Posted in chit chat

Short little Mental Health Talk

Often, we tend to neglect our mental health. Especially in this fast-paced society, time is money and we are always focused on maximising our effectiveness and efficiency. We think of how to get things done in the shortest possible time. Almost all of us know that mental health is important. But do we really know why is it important?

Well, honestly, I don’t. I am just aware that good mental health is crucial for us. For me, I know that I tend to be nervous quite easily. For instance, when teachers start calling names to answer questions, when it is time for us to introduce ourselves to the class, my palms get really sweaty and I can feel my heart race. I think such feeling is pretty normal for an introvert, but I don’t want to feel this way! Some seem relaxed and all but is it because they are naturally an extrovert? I think all these are probably linked to one’s mental health. (Do correct me if I am wrong!)

Improving my mental health is still a work-in-progress for me. I have heard that meditation helps. Unfortunately, I just cannot do it every single day. I tried to develop meditation into a habit but I have a problem trying to sustain it. I feel like I don’t have the patience to sit down, clear my mind, focus on my breathing, be aware of my surroundings… For those who have been consistently meditating daily for the past few years, I would love to learn how you started meditating and how do you diligently carry it out every day. What kind of changes did you see overtime? How does meditation better your life? And, how does your mental health improve?

Do share with me in the comment section below and I’ll make sure I will read them. Stay happy, stay healthy and stay safe!

Posted in Sharing, Study with me!, tips

How I beat procrastination?

Procrastination is always something I want to overcome. Being borned into an era with all the high tech stuff, it is really difficult to not procrastinate. Over the years, I have been experimenting different ways to beat procrastination and some works while others don’t. I will be sharing some ways that are effective to me.

1) Don’t mute your device πŸ””

I know this is a very weird tip but it works for me. I love to mute the group chats that are unimportant and all the other applications other than messaging applications. I will only pick up my phone when the notification bell rings. Prior to trying this method, I saw many tips online that says ‘Mute your devices’ or ‘Put your distractions in another room’. Well, if I mute my device, I tend to keep checking it to see if I have any urgent messages, which is very distracting. Putting my device in another room doesn’t work too. I am using my laptop/tablet to study. Yes, they can distract me sometimes, but it does not make sense to put it in another room if I am studying.

2) Make use of focus mode in your device 🚫

As a Samsung User, there is a work mode function within settings. Firstly, go to settings. Then, click on ‘Digital wellbeing and parental controls’. Next, click on ‘Work time’ and only choose the applications that help you to study/work. Click on ‘Start’ whenever you want to focus. Your device will lock up the applications that you did not select, preventing distractions! For Apple or other users, you can check out if you have a similar function in your device. If not, you can always download applications to lock up distracting applications.

3) Two-minute Rule ✌

This technique is taken from Atomic Habits by James Clear. For me, the hardest part is to get started. As this technique suggests, just time yourself for 2 minutes and start doing the task. Most likely, after 2 minutes, you can find the momentum to continue working.

4) Treat yourself🍦

Treat yourself along the way. If you need to complete 50 pages of reading, then if you have read 5 pages, get yourself a snack. You will feel more motivated to complete your task.

Alright, I hope that these 4 tips are useful for you as well. See y’all soon! 🀟

Posted in Sharing, Study with me!, tips

How do I use OneNote for school?

OneNote is always my go-to application if I want to save my school notes and files. The main reason why I use OneNote is that it is cloud-based and I will be able to access them using different devices, whether it is the laptop, tablet or handphone. This provides convenience and I can study wherever and whenever I want, provided that I have a device with me.

I will proceed to introduce the various tools that I find beneficial for my revision and note-taking.

  1. Day/Night modes β˜€πŸŒ™

I find that having this option is important to me because I personally prefer the night mode. I feel that it does not strain my eyes as much, thus reducing the possibility of getting tired eyes.

