Category Archives: Thoughts

Saying goodbye to my Instagram (@lollollynn)

Apparently social media addiction is a thing, and I think I have it.

I still remember my first Instagram photo, it was a picture of 8 subway sandwiches lined up in order. I didn’t post it, my friends did. They were introducing me to this new photo sharing app. Back then Instagram wasn’t such a big thing yet, and I didn’t really post much.

After I left high school, Instagram was slowly growing into one of those popular apps like Facebook and Twitter, and I found myself always scrolling down through my feed, admiring beautiful pictures taken by people that I follow. I admit looking at pictures of people having a great time with their friends, rocking that adorable outfit they had put on for a date, travelling to places with amazing scenery, it made me felt bad about myself, and thoughts about how my life is dull and boring was always lingering in my mind. I always felt sad and down after spending time on Instagram.

I wasn’t obsessed yet at that point, I didn’t have a lot of Instagram followers anyway, until one day, I posted a picture of me standing under the sun in some weird backache pose. That post gained about 50 likes, which was a lot for me considering the fact that the most likes I had so far were around 20 likes, plus normally I don’t post pictures of me.

I remembered how surprised and happy I was, and that’s how it started. I had dinner with friends, posted that online; I went hiking with friends, posted that online; I wore something gorgeous for a event, posted that online; the most extreme was, I travelled for 10 days, posted a picture of me every single day. And everytime someone likes my photo, I feel satisfied, I feel noticed, and I felt like I belonged in the Instagram community, living a colourful life as well.

Did I feel better? I thought I did, but it got worse. I was never satisfied no matter how many people liked and commented on my posts. I always felt down no matter what when I look at other people’s posts. I was comparing myself to others, and beating myself up (mentally) for not being good enough, for getting lesser likes compared to them.

It was an impulse move. I just posted a picture of me hanging out with a group of people that I work with 2 days ago, but now, it’s all gone, forever. I deleted my Instagram account today! At first, I felt relieved that I did it, but after that, thoughts started creeping in. Now people won’t know where I went, what I did, and how much fun I had. I feel like I’m going through identity crisis right now. What if people forget my existence? What if people think I’m not cool anymore?

It’s my first day, and I’m really panicking a little bit inside, but I hope, no, I will get over this. I’m not an entertainer, my purpose in life right now is not to entertain people with little details going on in my life. I have so much more other meaningful things to do like learning a new skill instead and focusing on my studies.

I’m not saying social media is bad. However in my case, Instagram impacts me more negatively than the benefits it can offer. Serious talk, social media is not bad, it’s the mindset of the people who are using it affects the experience they have there. I believe all inventions started out with good intentions. You don’t blame the knife for killing people, you blame the person who holds it, right?

Update: I ended up opening a new account for myself hah, so much for quitting instagram ==

It does not feel good to be sick

It’s been 3 days since I was sick. My head feels heavy, my throat is sore, my nose is stuffed and I have a fever 😦

As a student, I really hope I would miraculously recover instantly. I do not like the idea of spending my monthly allowance on visiting the doctor, who knows how much that would cost me.

It got me thinking somehow. After I graduate and start working, I really must take care of my health: eat right, exercise, sleep well and maintain my hygiene of course. It sounds like a lot but I wouldn’t want to spend my low income on spendings that can be avoided like a visit to the doctor when I’m sick.

It’s not only the money, being sick affects my performance as well. I always feel tired, which is bad because I have an exam coming up in 2 days, can’t memorize or concentrate very well when I’m sick. Being sick is bad for productivity.

That is why leading a healthy lifestyle is very important, not only to me, to everyone. I know it can be hard sometimes when we are all so busy with our tasks and jobs. Be flexible but also be discipline at the same time.

Few ideas:

  1. Sleep before 11pm (if possible)
  2. Opt for more natural foods in your diet instead of processed ones
  3. Walk more often!
  4. Exercise at least 30mins a day

These are my goals to achieve during my 4 years here in university. Get well soon to me 🙂

Stay healthy; Stay happy 😉

Never Look Back

Always finding myself lingering in my own thoughts, regretting decisions that I have made. It’s time to tell myself to focus on the present and stop looking back and dreaming about how my life would had been if I made that specific choice.

