Uni Days

I’ve been away for a while now. I regret to say that writing took a seat on the backburner while I juggled my new uni life. There’s so much to do and so little time. That’s how I’d describe Uni. I’d also describe it as the most intense year of my life. I’ve met so many people and have had so many coffees that my blood is basically 70% caffeine. I’ve gone out drinking and I’ve stayed home slaving over law readings. I’ve laughed a lot and I’ve cried a lot because you definitely can’t have one without the other. Overall it’s been a great experience though.

Another reason why uni has been so intense for me is because I feel like I’m on an emotional rollercoaster. Weeks 1-4 of my new life was pure and utter bliss. I was out all the time, I was making new friends, I was loving uni and loving life because I thought I had finally found my element.

But then the work set in

And soon it was all stress eating and tears.

I discovered that coffee is everywhere. There is a coffee shop every 200m because uni students are just dragging themselves from class to class. Coffee is bitter and I do not love it, but thankfully a sweet tooth invented caramel shots and Caramel Latte’s became my thing- for 50 c extra. Caramel Latte’s and Mochas (2 sugars).

A coffee a day drains the wallet each day. It’s amazing how much it all adds up after a while. Thought I was earning a pretty good paycheck until I realised coffee and food made sure I had no Myki money.

Librarians are not your friends. Neither are your lecturers. Or your tutors. Nobody helps you. This is the Hunger Games where it’s every law student for themselves. The odds are never in your favour.

Assignments are a new type of hell, and citations are Satan’s greatest creation. Who knew a few missed fullstops and forgotten italics would cost me all my marks? Can we go back to just copy and pasting the URL’s?

I’ve complained a lot, I know. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it just a teeny bit. Because for all it’s shortcomings, the Uni life does kind of rock. The socialising part that is.

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My Very First Blog Award!

Today I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award! What was once a boring and ordinary day became extremely exciting as I have never been nominated before.

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I’d like to thank https://infinitedaydreamer.wordpress.com/ for being such a sweet person and nominating me. I didn’t think anybody really looked at my blog, but it was such a joy to hear that people do enjoy reading my random musings and rants. 🙂

The rules of the award are:

– Show the award on your blog.

– Thank the person who nominated you.

– Share seven facts about yourself.

– Nominate 15 blogs.

– Link your nominees’ blogs and let them know.

The 7 facts about me are….DRUM ROLL PLEASE

1. I work best in the evening/night. I usually spend all day procrastinating, napping, and being lazy, but at night that’s when I usually kick into gear and do things like plan my life, clean my room and study

2. After coming back from my holiday in South East Asia, I have discovered that my favourite country (so far) is Singapore! Out of all the places I’ve visited in Asia, Singapore is by far the cleanest, efficient and friendliest country and I had an amazing time there. Take me back!

3. I am a daydreamer who likes to fantasize a lot about what has been and what could be. This used to be a negative aspect of my life because I always became disappointed when things in real life didn’t meet my expectations but now, I’m more focused on being mindful and living in the present.

4. At this moment in time, I can truly say that I am incredibly content and genuinely happy with myself, my circumstances and my life. It took me a long time to reach this feeling of contentment and bliss, and I know it won’t last forever, but I’m going to savour what I can and focus on remaining happy.

5.  My diet this month has mostly been consisting of juicy burgers, oodles of noodles from Japanese restaurants and Rice dishes (Bimbimbap) from Korean restaurants in the city. I immensely enjoy eating out and trying new restaurants/bars/cafes and when I plan my outings with friends, it nearly always involves eating.

6. I am starting Uni next month and I am so excited! There are so many events planned and my calender is starting to get really busy with meet ups and camps and parties. I am absolutely determined to get involved and commit to making my time in Uni some of the best years of my life

7.I am an imperfect person who’s made more mistakes than I can count and have gotten myself into many moral, physical and emotional dilemmas. I usually let my feelings guide my actions, and more often than not, this has caused me to unintentionally hurt people or push them away even when I don’t mean to. I’m in the process of finding myself and trying to be a better person, which is going to take lots of trial and error so to the people in my life, please bear with me ❤

Those are the 7 facts I could think off right the top of my head! Sorry (not sorry) if I rambled on too much!