2. Page colour and rule lines/grid lines 🌈

Having different colours can help spice up the boring study process. It can also help me to differentiate the pages of my notes and tutorial questions. The rule and grid lines is especially useful if you do written notes. They can ensure that you are writing neatly and in a straight line.

3. Limitless page ☁

I love this! You will always have space to do additional notes next to the notes you upload! Additionally, we have the freedom to reorder the notes easily.

4. Audio tool πŸ”Š

For some classes, professors will not upload any recordings. Hence, this tool is a life saviour. It aids in my revision, especially those that I didn’t manage to understand by reading the notes alone. For audio learners, this tool is crucial!

5. Notebook-section-page πŸ“”

For school, I will name the notebook based on my year and semester. For eg. Y1S1, meaning year 1 semester 1. I proceed on to label the section. I will list down the different modules that I am taking. One section for one module. Finally, for page, I will label the lectures and tutorials. For eg. Lecture 1, Tutorial 1. This can help me to stay organised and it allows me to find my resources really quickly and effortlessly.

6. Search tool πŸ”Ž

This tool helps me to look for the notes I want. Just by searching for keywords, they will bring me to the notes with the keywords inside. Saves me a lot of time and effort!!

All right! These are the top 6 tools that are useful to me. Just play around and explore OneNote before school starts to familiarise yourself with the tools available.

See you soon! 🎈

Posted in Sharing, Study with me!

Free Note-taking Applications I love

In my first year of university, I have been exploring various note-taking applications and I can’t wait to share with you those applications that are really useful to me.

First of all, I am an Android user and all the applications mentioned here are available in Play Store for free. The device that I use to take notes is Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. The main reason why I got this tablet is that it comes with a stylus. This is extremely important to me since I always prefer to handwrite my notes. As an engineering student, there are quite a few Math modules and it is always more convenient to write out equations instead of typing them. Without further ado, let’s get to the main part of this post!

1) iLovePDF

There are various tools in this app, some of which are compress PDF, rotate PDF, merge PDF, annotate PDF etc. The only tool I use is to annotate PDF. I can easily do some annotations using the stylus. I can also highlight important concepts in various colours. After that, I can save it as a new PDF. Then, I will upload it into my OneNote account, which I will explain further in the next point.
An example of my annotations using iLovePDF
2) OneNote

When I just started university, I only used OneNote to do all my note-taking, since there is a pen option as well to do my annotations. But after a few weeks, when I went back to review my notes, I realised that some strokes are mysteriously missing, causing me to have a really hard time figuring what I wrote. That's why I stopped using OneNote to annotate. However, some of my friends did not face such a problem. So, a tip for you guys is that when you first annotate on OneNote, do some screenshots to save them in your gallery and check whether all strokes are still intact after a few weeks. If they are all intact then congrats, you don't have to download iLovePDF to annotate your notes. 
OneNote is still a note-taking app for me because when I feel like typing out my notes, I will use OneNote.

OneNote is like a giant notebook because after I annotate on iLovePDF, I will save them as a separate PDF and then upload them to OneNote. OneNote is a really convenient app because you can easily access your notebooks on your tablets, laptops and handphones.
I'm planning to do a new post to specifically talk about how I use OneNote to organize my school work very, very soon!
3) Squid

I use Squid as foolscap paper to do my tutorials. You can choose to have a blank canvas or lined/grids paper. The premium version will allow you to use templates like Cornell style, monthly planner or many more. Personally, I feel that the free version is good enough so I did not bother to pay for the premium version. There is an option to change the colour of the background and the pen ink as well. This makes studying less mundane as you can add colours to your work. You can also copy and paste the questions and pictures to the page. (If you want, you can write your diary here and add in the photos you take!) Additionally, there is an option to choose the size of 'paper' you want. There are options like infinite, A4, B3 and many, many more. Most importantly, you can save your work as PDFs. And guess what I'll do next? That's right! Upload to my OneNote account.
An example of my notes using Squid

These are the 3 note-taking applications that I always use in my year 1. Comment below which is your favourite and let me know what other applications I should try in year 2! My next blog post will be solely on OneNote because there are just so many features that I love!! Stay tuned!

