Thursday, 29 October 2015

law mates

i was told not to worry if i didn't seem to find 'my friends' during the two weeks of freshers, and that i would easily make friends with people on my course. and here i am, jumping into the fourth week of uni with 5 new friends and a banterous whatsapp group.

we've been doing well at jumping into this law course; ploughing through readings and work together, though nights out seem to have gotten the better of some of us.......

hangover 1

hangover 2
laughing fits are probably at the pinnacle of all the times we spend together, particularly when we're tired and have to sit through another 45 minutes of a lecture. i really appreciate having these people around me; if i don't, i would most likely be falling asleep in all my lectures right now and dreading having to walk into uni at 9am.

we decided to go out for a good meal together one evening - a cheeky nandos being the highest voted. it was certainly my first time having a 'proper' meat meal since coming to uni, as cooking meat always takes so much prep if its not sausages or bacon.

i can't wait to create more memories with these group of people. this meal certainly will be the first of many more cheekiness to come.

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Saturday, 24 October 2015

hearty meal with the older siblings i never had.

last week, i had the privilege of spending my weekend with some of my good friends from london. they had made a trip down to southampton and was staying at jenny' house, and decided we should all have a good hearty meal together. it was definitely a change, as we were so used to meeting up in london settings. but change is good, and its always fun when you have your close friends with you! 

i got a bit lost finding my way to jenny's house, but eric and jake managed to locate me and so i got there in one piece! after a bit of rugby (everyone's going crazy mad for the world cup games at the mo), it was dinner time. jenny cooked up rice with a few classic filipino dishes including adobo, a marinated chicken pot. it was very, very hearty, to say the least and i was so satisfied once again with good company and good food.

james has always been the older brother i've never had, and kindly dropped me back at my halls that evening (also because it was past 12am and my last bus had gone!). it's so different to feel babied and looked after again after spending the past couple of weeks attempting to be an adult and grow independent. i'm not complaining though!

it's such a joy to see old friends again, particularly this lot as they are all a few years older than me so always passed down good advice and encouragement (not to say they that mature though ;)). they're such supporting brothers and sisters in christ and i really thank God that we had the opportunity to meet up again - it was so good to see familiar faces again after settling in to a different environment. 

i also got to meet harry, the cutest little dog, who chilled with me as we watched the apprentice and st.vincent together, along with red velvet cake, blueberry cheesecake ben and jerry ice cream and fruit (for that balanced diet). my friends all came to the church i've been settling in for the past few weeks the next morning, and by chance it was also the big church lunch, so they got to know some of my new church friends too. we decided to chill back at jenny's for the afternoon before squeezing 6 of us in a 5 seater car for the journey. what a perfect weekend God has blessed me with.

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Sunday, 18 October 2015

becoming 'normal'

i think it's safe to say i'm starting to get into the swing of things now. and about time too; after all, i'm onto my third week of uni already! it's so awesome: the fact i'm in a complete new environment, am forced to adapt to change, and actually managing it! i'm beginning to see my everyday routine form, which consists of lectures, tutorials, shopping, cooking and reading; and even though many people had already warned me about the freedoms in uni, i'm still amazed at how i can pretty much do what i want every day - my life is in my hands.

food shopping has proven to be harder than i thought. it's not just about shopping cheaply, it is also about shopping just enough for one person - not more, not less, or else you either waste money (and energy carrying all them bags) or end up hungry when you go to bed. i've also learnt to be flexible - i've eaten porridge for dinner, pizza for breakfast, and i guess it's about eating around what you've got and being creative at meal times. shopping wisely is such an important element of saving money - unfortunately, i've been too lazy to walk to the larger sainsbury's, so had to deal with the over-priced stuff at the local, corner shop version. i've learnt to shop for so called 'versatile' foods too - ones which you can mix and match easily whilst filling you up: bananas, milk, sausages, eggs and bacon to name a few.

i've only travelled back home once so far, so Skype and FaceTime has got me going. it's tough not seeing the ones you love all the time, but its all part of the experience - growing up and maturing as a person. i guess this way i will also value our family time so much more.

mannnn. i knew textbooks weren't going to come in cheap, but wow they really are pricey for what seems like a stack of printed paper which i doubt will be all read by the end of the year. i managed to snag a bundle off a second year student for £80 through Facebook, but then i've come to realise that even within the bundle it didn't have all the books i needed and resorted to forking out another £40 for two more textbooks. guess these books will cause the greatest dent in my student bank.

last but not least, fast food. embracing uni life means choosing not to eat the veg your mother forces you to, and going with what your heart thinks. the other day, a maccy dees was just too irresistible and so i called up my friend jan and walked down for a big bite of burger; the taste of satisfaction.