The rules say to pick 15 nominees but I’m just going to pick a few of the blogs who I really enjoy seeing on my reader. Please check out all of these blogs as they are incredibly lovely people!

  1. https://conqueringanthropophobia.wordpress.com/
  2. https://loudthoughtsvoicedout.wordpress.com/
  3. http://truthandcake.com/
  4. https://fillyourownglass.wordpress.com/
  5. https://storyshucker.wordpress.com/

Friendship is a 2 way street

It’s been a week since I’ve come home from my blissful and absolutely amazing holiday in South East Asia and I’m starting to feel the onset of Post Holiday Depression (Trust me, it’s a real thing!) While I have missed all my friends here in Melb, I long to go back to being  responsibility free besides the beautiful hotel pool. The upside of being back though is I get to catch up with all my wonderful friends! As soon as I landed, I received a few text messages from those I love most, welcoming me back and asking when was the most opportune time for us to catch up. So that’s what I’ve been basically doing in my short time back home. I have about 22 days until my holidays officially end and I become a JAFFY in uni, so I’m going to savour it as much as I can and spend my days lazing and socialising.

I’ve managed to meet up with most of my close friends and we’ve talked about our individual holidays so far, uni courses and what not, but I’m also seeing another slightly disturbing pattern. With the people I’ve met up with, the conversation somehow ends up steering towards the topic of relationships and the lack of effort that is put towards maintaining one. I’m not just talking about a romantic relationship, I’m also talking about  friendships in general. In recent times, my friends have noticed that with their other friendships, they’re the ones doing everything to keep it going. They’re the ones who initiate the meetups, the ones who call/text to ask ‘how are you?’, the ones who try to ensure the friendship is still there. But they get nothing back. Oh sure, they get the classic response ‘Good thanks, what about you?” or the ‘Defs catch up soon xx’ (even though you know it’s not going to happen), but they’re not getting the same effort back that they’ve put in.

Just as our coffee date was nearly over, she asked ‘Is it wrong to expect them to put effort in?”

Absolutely not. I know exactly how she feels and I know firsthand it gets tiring after a while to always be the ‘glue’ of the group or the one who initiates everything. In fact, when I look at some of the friends I’ve made over the years, I realised that for most of them, the only reason we’re still ‘friends’ is because I’ve made damm sure that we never lost contact.

I shouldn’t be so judgmental though, as I know it’s in some people’s personalities to not initiate anything even though they genuinely still want to continue the friendship. And I do know that certain circumstances do prevent really good friends from talking or seeing each other as often because there are other priorities. But when the situation is right for both parties and one still isn’t making any effort, that’s when I get annoyed.

It takes two people to make a longterm, MEANINGFUL, friendship work- not just one.

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Dreams DO come true

I’ve been awfully quiet for a while now and haven’t had the time to write as I have been blissfully holidaying in Thailand so forgive me.

A few weeks ago, I received the news that I was offered a place to study Law (honours)/ Arts at Monash University! For the many of you that don’t know, I’ve been aspiring/wishing/dreaming to study Law ever since I was young. And not just anywhere, but specifically at Monash Uni. (Well actually, I wanted to study at Harvard… but Monash is a lot more attainable). Believe me when I say I had everything worked out. I knew what my Majors were going to be, what societies I was going to join, what electives I wanted to do…I was a freak! As Monash U Law is ranked 15th in the world and 4th in Australia, a high ATAR (entrance score) is essential.

Throughout high school, I was always confident that I would reach this goal and used to (embarassingly) fantasise about what my life would be like there, the people I would meet etc. But unfortunately when it came to the final exams, I let my anxiety and nerves get the better of me, and ended up underperforming and receiving a lower score than the clearly in to Monash.

I was devastated

This is the biggest understatement as I was a miserable wreck straight after my exams. Getting out of bed was a daily struggle and it was tiresome to go through my normal routine. I felt like all my plans were messed up, that everything I had worked for was for nothing, and that my dream to study Law at Monash was shattered.

