not be mentioned upon request. Hope to hear from you :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Make New Year's Resolution -> Believing in Yourself

Happy New Year 2014 everyone! I can hardly believe its a brand new year because I still remember what I did on Jan 1 2013. Lunch at Chillis, ice cream at Tutti Fruitti then my family and I went to this really nice park and played badminton. Today was a very relaxing day. I played the piano in the morning after a very long time, before that had breakfast with my parents my mum made egg mayo then I chilled and relaxed and had lunch nearby our house. Upon my request and also my brother's, we wanted to go to the same park and play badminton at the same spot as we did last year. Can you imagine the last time we played badminton there was exactly one year ago?! It just felt so lovely that I could at least spend time with my family even for a short period of time. And then we had ice cream and bubble tea. OMG Chatime's pearls finished that we had to go to Each a Cup. Stopped by a computer shop then ate this new Mentos bubble gum that looks like a sandwich and went home by 10pm. I conclude the beginning of my new year simple & beautiful.

On the first day of every year, everyone is busy thinking of a new year's resolution. As for me I'm more busy thinking of exams in 2 weeks !

If you're thinking of a new year's resolution, I would consider making "Believing in yourself" one of them. Imagine all the big things you might be writing on your list- Achieve a bonus/promotion at work/ fantastic grades, go to Venice, lose weight, get a ___, visit so-and-so, save money $$$, buy a ____, and the list goes on. And in that 364 days remaining in that year, there may be ups and downs. Feelings that you might not achieve what you aimed for or just normal feelings of negativity. At the end of the year, its usually normal not to achieve everything you hoped and then bring it to the next year. Doing that, doesn't prove you are a failure but instead it proves perseverance, how much you are trying and working towards achieving it. 

I was reading this book one day and this quote caught my attention, it was something like this: 

A person who is persistently in search of something will definitely reach it. Even if not, they will reach at least a part of it

This means that you should believe in yourself in whatever you are doing and continue to reach for your goals no matter how difficult it is because in the end you will at least reach a part of it, if not exactly how you want it to be. Do the best and God will plan the rest.

Above all of these hopes and dreams and things you want to achieve in life, there's one tiny thing that most of us always forget and that's -> believing in yourself. 

To achieve what you are hoping for you need to believe in yourself. Easier said than done but it is one of the main things that make people successful. You have to be confident and imagine yourself capable of doing big things. Making the mind think and believe good things is actually very essential before actually achieving it. Do you think the person who created the telephone, cars, laptops, airplanes thought they would be able to create such a big thing? They were confident in themselves and believed that they could do it. They are normal people too but the belief in themselves contributed to the success factor. 

Thomas Edison actually tried 1000 times before created the light bulb when he could have stopped trying when he reached the 599th or 999th time. But he still went on with strong belief that he could invent it. He said:
  I did not fail 1000 times but the light bulb was invented with 1000 steps.

Some of you may have some things in mind some may still be thinking of your resolution. Take your time and no rush. When the ideas and thoughts come, just remember one thing: Always believe in yourself! :)

Happy New Year 2014 !

Sunday, December 8, 2013

University Life & Motivation of the Week

Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing great :) Can you believe that yesterday was the last class of term? I am so happy but can't be too happy yet because I have an exam next week, the programming one that I was telling you about. I like to look at pictures and sweet memories. Its amazing how a single picture or something can remind you of so much. When I look at certain pictures, I just can't believe that I was there at times. It just feels so close yet so far. It feels like yesterday yet long ago. Just hard to explain. At times, its amazing how so many things have happened, so many people I've met and so many places I've been to. As I'm writing this, yes I'm looking at pictures on my farewell, pictures at Cameron Highland(one of my favourites) and pictures of my cute sweetheart. My baby boy grew so much over the years and now he lost 2 teeth, lookies!

I was at my study desk when this birthday card fell down. I turned it around and started reading the birthday wishes again, smudged. We were in McDonalds when tea spilt. Rai decided to make another card but I insisted on keeping both because everyone's wishes on both cards were quite different. it was my 19th. I miss everything. When I started college I missed high school. When I now start university, I miss college. And I guess when we start work, we'll miss university. I know many people feel the same but I guess when you come to think of it, even if you return to the place you miss, it won't be the same because the people there are now different.

I realised how living abroad can actually strengthen family bonds and friendship. You appreciate every bit of effort they make to call you, skype or even listen to you when you have problems. I learned to appreciate the way things are at home more. Life at university is about getting a degree and at the same time, making sure you keep stock of grocery and  washing your clothes regularly. Cooking it the right way if you don't want burned or yucky. Cleaning up your mess and keeping track of dates without mum reminding. Setting the alarm clock or a few alarm clocks if you don't want to accidentally shove it off the table causing the batteries to drop out..oops and at the same time finding sufficient time for work and socialising. Its an amazing experience, not easy but worth the sacrifice. 