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Thursday, 8 October 2015

etain snaps.

here's just a quick dump of some silly pictures i took with my best friend last sunday. we sure don't meet up spontaneously like we always did anymore as i'm so far away; but every time we text, snapchat, tag each on silly posts on instagram, call, it feels like nothing's between us. i'm so glad i know this gal and i can call her my best friend.

back in the days when apple was still relatively new, it would be a 'thing' to go the apple shop and takes millions of these photo booth pics and post them on Facebook. wow. those were the days...

miss you etain! X

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Sunday, 4 October 2015

london snaps.

waterloo station
epic drummer using household items
i'm officially back in southampton now after an epic long weekend in london to see my family and friends. this was more than a spontaneous trip home and many people were surprised i came back so quick! nonetheless, it was such a joyous and blessed time; it's always good to come back home no matter how long you've spent away.

this sunday i was off to church with a suitcase carrying an iron, and extension plug, some mango sweets and some socks, and i'm glad i made it all the way in one piece as travelling around london, getting on/off the tube and buses can be real hectic (if ya know what i mean). i got to the train station early as i didn't want to run with a suitcase, and there, i basked in the morning sun and crisp air.

i joined the bible study this morning studying mark, and then attended the english service. after catching up with many people and saying goodbyes (again), we went for a classic cheeky nandos where we ordered two platters of chicken wings; have i mentioned how good their peri salted chips were?!

the boys helped me carry my luggage around, and we double dared them to ask a random person where victoria station was in a chinese accent. lolz.

i caught the coach back from victoria at 5:30 and got back to southampton around 8pm for a quick pizza and FaceTime with loksze. what a weekend; lectures start tomorrow!! peace.

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Saturday, 3 October 2015

before we're 130 miles apart.

yesterday was the last day i got to spend with loksze before he leaves for university and we become 130 miles apart. we're both so thankful for technology and that we're able to FaceTime everyday, but it just won't be the same. we decided to make the most of our day, and to catch breakfast together but instead just nestled in starbucks with a white chocolate mocha and coconut latte for two hours. 

we then met up with my grandparents for lunch at chinatown and managed to have a good catch up over some long overdue chinese food before i left for southampton again. loksze and i then spent the day walking around london, 1) to find tube stations with someone at the ticket office to sort out my railcard, and 2) just because we love to walk and talk. we ended up visiting tube stations all around london including waterloo, leicester sq, tottenham court road, holborn, tower hill and oxford circus as all the offices were closed; it was only on our way back that we managed to find one. we didn't mind all that fuss however, as we love just walking around aimlessly anyway. 

we did a bit of cheeky shopping on oxford street, and i managed to snag this pair of football boots! it was more of a spontaneous shop, but i believed loksze knew his football shoes and gave good advice as to which were the best ones for me, so i was better off getting a pair whilst he was with me ;)

crazy hair dos from the wind on the tube
after stopping by at a rooftop garden in tower hill, we decided to get the tube back. unlucky for us though, the word 'rush hour' completely crossed our minds and we ended up witnessing packed tubes and crazy londoners squashing along the platforms.

we had dinner together with loksze's family as he was leaving tomorrow morning, and it was good to see them all again so soon. loksze took me all the way home this evening despite not having finished packing, and even missed the last buses on the way home as it was so late.

i'm so thankful for this guy and will miss him so damn much. an 130 mile long distance relationship will be hard and a complete new and challenging experience for the both of us, but these seemingly long 3 years may just fly by quick (hopefully!). though we are far apart from each other, i'm sure our hearts will be close, and i pray that God will bless our relationship during these couple of years. so long lok lok, miss you already!