For now, I will be pursuing PHYSIOTHERAPY and I will be stuck with it till I graduate. Honestly, during this 2 months while in university, I did reconsider my choice a few times. I always wonder, how did I end up here? I admit regretting my choice a little, almost everybody in my class choice physiotherapy because they were passionate about getting involved in the related field, me? My dreams do not collide with theirs, I know deep down inside me I really wanted to pursue veterinary medicine.

All those ‘if’s that I told myself: If I did this, I would have became that. If I did go to Indonesia, I would have been on my way to becoming a veterinarian; If I didn’t rejected my offer to study BSc at Unimelb, I would have been happily enjoying my tertiary education life in Australia; If I didn’t go to CHKL, I would have applied for matriks or STPM.

‘Time waits for no man’ I have to agree with this statement. You can earn back the money you had spent with time, but you can never earn back the past, the time you had wasted, with money.

‘It’s okay’, I told myself. I can’t study veterinary medicine anymore. No use trying to find alternate ways to pursue this dream. I can’t afford to waste time anymore, imagine how old I will be by the time I finally get my Bachelor’s degree (24 yrs old, I just cannot accept that half of my 20s wasted in university, not to mention studying a course that I’m not really passionate about). It’s time to stop and start setting a new goal in my life.

First, graduate from my bachelor’s degree.

Second, get a job.

Third, even better if I manage to find one overseas.

Forth, save up.

Fifth, pursue Masters in Veterinary Physiotherapy in the UK

Sixth, graduate and plan this part of my life after I completed the third part.

Feel so much better now after pouring out my thoughts in this blog. Blogging is such a great platform to express my thoughts. Well, hope I have more material to blog about in the future.

Cheers,

Ashlyn

 

Being Honest with Myself

Facing my fears today, writing a story about my past.

Recently, I watched a video of Ellen giving a commencement speech at Tulane University’s 2009 Commencement. ‘ To me, the most important thing in your life is to live your life with integrity, and not to give in to peer pressure, to try to be something that you are not.’

This hit me really hard.

To be very honest with myself, I wasn’t very happy during my high school life. Everyone around me seem to have great memories of it, but to me, it was an awful past that I can never run away from.

I didn’t want to go to that school. My mother signed me up for the entrance exam, and I happily passed it and got into the first class in my year. First day, I was happily chatting with my peers around me; but when night falls, the feelings crash into me like huge waves at sea. I was overwhelmed with fear, fear of leaving my comfort zone and living in a place full of people I don’t know. I wasn’t ready to adapt, and so I cried terribly. I became very quiet the next day, not interacting with anyone at all, and everyone started keeping their distance away from me. My mother did come around everyday for the first week to check on me, and every time I see her, I would burst into tears and begged her to transfer me to a public school near my house, but she didn’t bother to.

First year, I didn’t get along with my roommates, not that we hate each other, just that I didn’t know how to talk to them, I was afraid of how they would judge me, as a stupid girl who cries everyday and can’t grow up. I ended up thinking too much and not joining any of their conversations and activities at all. So I requested to switch rooms, hoping to start my hostel life again with new people. During my second year, I had crazy roommates who have this special bond towards each other and they are lots of fun to be around with. They were so outgoing and friendly, which was such a contrast to my shy, introverted personality. I started feeling better, more happier, but I was still very low in self confidence and I hated myself.

Third year, I was horrified when I found out they had transferred me to another room, by ‘they’ I meant the hostel management. Unsure of the reason behind this, I spent another year living in minimal communication with my fellow roommates. I was back to square one again, not knowing how to talk to my roommates. I always went downstairs to my old room and hangout with my ex-roommates instead. As for school, I would try hard to blend in with my peers. Unfortunately, after hiding myself away from people since first year, I couldn’t bring up the courage to actually relax and show my true self when I was interacting with other people. I was being very cautious, I fear judgement, if others might think badly about me. I do talk to my classmates, but I wouldn’t hang out with them after classes. The only friends that I truly have are just a handful.

During my forth year living in the hostel, I learnt to accept the fact that I won’t be moving anywhere anymore and these people would be my roommates till I graduate. Sure I was still awkward with some of them, but I feel more at ease now. To be honest, I am only close to a few of my roommates, but overall we led a happy and peaceful hostel life.