So anytime you feel that studying or life gets tough, remember that you have gone a long way to reach this. If you could do it before, then of course you can do it now :)

If there's one quick motivation that I'd like to share with you this week, it would be HAVE CONFIDENCE in yourself. Despite anything happening or going on around you, its so so important to have confidence. When life gets hard, having confidence in yourself can save the day (after prayers of course). You need to be confident in what you do, how you do it, what you say, what you plan and what you decide. Its often trying to copy or imitate another person often crushes confidence. In any kind of situation, just say positive things to yourself and decide after certain consideration. Having confidence is the same thing as having faith in yourself. Telling yourself that I will survive this and things are not in your favour, then there is something that you can definitely learn from. Finally, the simple at of being confident can make you discover amazing, new things within you..

Saturday, November 30, 2013

How To Know Which Career Suits You The Most

Hello there! I hope everyone is doing great :) Its a Friday night here in London and I know by the time I click 'publish', it will be morning in Malaysia. The time difference is so big *my skype hours are so limited*

I was thinking of something to blog tonight after spending my evening doing practicals. Suddenly I remembered a blog post request, it was like a month ago and I totally forgot because I was reading it in a rush at that time. So I scrolled down my chatbox when I saw this interesting comment from Krease:

How do you determine which job/career suits you the most (if you have no idea whats your passion/ something you're good at?)Ive done numerous personality/career tests unfortunately that doesnt work

Before I answer this question, perhaps you would like to hear my own experience how I started doing the course I am doing today. As I grew up, I had many many dreams and ambitions. As a child, I wanted to be a scientist, then a lawyer, then architect, then doctor, then architect again, then scientist, then engineer and the time my mind decided to be fix on that, I was 17 and just completed SPM.

You guys might be wondering what is my main motivation and what drives me to work hard? In high school, in case you read my post on "SPM Results", you'd see that the paper I hung up my wall said "I want to get all A+, I want to get number 1 in class, etc" but I did not write the main thing behind my head and that was "I want to get a full scholarship." In my mind, if I was able to achieve those dreams of my grades and doing well in class, then I have done my part in achieving my goal itself. Why? Well, its simply because getting good grades is within my power and getting a scholarship is within somebody else's power. Your goals must be within your power and that is the secret of being successful and happy at the same time.

With God's will, He granted me a scholarship and during the day of the award, in the award list, it wrote my full name and next to it was the word: GEOLOGY.

When I saw that, I was surprised and very very surprised, I was like "omg, I applied for Chemical Engineering, is this for real?" I double checked a few times and yes it was no mistake. The sponsor informed my mum and I that they had a lot of chemical engineers and would need more geologists in the future. During that day, I knew God had a message for me but I was yet to discover and research it before I make any conclusions. The sponsor stated that I could switch to any engineering course in the list: Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Petroleum but no Chemical engineering. After that day, I was researching, calling, speaking to professionals, asking them for a moment of their precious time ( don't feel inferior to speak to professionals, they are happy to speak of their job and achievements and experience, just remember to be formal and respectful at all times) and yes I did speak to a few geologists. I had 1 year to decide, my sponsor was fine with me selecting either one but inside my heart, I knew there was a reason why Geology was next to my name.

After one year of research, I came to the conclusion that it is the right course for me. My main aim of doing well in school all this while was to be granted a scholarship so I had to decide bewteen the two; Geology in UK or  a Medicine course in Malaysia from the goverment (if you read my post in 2011, you would have remembered how I was so confused on which one to choose). I remember how it was one of the most confusing times of life. A decision that would determine the future. If you are experiencing any sort of dilemma, trust me I felt the same thing. Solat istikharah,research and listing down the pros and cons to myself led me to the decision where I am now. 

In the end, both ways will have its pros and cons but you need to stick with your decision after you have thought it thoroughly.

Back to the question, personality tests are not the best ways to decide on which career you should do. For example, I really enjoy writing, dealing with kids, teaching, gardening, playing the piano but the career I am going towards now does not relate much to any of the above; except for gardening maybe hehe.

If you don't know what you are good at, I say "nobody does until you try". Do I know I'll be good at Geology? Nope, I wasn't sure what it was even about in the first place. But when deciding on careers, you look at opportunities for YOU at that moment and decide what's best. For example, you apply for ALL scholarships and all courses you like or would like to indulge in (its ok if its very different courses), then you see which one you get or which opportunities come your way. If you just got your result, then check what courses can you go from there. Dear all, I know some people have been repeating papers quite frequently and sometimes I really wish magic would happen and they would get the result desired. But let's stop and think about it for a second, why is God making you not achieve those grades for so so so many times? If you really worked hard and it is still the same, there must be a message trying to be conveyed to you. Maybe the course that you want to do is not right for you. Maybe there is something better out there which would make you much happier. It may sound harsh at first but let's face it, harsh for a minute but happy for a lifetime :)

So for those out there wondering what course should I do, what am I good at, well relax and try ALL options before you sit back relax and see which one returns to you. it may be something unexpected like for me. Before the day I received the award, never did it cross my mind that I would be doing Geology. Today, I am doing it and I am truly passionate about it. My favourite subject so far is Earth Minerals, even though its the subject with the most homework (and most practical), I feel happy and look forward for every class. Next Friday would be the last Earth Mineral class for this term but I am contented that I am doing what I like. When you do something you like, no matter how hard or how much work you have, it always feels satisfying to accomplish it. Hmm,, but maybe not all the time ;) There are moments when I feel that it is difficult and when those times come, I know I should shift from work to something more relaxing. 

