Hello, it’s me

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Hello,
it’s me,
I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet
to go over, everything

***

Hello, how are you?
It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry
I hope that you’re well…

***

(The following post is written as a stream of consciousness and thus I hope that it can truly reflect my feelings and thoughts and it gets quite depressing… (you’ve been warned?)) 

***

Hello, I do hope you are all doing well. It’s been so long since I’ve written here that I can’t help  but feel like I am indeed saying “hello” from the other side (as Adele has once said), because I’ve been shut out from the blogging world by a phenomenon known as the IB.

The last time I wrote here, was when I had finished my IGCSE exams, and I’d genuinely wanted to continue writing but I’ve been so occupied by the IB (which in case you do not know what this is, it’s essentially an “exit-examination” from secondary school such as the SATs and ACTs for the US, A-levels for the UK and in my case the IB which stands for the International Baccalaureate). Hence, I have not been able to write for so long.

Over the past year, I’ve been so busy trying to study, to take good notes, engage within the school community more and all of this has piled up to the point where I could barely breathe and I was desperately chasing after each assignment without being able to really take a moment to stop and think.

I’d hate to start off this new phase of blogging with a rant as such but I do feel the need to express the views of an honest, humbled teenager who has had this summer to rejuvenate and to truly reflect on her views on the current lifestyle of a typical teenager.

***

It’s a bittersweet feeling, to have to say that I feel like I’ve lived my past year (year 12) as a blur. There have been so many ups and downs and as cliché as that sounds, I don’t think I can find any better ways to express this. As I prepare myself to be ready for university where I intend on studying Medicine (although I’m a long long way off from that goal), I feel like that I wasn’t really breathing as I did everything over the year. If I were to depict the past year of school in a metaphor, it would be as if there was a trail of fire racing towards me each day and I would have to run back and forth with a pail of water to put out the fire which would never stop growing and only increased until the moment school ended in June. 

I’ve never had such a vigorous, intense year of studying and to say that I’ve changed a lot in the past year is an understatement and if you’ve read this far, thank you for listening to the ramblings of an ordinary 17 year old who is yet to discover herself, and the world she lives in.

I feel very depressed at the thought of how my life has progressed so quickly. Growing up in Hong Kong, I’ve been brought in an environment where academic excellence is the key to survival. There are so many competitors not only amongst other schools, other classes but even among your closest friends and the world can be extremely cruel when it comes to fighting that one spot on a summer course which doesn’t even guarantee you getting in to university. It saddens me that the world is so built upon this form of politics. I admit I might seem very immature and can be quite simple minded because all I feel responsible for is to fulfil my duties to myself, my family and my friends. I honestly could not care less for the competition out there, and I am not one to step on others to get to places but clearly this is not the case for others. (I tend to consider myself the bigger person in most situations, as arrogant as that sounds). Thus, I’ve grown to be quite cynical despite not being so myself, which is a stupid thing as I should be adapting to this as Einstein once said ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change’.

Taking the on IB, has totally changed my view of my life. I was very willing to engage with the challenges that the curriculum would bring and hearing how the older students had ‘no lives’, ‘no sleep’ because of the syllabus, I knew that a lot of challenges and hurdles were awaiting me. I am not complaining about the challenges in anyway as of now (although I admit that I did complain about every single piece of work that I did in year 12; I probably spent more time complaining than working) but the fact that I lost myself over the past year trying to desperately put out the fire before me, just trying to get the level 7 (which is like an A in the IB) has cost me my passion for learning and it has taken me the past few weeks in the summer to fully recharge and regain that sort of determination.

I know that the world demands results as do I from myself and my fellow peers. I just wish that there was a balance between working and playing-and trust me, I have not played a single  game on my phone or laptop this entire year yet I am still here feeling that I have so much to learn, yet too little time.

Getting back to the point, it is my studies that have prevented me from writing here and there should be no excuses for this but I do want to apologise for not posting and responding. So, I hope we can start afresh from here, but in 2 weeks, I will be taking the UKCAT, starting school and thus I would not be posting from probably another year. I’m finally entering my last year of high school and it amazes me that time has gone by so quickly. I almost don’t want to grow up-I know that everyone says that university will be the best years of your life but how can I anticipate that when I feel like I’m not fully living-at least breathing in my last 2 years of high school?