As time passed and as I shared my worries with people who cared about me, I found peace in accepting that everything happens for a reason, and maybe my happiness and success lay down a different path. By the time the official offers came out, I was happy and content with the offer I knew I would be getting from Deakin U.

So imagine my surprise when I wake up to an email telling me that I had an opportunity to study at the University I had always dreamed about! I was beyond thrilled! Fate, destiny, God or whatever you believe in had granted me a second chance. I now know, without a doubt that THIS is the path I’m supposed to be on.

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt from this is to always have faith. When life became haphazard and threw a wrench into my perfectly laid out plans, I handled it badly, thinking that I could no longer fulfill my dreams. But now I’ve realised that with a little bit of hard work and optimism, I can achieve any dream I want to- no matter how unobtainable it seems.

As always, leave your thoughts below

Ash xx

A friend in need is a friend indeed

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting up with one of my closest friends when I travelled to Singapore. There is something incredibly exciting about meeting friends in foreign countries as it holds this sense of adventure and you get to explore places  beyond your usual hangouts!  Anyway, she is currently doing a fancy paid internship in Singapore while I am touring South East Asia, so we thought it’d be a perfect opportunity to catch up. It had been MONTHS since I’d last seen Bec and I was quite excited to reunite and talk about all the exciting things that had happened to us since we last caught up.

Talking to her conjured all sorts of memories, but the one thing I contemplated after our reunion, was how I can always count on her to pull through for me. I’ve lost count the number of times that Bec has had to pick up the phone and hear me bawling my eyes out on the other end. She is always there to soothe the aches and provide the comfort,  but she is also there to tell me the realistic yet often harsh truth that I need to hear. Where some people only tend to bring you down, Bec always pushed me to strive for my best in all aspects of life. She’s the type of friend who remembers your important dates, the one who will surprise you with unexpected birthday gifts, and most importantly,  puts the effort into continuing the friendship. Without her constantly asking me to meet up or call and  ask how I am during the first few months of our friendship,  I’m ashamed to say I probably would have let the connection die as I wasn’t concerned about developing relationships at that age…
  2014 was a tough year as I was doing my final exams and she was pushing through her first year of Uni, so catching up often was very challenging.  Despite this,  we were always able to pick up where we last left off and just chat the night away. There is nothing I can’t confide in her.

This is only a very superficial description of what she has done for me, as the full list would amount to a very, VERY lengthy blog post. 

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There is an old saying that ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’ which basically means is that in times of adversity, your true friends will be the ones who stick with you throughout. If you’re in ‘need’ of help, the friends worth keeping will offer you comfort/advice/assistance no matter what. And I am incredibly lucky, no, EXTREMELY fortunate that I’ve found that person.

They say stress changes a person, but it can also weed out your true friends by providing a test of who will help you through the stressful times. Almost everybody will find that certain people in their life will fail that test, and thus drift away from them. It’s a tough, but necessary experience in order to continue growing. That said, everybody will also find that they DO have a true friend lurking in the shadows, always ready to provide a helping hand- and that is the greatest gift of all.

I’ve drifted apart from many friends, but I’ve also gained friendships and made significant connections with a number of incredible people. The beauty of realizing that there are still good, genuine people who honestly care about me and who value me for who I am outweighs and even removes the pain that usually comes after a loss.

As H.H Humphrey once said, “The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I’m lucky to have found it.”

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As always,feel free to leave your thoughts below 🙂
Ash xx

The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn, Is Just To Love… Yourself

As I’m starting (trying) to turn over a new leaf this year, I believe that one of the things I need to work on is to love every part of myself more. Or at least see the beauty in my imperfections. Like all change, it’s hard to do this every day and I often still find myself criticizing and moaning over my appearance and my body. That said, this post written by one of my favorite bloggers on WP, has eloquently expressed the lesson that all women (and even men) need to learn! Whether you need inspiration, a reminder that you’re perfect as you are, or looking for an insightful read, I believe this post needs to be read by everyone.

Enjoy!