Posted in Sharing

Hitting 20

To me, birthdays just mean that I will be having a better dinner with my family that day. It is really just another typical day. No parties, no celebration and sometimes, no presents and cakes. Of course, when I see people putting up those Instagram posts on their birthdays, I do envy them. Well, although I have close friends, we don’t celebrate birthdays together (or is it because we are not as close?). And because of that, I don’t find myself looking forward to that day.

What does hitting the 20 range mean to me? It is definitely about having a greater responsibility towards my family. I feel that I should start working while studying to earn extra money and to gain the experience. I should also do better in my studies, and also take up internships during the holidays. University education is difficult. Hence, I should learn to manage my time well. I should always challenge myself and push my limits. If I am not starting now, then when should I start?

As I will be removing the ‘teenager’ label in 25 days, I hope to reflect on what I have achieved for the past 19 years and to list down my wishes for the coming year.

I think, for now, I should enjoy my life being a student because in a few years’ time, I would soon be graduating and starting work.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay happy! xoxo

Posted in Sharing

The (true) life of a University student in Singapore

One month into 2021 and I am so busy with all my school work. I have this module where I had to learn how to write a blog and I thought how useless this module is because I believe all of us knows how to write a blog. Somehow, this blog is not the normal blogs we see online. They literally want us to write a descriptive essay… how boring that is. There is a reason why we chose engineering, right? We hate to write essays… What’s more annoying is that the graded assignment 1 deadline is in week 6, Monday. Chinese New Year is on the Friday of week 5… helloooo, prof, you don’t need to go visiting doesn’t mean that the students don’t need to, right. I can write a 500-word blog in this account without difficulty but I find it so difficult to write one for the assignment. I really have to start doing it soon!!

Apart from this module, I have another module that is very heavy on presentations. For my prof, he wants our entire group of 5 to present for all three presentations. Most of my other engineering friends mentioned that they can decide on how many students to present. For example, for a group of 6, they can present in pairs each time and this means that one person only present once!!! WOWWW… I want to be in that tutorial group too! And also, my prof said that the entire presentation contributes to everyone in the group. This means that everyone in the group will get the same results. This is just so unfair?? What if a student has really well presentation skills but the other has the opposite?? Definitely wasting my time for this module. OMG…

Mid-terms are around the corner. Two weeks after CNY, I have 5 mid-terms in a week. On average, I am going to have one every single day. On Monday, I have 2 CAs and on Thursday, I have none. I don’t even know whether I am looking forward to CNY this year.

Covid-19 restrictions for this year is that there cannot be more than 8 visitors/2 families going to your house in one day. I guess it is going to be a toned down CNY 2021.

I don’t usually lament about school life here. But oh well, it’s only normal to experience ups and downs in life. Continue to persevere on and let’s do this! Happy Chinese New Year to all! 新年快乐!

Posted in Sharing

Hello 2021!

2020 had been a really different year. This coronavirus pandemic has caused many changes to us in some way or another. Many countries experienced lockdowns and this had caused inconvenience to many of us. In Singapore, there was hundreds of confirmed cases day by day back in March and April. This worried us and we were living in constant fear. Today, we are into phase 3, where there are almost zero community cases every day. Gatherings of 8 pax are allowed now and everything is going back to normal (just that we still have to wear our face masks and scan the safe entry QR codes whenever we visit shopping malls and supermarkets etc.).

My very first new year resolution is that this pandemic quickly ends and that all my loved ones are healthy and happy every single day. And I have something very important to announce. School is starting very soon! I will be in Y1S2 in the coming semester. After this semester, I will be having a three-month long summer break!!! WooHoo! Really hope that this semester is going to be a smooth-sailing one and that I will be able to do consistently well in all my modules to pull up my cumulative GPA! Engine already started on Monday and will be doing my readings and trying out tutorial questions before the semester starts next week.