I feel like I’m walking a tightrope however not amongst the clouds, but amidst a huge dark cloudy mass of fog that I can’t seem to escape until I finish the diploma. I wish I could’ve spent more time trying to explore the possible options that I could’ve taken. I can’t help but feel that I’m such a narrow-minded, limited person in comparison to my peers and whilst the IB diploma aims to broaden their students’ horizons, I can’t help but feel that they’ve ultimately failed to do so by giving their students such a vigorous, demanding curriculum which has left me with no time to explore the world around me. I’m only going to be 16 once, yet my time being 16 has been spent almost constantly just working and worrying in a cyclical manner. I may have occasional bouts of hope but an equal, if not greater period of time depressed as I try to finish all the work that has been set before me. I look to the education curriculums in countries such as Norway, Sweden and all the other Scandinavian countries and wonder why can’t Hong Kong be like that? Do we have to push all young students, children and even infants to the breaking point of their learning capacity?

But, I’m in no place to change this yet (who knows, I might just try to revolutionise the education system of the world with my own examinations and syllabus)! However, I hope that in the coming year, maybe I’ll have some time to comment on the posts of those of you who continue to follow me, even if I don’t have the time to post, I will still read what you’ve spent hours writing about. I’m truly grateful for your support despite my absence for the past year.

So, I’ve decided to start this beginning with a hello.

Hello,
Nice to meet you.
I hope you’ll embrace this new me that will continue to grow and change as each day passes.

***

After a few weeks to really think over the fact that my heart wasn’t there for the past year or so, I’ve finally had some time for myself to listen to music, read literature, all of which made me feel slightly more human again. I’ve been so focused on each task that headed towards me as if on a factory production line that I could only focus on the task at hand; I barely thought about the future hence I feel as though I haven’t been ‘living’, felt truly ‘alive’ or ‘happy’ until now although I’m not sure I can really return to the state I was in prior to starting this syllabus. However, healing takes time and I finally feel comfortable to write this so it is now, that I feel ready to re-introduce myself.

***

Hello, I’m Flora. I’m 16, going on 17 in just a few weeks. Over the past year, I’ve studied like crazy, made many new friends and a lost a few of those I believed in. I’ve began to understand how complex the world really is and as much as it depresses me, it fascinates me and makes me realise how much stronger I need to be in order to survive. I’ve continuously tried to aim for perfection and success when really I should take the quote from the famous Indian 3 idiots film, ‘Pursue excellence, and success will follow’ as all this time I’ve been trying to chase and hope for success without putting in the sufficient effort to achieve it.

I feel like the world is filled with so much potential and so much sadness and I’ve come to realise how important it is to dream and think big. I feel so much guilt for focusing on the present activities at hand to the point where I forgot to plan for the future as the past school year had gone by so quickly.

I’ve become very disillusioned to the world as I look back on how I idolised many youtubers when I was 12-15, and now I realise that their achievements are honestly quite superficial although I’ll never be someone who is popular.

For those of you curious about the IB, I’m currently taking Chemistry, Math and English Literature as my Higher Level subjects, Psychology, French and Biology as my Standard Level subjects. I admit that this is quite the unique and admittedly difficult combination (so essentially I did screw myself over when I chose these subjects) but if I succeed, I do think that the satisfaction that comes with it will be worthwhile.

However, despite all the changes that have happened over the year, the one thing that hasn’t changed about me is my passion for food which I love, with all my heart. A warm bowl of mushroom soup can easily change my day to a better one. I can’t count the amount of times where I’ve felt like I just wanted to go home and cry and escape school-this might not seem shocking to most but to me, I’ve always loved school and the fact that I wanted to escape so badly scared me to the core. I was afraid of losing determination to study, of losing hope. For someone who has had it quite easy for most of her childhood, the sudden difficulties and pressure was a lot to handle.

But before I get too carried away as I look at the clock and see that I’ve been writing this for a good hour or so, I want to say hello, and I hope that I will be able to share so brief short posts on my trip this summer holiday which allowed me to rejuvenate.

Thank you.

Love, Flora

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