I felt happier when I was in my room. I actually dreaded going to classes everyday. Seeing all these people circled by big groups of friends, I couldn’t stop comparing myself with them and it made me felt really bad about myself, sometimes I wonder if everybody hates me, but I know it’s because I’m so awkward with people and still, a terribly quiet person. And, when people ask me to run errands for them, I’ll do it just to make myself more likable, but after they got what they wanted, I won’t be in the conversation anymore. At some point, I wondered if I had depression or social anxiety, but I never went to a therapist to find out. I even thought about commiting suicide, but I just didn’t have the courage to do it.

I’m truly ashamed of myself during high school, I was actually quite happy to leave that place. It felt like this big burden has fallen of my shoulders. Yes I do have friends that made my school life happy, but I’m pretty sure none of them knew how I actually felt deep down inside. I always wished that I could turn back time, and I never had to attend this school.

But come to think about it, if I didn’t come here in the first place, I wouldn’t have met these few awesome friends that I have in my life right now. Since we cannot alter the past, we can still pave the pathways for our future. After graduation, I forced myself to go get a job in a cafe, to overcome my fear of interacting with strangers. It was a good start, and after a few different jobs and college, I started building up more self confidence and seem to have better understanding of my own personality.

Now I don’t really fear talking to strangers anymore and I learnt that it’s okay to be alone, but sometimes I might still fear judgement from other people. In this case, I will always remind myself ‘The less you judge others, the less you’ll be judged’, beacuse seriously, nobody cares about what embarassing things you have done, or how ugly you look today,so why bother with it too much? Only people who are insecure will judge others because they also have doubts on their own worth and values.Have a stronger heart and move on, because life is too short to waste it on thinking about how others will judge you.

For now, I will live my life with integrity and never try to be something that I’m not for the sake of impressing other people, because I’m tired of lying to myself . Just remember, be honest with yourself, it’s the key to true happiness in life.

Sincerely,

Ashlyn

*I’m not a professional writer, just expressing my thougts*

 

 

 

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Do You Have A Hobby?

“Do you have a hobby?” This was a question brought up by the dean of Health & Life Sciences during my orientation yesterday. Everyone took turns to answer, until it was my turn, I still couldn’t come up with one. Confused, I answered: ‘I don’t have a hobby’. She returned me with this worried look, “It’s okay, there is still time for you to get one before you graduate”. After that, a presentation from Career Services show us what kind of candidates are desirable by employers. Not surprised, having a hobby was one of them.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of hobby is a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation. So any activity that I enjoy being engage in outside of my work or study time is consider a hobby, right? Does watching dramas and movies count? How bout reading articles about nutrition and health online? and learning a new language? Occasionally guitar strumming? Tidying my room? There are so many things that I do during my free time, but are these all considered hobbies?

Ever since I was a kid, schools would never stop asking what kind of hobbies do we have. The common ones that are always repeated by our fellow teachers would be: reading, playing sports or music. In Malaysia, STEM subjects are always prioritized before arts and humanities. So excelling in STEM studies while having a ‘artistic’ hobby, such as playing the piano; or maybe a ‘sporty’ hobby like football, makes the person more desirable to their employers. Maybe that’s why parents nowadays send their children to all sorts of classes at an early age, in preparation for competitive job markets. It’s better to win at the starting point, right?

For me, I get involved in a certain activity because I’m interested in it; I learned how to play the guitar because I want to play and sing my favorite songs with it; I learned how to read Korean because I just can’t wait for the subtitles to come out, but I never truly call them my hobby, because I feel like I’m not commited enough to actually call these activities my hobby. 

Having a hobby that you are passionate about is a good thing. I believe interests brings out your passion AND determination, which makes a great potion for motivation, and having motivation is what keeps us moving, to continue doing stuff that we love, venturing deeper, believing we will achieve great results someday.

To me, I have yet found my passion in life, but I won’t stop exploring, because ‘you will never know if you like it unless you have tried it’ says my father. So get out there and start exploring yourselves today!!

*My writing is not perfect but I’m just trying to express my thoughts on this subject.