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Friday, 2 October 2015

back to london!

a week ago, my school friend jan, who also came southampton uni with me, had to go back to london for a family occasion and so asked if i wanted to come along and get the coach with her. as the coming two weeks would be inductions, i had fridays free and so decided to come back to london for the weekend to see my family and my boyfriend, who is heading to uni on saturday. 

as we booked our tickets, we realised jan's last lecture was in the morning, and mine in the afternoon, and so we ended up going back at different times. i had a flat mate, however, who was from india and wanted to surprise his mum in london before she returned to india. we travelled together and i had the pleasure of teaching him the complicated and busy london tube transport for his first encounter with the london hustle and bustle during rush hour. i really did wish him the best of luck.

after 3 hours of sitting on the coach and many delays getting into london from all the traffic, i arrived at victoria at around half 7. there i found my boyfriend waiting upon my arrival; i had missed him so damn much. after saying bye to my flat mate, we decided to grab some good grub. as we are now both uni students, our discounted travel cards have expired so we don't get free bus travel anymore :( as a result, we decided to walk to chinatown which took about half an hour. as much as i love walking, unfortunately it did not help that i had not had food since 1pm.

my cute date for the evening

i hadn't eaten rice in so long as i've just been living off pasta, fruit and cereal at uni. we decided to eat at misato, well known for their massive plates of food at a cheap, friendly price, and after taking my first bite of dinner at 9pm, i full on felt like i was back at home with the sweet smell of rice.

we strolled around chinatown, admiring the lanterns put up from mid autumn festival, and then saw the london lights before heading home. 

typing up my day right now from my very own bed feels so good - home is always the best.

goodnight london!

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Thursday, 1 October 2015

alone but not alone.

on sunday, i was back at christ church. i can't believe one whole week of uni has already passed by - a lot has changed since the first time i visited the church. i wouldn't say the week was quick, as i did feel very homesick at times, but it hasn't been a total disaster and i would say i've settled in pretty well now.

//again, i met up with jenny and we caught up before i joined the queue for the student lunch. there, i sat on a table where i met many new people - one doing chemistry, one psychology, one history, and one who has graduated. i had a great time chatting to everyone, especially with a guy who shared his experience working with roma people in romania, which was similar to my two summers spent in croatia with the gypsies there.

after speaking and getting to know other people for nearly 2 hours, i headed back where i chilled, before meeting two guys at the reception to attend a 6oclock service intended for students. the service was so inviting and chill to say the least, and i loved every second of it. i'm at that stage where i'm starting to recognise familiar faces, but are still forgetting people's names. but that's ok, it's where the laughs begins! 

students were offered a free dinner - chicken curry! and after that, i was introduced to the idea of connect groups, at which you get into a group for the year and have a time of bible study and prayer together. i was placed into group 1, a lovely group of which theres another two guys who are in the same halls as me. we studied the first chapter of romans, discussed about the gospel and what it means to us. i got back to my halls with 4 guys who were also heading back, and bumped into a group of people sitting on the stairs in my block. i ended up chilling with them to find two of the girls went to a sister school of mine in london, and then had a good chat with a bubbly (perhaps also drunk) guy who was doing economics. after a bit of pre-drinking in my flat, they headed out and i whisked off to FaceTime loksze before bedtime.//

as i was walking to church this morning, my shadow became a reminder of the constant nature of God. He is always there, next to us, following us, around us. He never leaves us despite the fact we may sway away from him and we may not even notice His presence. God is eternal and His love for us will never fade. though i am away from home, God is with me, just like my shadow follows, and there is such comfort and satisfaction in returning to Him.

i'm so thankful that i am able to move away from home as much as i miss it. though academically i haven't quite started learning yet, i am beginning to learn more about myself and my relationship with God. as much as it is hard to own up to, at the comfort of my home, i don't always seek the need for God. an 'easy life' offers me greater distractions to maintaining a close relationship with God, rather through the experiences of this week, i definitely feel my walk with Him has changed. this is not to say that i have reached a milestone in my relationship with Jesus, but rather as a mark of a new journey in Christ at which my love for the Lord will only grow deeper.

and to close off, here is a song which was sung today at the 6oclock service which serves as a reminder of the faithfulness of God.

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