Hi everyone and those who do read my blog, I have owed you guys (if you don’t follow me on social media), a long (hopefully awaited) update on the activities in my life the past few months and the new year, so I shall begin.
Returning to UK after the September holidays, for my first step into uni has been a rather smooth one. Attending university has always been such a far fetched idea even now. Since young, I’ve always perceived university to be something in the future, not near. Something I might have the chance of doing, not certain. In 2016, I was given the opportunity to matriculate in one of the unis in the UK Russell Group – University of Bristol. Definitely, I won’t attempt to credit it as the best school or anything. But I think as per my standards and qualifications, I feel more than honoured to be offered a place to study law here.
University changes the definition of teaching which I’ve known for years from primary school to GCE to A levels and subsequently foundation. Before university, teaching to me, at least, meant that teachers would teach us the syllabus, in which then we had to complete homework to ensure we understood the concepts or whatsoever. But in uni, teaching meant read the books and cases yourself, by that I mean an average of 100 pages per subject and then complete tutorial work before class, when the tutor will go through the main concepts. So the entire flow is reversed. From learning then working, to working then learning or clarifying?
This allows me to understand why many drop out of their first year (including those who have excelled at A Levels), as a result of feeling unprepared for university. Undoubtedly, I do feel the same. It gets quite overwhelming at times, maybe because I am terrible at managing my time.
School aside, for Christmas holiday, I went to Switzerland. It has always been somewhere I’ve been wanting to go, albeit not the place I want to visit most. My, and I believe, many others ideal image of Switzerland is one with snow capped mountains, and perhaps exquisite timepieces for watch lovers.
Bryan and I spent 11 days there and we visited many cities and towns namely, in the order we travelled:
I shall not go into depth the itineraries of the trip and even if I do, that would be for a travel blog. But really, I think we covered most of the key attractions in Switzerland, notingly apart from Matterhorn (the mountain on Toblerone chocolates), and the Top of Europe.
Switzerland has arguably the most extensive, efficient, convenient, comfortable train system in Europe/World. Of all the inter city trains I’ve boarded, none departed or arrived (a stark difference to that of ahem, UK’s train system which is well known for delays). Even within cities, tram rides are more than accessible and technically free (since there’s no one responsible for checking of tickets). Also, living expenses is relatively high (compared to European or Britain standards), and ridiculous exaggerated when it comes to Japanese standards (for sushi!!! ~ 30-35SGD for a box of 8 piece salmon sushi)
The most memorable experience I’ve had from this trip was when we went up Mount Titlis. Despite many recommendations by friends and tours to visit the Top of Europe, we decided against it as we didn’t have enough time due to its location. So instead, we visited Mt Titlis. Not being a huge fan of sight seeing, I personally feel that I wouldn’t have been more taken aback by the scenery from Top of Europe than I had from Titlis.
We had the opportunity of sledding (obviously the most exciting element of going up a mountain apart from skiing), and it didn’t disappoint. It was also quite a refreshing (literally) experience to have eaten a bunch of snow on my way down – and have my face and camera (not weather/water/snow proof) covered in snow.
By the time we had enough fun with sledding, we found the shop for snow mobiles which unfortunately closed 5 mins before we arrived.
We also got to take the gondola up the mountains. Initially, when the guide told us that we were going to take the gondola up, I thought they meant gondola boats. So I was thinking how we were gonna sail up the mountains when it was -3 degree Celsius, which would have froze the river or water in question. Stupid me then realised they meant cable cars.
Another experience which I’ll always remember, is the goodness of chocolate and cheese fondue. You’d think you’ve seen the best when hotels display a chocolate fountain. But clearly, quality trumps size. I believe the idea of fondue originated from Switzerland and I think they still do it the best. At first, I was quite sceptical in the idea of cheese fondue. Wouldn’t it be too thick or filling or salty? But all my doubts were cleared when I ate a piece of bread dipped in cheese.
I will add a few of my favourite photos from the trip at the end of the post for whoever is interested!!!
Ok so after the trip and Christmas, it was time to go back to school for our mid sessional exams!! It was quite underwhelming actually especially considering the fact that I studied 2 days before the start of exams. It was only trying because I lacked the motivation and will to study. I realised many of my friends faced the same problem. Hopefully, our results will be ok!!!
Hahaha ok anyway this has been a long and boring post. Thank you for coming so far and happy 2017!!!
Also, happy Chinese New Year to those celebrating!!!