Ash xx

Suzie Speaks

istock_loveyourselfI love being a woman. In particular, I love the process involved when getting ready for a night out and can often spend hours excitedly deciding on what to wear, carefully applying my make up, straightening or curling my hair, adding accessories, choosing shoes that look beautiful (and will undoubtedly make me lose the feeling in my feet and give me back ache after about half an hour). I do this solely for myself – I like to leave house before meeting my friends or with The Bloke feeling good about myself and my appearance. Those nights are special, a break from the daily grind of normal life and I think that occasionally it’s an uplifting experience to spend a little bit of time pampering myself after working hard all week and I don’t think that there is anything wrong with this. However, most of the time I dress very…

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Eat With Me: Chin Chin

Those who know me well will know that I’ve recently fallen in love with this amazing eatery in Melbourne called Chin Chin! It’s reputation had preceded itself and I’d heard people rave about it on foodie blogs and urban spoon, but I’d never understood the hype about it. Until I went.
Chin Chin is best described as an Asian fusion restaurant which mostly focuses on South-East Asian cuisine such as Thai. I’d been there a couple of times with my family, but it was only until my last visit in December when I really started to crave it.

I decided to take my good friend Chris there to welcome him back home after a month away in Hong Kong, and also to have someone to gush over the food with. It was a warm Monday night (roughly 6.30pm) and I’d expected there to be no queue since it was a weekday but alas, as soon as we approached 125 Flinders Lane we could see a large crowd milling outside the entrance. But, like I said to Chris, “It wouldn’t have been the full Chin Chin experience if we didn’t have to wait in line!”

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125 Flinders Lane

Fast forward 15 mins and we were finally greeted by the host. It was going to be another 45 min wait for a table for 2 until I requested a seat at the cocktail bar. Sitting at the bar is less private than a table as it’s communal and you basically rub shoulders with strangers, but on the flip side, you can talk to your partner more easily over the music and you get seated quicker, in our case only 30 mins. Under the restaurant is this really hip, relaxed bar, the Go Go bar, where people can sit, order a drink and a few nibbles while waiting, which really helped pass the time!

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Once finally seated at the bar, (which btw, means you get really good service from the bartenders!), Chris and I decided to opt for their recommended ‘Feed Me’ option. It’s basically a “Chef’s choice” type of thing,  where you leave it up to the server to pick some of the best dishes (tailored to your dietary requirements.) Long story short- they literally keep serving you meals until you enter a food coma! Chris and I counted 10 full sized servings that our waitress delivered to us and we nearly exploded from our massive food babies. I reckon that this option, as opposed to selecting your dishes yourself, is really great if it’s your first time there as you get to experience all their different specialties. Plus it’s great value for money!  The feed me option costs $69 per person (min 2 ppl) which equals to $139, but we calculated that ordering all 10 meals by ourselves would have cost us $179.

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All in all, Chris and I were incredibly happy with the experience and it’s definitely on our list to visit again! 

I’m not going to spoil all of Chin Chin’s surprises by telling you everything we had, but our best dishes that we most highly recommend include:

Crispy Barramundi and Green Apple Salad with sticky pork
The flavours in this dish was Ah-mazing! I never thought barramundi, apples and pork would ever go together but this combination was divine!

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Barramundi and green apple salad

Twice cook grass fed Beef Short Rib
The beef was so tender it fell off the bone and melted in my mouth. Definitely a must try!

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Excuse the average photography!  Was too excited to start eating to worry about decent photos 🙂

Tips and Tricks
1. Located on 125 Flinders Lane.  If walking towards Federation Square, turn left at Brunnettis in City Square and continue walking straight
2.There are no reservations so try and get there early, around 5 or 6pm for dinner, to avoid a massive wait
3. If going a la carte,  ask your waiter for their recommendations as you’re likely to be overwhelmed by their menu
4. $$$

Enjoy, and do tell me about your Chin Chin experiences if you do get a chance to try it!