Choosing a career doesn't mean the end of your life if you don't like it as you proceed to higher levels of education. Just get your degree and if you decide to join human resource,consultation, business etc later, nobody is stopping you. Do what makes you happy. My mum knows somebody who took Law in UK and is now happily working as a property agent at home. Earning money without working office hours.

Do I know if Geology suits me in the future? I have no idea because I have only started degree but what I do know is that at the moment, it really does.

All the best in deciding and may the decision you make be the very best.

Have a nice weekend ahead xoxo

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Constant Motivation? Yup Very Important

This is just minutes before going to bed when I feel like I want to write something here. I just read Chicken Soup for the Soul and after reading,  I realised the importance of having constant motivation in your life. I've read the book before, perhaps a couple of months ago or a year and  didn't realise how it could actually give an impact on me.

 In the midst of busy times, where deadlines are due, where 16 written practicals need to be handed (one practical last week had 13 igneous rocks), when your lecturer expects you to know it all in a programming exam by self-learning (even when you see programming like a foreign language on... Mars), I was reminded that its important to have motivation and to be positive. 

I'm going to make this real short and write a good post for you about what happened last weekend :) 
As I sum it up, my point here is that if you see a good book on the shelf and you automatically tell yourself "Oh i already read that", Then well..think twice! Because it would definitely be worth your time and your mind. A book can bring you to another world and make you deep into the story that for a period of time, all your worries and problems are put aside and as soon as you place that bookmark, you are ready to face reality once again.

That's how much I enjoy reading and encouraging all of you too read for constant motivation. What you are doing now is also considered reading, so not necessarily a book but a magazine, newspaper, blog, website can give you motivation as well.

Lastly, some favourite lines I picked up from the book I read today:

  •  Pleasure is seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.
  • Happiness and sadness run parallel to each other. When one takes a rest, the other tends to take up the slack. 
  • The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude.
  • Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open.
  • Don't waste life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

SPM Tips: Don't Let A Tough Paper Demotivate You

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


Monday, November 4, 2013

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 :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Learning English The Easy Way

Welcome again to each and every one of my readers :)  I am really speed-blogging at the moment to catch up with your requests. I have yet to blog on personal updates. Ok let's start!

Every one wants to and needs to speak English. Wherever you go, its a universal medium. If you go to Germany for instance and you don't know German, would you start getting a French dictionary and speak French to them or perhaps Japanese? Oops I don't think so. You will automatically speak English or at least attempt to speak their language. 

If you were raised in an English-speaking environment, then good for you. Practice from the early years makes learning much easier. But if you are planning to start now, its not too late to start :)

Speaking and Writing have different approaches. Speaking requires more practical work, speaking it out to people and while writing can be self-studied within the comfort of your room.

For speaking:

  • Always carry a dictionary, preferably one that translate words from a language that you are very familiar with.
  • Be brave to speak English even if you are not sure if it is correct.
  • Listen to videos on Youtube on "learning english"
  • Do not out subtitles for English movies and listen carefully to their pronunciation
  • Listen to the news in English
  • Tell someone (your mum, dad, sister or a friend) that you are going to speak English with them so they can help respond and ask questions in English
  • Do not learn English and grammar from a song ;)
  • Do not be discouraged when somebody corrects your English, be more open to learn and improve yourself. Take those mistakes as good lessons that you will not repeat again.
  • Read and buy more English novels or storybooks.
  • Write down words that you do not know immediately, then after reading check them up.
  • Get a book for Vocabulary and write down the meaning everytime you learn a new word.
  • Read your vocabulary book from time to time.
  • Spare some time to write a story about anything, even if it just about your day. You will be amazed by your ideas,phrases and the details you remember after writing them.
  • You can even write a blog, wordpress, tumbler or update status/twitter in English. When you write in public, you are more encouraged to get the spelling correct.
  • Read the English newspaper, highlight new words and look up the meaning just like in storybooks.
  • Get somebody read your work and correct your mistakes.
  • For writing, it is more advisable to take up an English class so that you have somebody to check and correct your written work.
  • If you want to self-study, begin by getting a grammar book and reading all the basics.
  • You can even get an essay book for A-level/ STPM level or equivalent.
  • Its not advisable to straight away read advanced English material like Reader's Digest because it may discourage you from learning English as the English level is quite higher than average,
  • Reading English blogs and online articles may also be helpful.
  • You can even write an article on Microsoft Words and let them check your spelling, sentence structure, etc
Learning English is really fun once you get the hang of it. Enjoy!