I hope that 2021 will be good to all of us! Continue to stay motivated and reach out for the stars!

Posted in Sharing

Holiday is here!

Finally, I have completed my finals yesterday and it is time for a good rest before Y1S2 starts! Originally, I thought that I will be able to make many friends in university. However, it is really hard to make friends. What’s more with being in a zoom university. With lectures and some tutorials being online, we don’t get to see our course mates that often. Although there are indeed many group projects, those people whom you work with will no longer contact you once the project comes to an end. Added so many new contacts but only a small little handful are people whom I think I can click with. Hopefully in Y1S2, the university will minimize online classes. Of course, I will not want online quizzes/tests/exams. It is really troublesome when they require zoom monitoring as you need 2 devices.

I am going to experience the so-called ‘star wars’ in 2 weeks’ time, where students have to choose the courses that we want to take in the following semester. Previously, for Y1S1, I did not experience that as all the courses were pre-registered for us. Hopefully, everything goes well and I will have a better Y1S2!

Posted in Sharing

Goodbye, grandma

It is going to be so painful writing this entry. My grandma had left us two weeks ago. I have been missing her every day, hoping that she will come to my dreams at night.

Around 5-6 years ago, she suffered a slight stroke and this caused her to be unable to walk on her own, eat or even talk. She had been drinking milk through a tube. It hurts me seeing her like this but she was always so strong and optimistic. There were times when she managed to call my name and I was on cloud nine when I heard that. In the past, I used to go to her house every Saturday to have meals with her and stayed with her the entire day. We used to have walks downstairs and I would hold on to her sweaty arms, while she would hold on to her walking stick. We would stop and rest sometimes for her to catch her breath. After lunch, whenever we passed by 7-11, she would ask if I want to eat ice-cream. When I answered ‘no’, she would give me the ‘tsk’ sound and passed me money to buy ice-cream for myself and for her. At home, when she watched her favourite Taiwanese drama, I would do my homework next to her. When she had afternoon naps, I would sleep by her side on the same bed as well.

Then when she could not walk, mummy and I would wheel her down for a walk. I knew that staying in the nursing home 24-7 lying on her bed was unbearable because I remembered how happy she was when our family brought her out for dinner. Her favourite dishes was oyster fried egg and I could even picture her eating that right now. Since I was young, I started to learn how to speak and understand Cantonese by listening to her communicating to my mum. I picked up the dialect very quickly and had no trouble talking to her and understanding her. She used to sing some Cantonese songs like ι›žε…¬δ»”ε°Ύε½Žε½Ž to me. I recorded her singing before but somehow, I could no longer find it. There was once, after she had a stroke, I visited her at the nursing home and she held me hand tightly for a long time. It seemed as though she was telling me that she missed me and was really happy to see me. I always visit her every Saturday unless it was exam week. But I would definitely visit her once my exam ends. Because, I really missed her and I want to talk to her.

Popo, don’t worry about us and please take good care of yourself there. I love you. I miss you.

Posted in Sharing

Uni life

Hey guys! I haven’t wrote for quite some time as it was quite a hectic period because I got to get use of uni life. It is close to the end of week 3 and I thought of just sharing some personal thoughts and experiences. Ps: writing this on the bus because I really couldn’t find time to write it. Guess this is going to be a norm for me.

1) I should have gone to school to explore a few weeks before the semester starts!! Big regrets… school is so big and I was always lost. Now, it is getting better, but still…

2) All lectures and tutorials are very fast paced. Lecturers have to cover a lot of content within the given time, so we really need to have a lot of self-discipline to revise by ourselves and make our own summary notes.

3) The workload is never ending. There are so many elearning courses and they expect you to do it at your ‘own’ pace. However, there are deadlines though…

Okay, a short one for today. I’m alighting the bus. See ya soon!