Ash xx

“Comparison is the thief of joy”

I’ll admit, I was very reluctant to begin posting on this blog. It seems that amongst my peer group, people have turned towards making a blog as the new thing to past the time- especially fashion blogs. I think it’s yet another one of those phases that our generation goes through. First up was Facebook where everybody tried to get the most friends and post status updates as often as possible. Second was Tumblr, where people reblogged countless images and competed for the most followers. In the last 2 years, it’s been Instagram where people post multiple selfies, food, more selfies, and once again focus their attention on raking in the most likes. Follow for Follow anyone?

Social media does have its perks. I can see what my friends overseas are up to and it’s an easy way to let everyone know when you’re doing something exciting or eating really good food. (#foodporn) But it does have major drawbacks. I was flicking through a magazine when I read an article linking social media to depression and low morale in an adolescent’s life. It said that we are conditioned to post only the best ( and usually unrealistic) version of ourselves in order to keep up with everybody else’s seemingly perfect life. As you can imagine, pretending to be perfect is exhausting and can lend itself to serious self-esteem issues when a person’s self-image does not match their ideal self. What makes it worse is that nobody posts absolutely everything they go through. On a typical teenager’s newsfeed you’ll see smiling faces (caked of course), couples photos and designer brands bought by so and so’s partner (or parents most likely) . On my feed, that is a guarantee.  But what you don’t see are the crying faces when one is upset or the bloated tummies that society deems is not bikini body ready. What ends up happening is you get people comparing their dark, down days to other people’s highlight reel and thinking they’re not good enough, or they’ll never be perfect.

I’m not saying don’t use social media. I enjoy using Facebook as a platform to share my adventures with my friends and update my relatives overseas about life in Melbourne.  Just don’t hinge your self-worth  on it. Remember that not everything is as it seems, and everybody goes through dark days. Most importantly, don’t use it as the only method of connecting with your friends and letting them know they’re valued.  Sure, I enjoy the comments left by people but that will never beat the love and happiness I’ll feel when I receive an actual text or phone call letting me know you’re thinking of me. Better yet, I’d love to see you in person!

I stumbled onto this post (ironically on Instagram) which sums it all up perfectly.

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Foster and strengthen your relationships in real life, not on the comments you get on your photos.

As I said at the start, I was nervous about posting and letting people know I have a blog as I was scared they would think I’m just copying everybody else. But like I said in my very first post, a lot has happened to me that I want to reflect on and share. I am most perfectly capable and have the skills to write, so why not? I enjoy writing and I’m doing it for myself and that’s the best reason to start anything. So for anybody who is reluctant to do something they’ve never done before, my advice is to make sure you’re doing it for yourself and not just to fit in with other people. Forget the cynics and ignore those with doubts,  because those people who sit and judge based on social media and who have nothing better to do than measure your worth from your likes or your follows don’t deserve a second of your time or thoughts.

Good luck my lovelies!

Ash xx

The Reason Why

I have started and stopped many things in my life. I tried to learn the piano at least 3 times before stopping, and each time I only managed to get up to the 1st Grade. I’ve enrolled into acting and dancing classes, joined and rejoined the gym and began many projects which sadly remain unfinished.

Some would call me uncommitted, and I’m inclined to agree, but don’t make up your mind about me just yet. I believe that things happen when they’re supposed to happen. Maybe 6 year old me wasn’t ready to play the piano, but 18 year old me might…. (Probs not) But that’s for another blog post.

In my teenage years, I’ve tried starting a new blog again and again before deciding it was stupid and attempting to delete it from cyberspace FOREVER. I used to gush about cute boys in my class and…nope, it was basically just about cute boys.  Back then at the ages of 14 and 15, I was not mature enough to be able to write about anything worth reading.

The point is, I rarely finish anything I start. Not the projects I initiate, anyway. But having finished Year 12 and been granted 4 months of holidays (YES!), I decided a new project was in store. One I’m determined to actually finish. Year 12 was tough and I was forced to deal with so many anxiety causing events (both school-related and personal.) But now that 2015 is upon us, I have been able to look back on 2014 and reflect on how much I have changed- for the better!

So after all that, the reason why I’m starting this blog is so I can have a space to express my miscellaneous ideas, my dreams for the future, all my new experiences and the lessons I have learnt. I hope you all enjoy following my random thoughts and rants.

Ash xx