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Posts by John

The last lesson

I look at the result slip that my teacher hands to me. BBAD, the paper reads. I feel a whirlwind of emotions. In front of my friends, I know I cannot show too much emotion. But I wish the ground would swallow me. [3 years later] I log into Bluecastle. Looking at the marks listed, …

If my essay were…

I love writing essays. There is no sarcasm intended in the previous sentence. I genuinely do. I love writing it, responding to the question, and seeing it as a unique way for me to express myself. But perhaps many of us don’t. We detest the coursework our professors set for us. We hate the pain …

Rest.

I remember working incredibly hard as a high school student in Singapore. As a student in one of the best schools there, it felt like a constant competition. I would wake up at 6am, start our morning assembly at 730am, and then begin lessons at 8. We would often have lessons till 3pm, before we …

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I’m a poor student!!!

Last December, I was at the tram stop with my friend. She suddenly pulled out 2 tea bags from her pocket. ‘Look what I’ve got! Two Twinings teabags from the leftover tea in class just now! I didn’t take the Lemon and Ginger one because I didn’t like it.’ I slowly reached into my pocket… …

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Focus.

I used to feel as if there was a little clock within me, slowly ticking away. I had to make use of every single second to be productive! This was probably made worse by the compulsory national service I had to do in Singapore, where every single second mattered. I often remember that as soon …

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Kindness

I am at the Manchester Piccadilly Station. I have just come out of the Oliver Bonas, irked by the outrageous price of £6 for a notebook. As I come out, I see an elderly man seated on a chair, with a rolled up mat underneath him. There is a cardboard underneath his feet as his …

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Figuring out your passions

This is our last outfield exercise before we finish our mandatory two-year National Service (NS) in the army. I look into the stars, covered in mud, camouflage paint, and dirt. The socks within my boots are wet. Mosquitoes are buzzing around me, wondering if I will be a tasty meal. This looks like it’s going …

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Why results aren’t the most important thing

Loser? “Hey Tom*! You scored so well! Only 1B!”  With hardly a word, my form teacher had moved on from me to her next student, leaving me to deal with the tsunami of emotions washing over me. It was hardly easy. In the aftermath of the collection of my less than stellar results, it seemed as …

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Seize the day as an international student!

‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’ In her 2014 speech to the UN Women Convention, Emma Watson’s words sparked me out of my slumber. Carpe Diem! Seize the day! During the cold, dreary winter, seeing people walk in the streets with their loved ones, shopping in Christmas markets with their families, or having …

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How to write better essays

Note: I write this article as a social work student, and this article is probably more suited to social science, humanities and arts students. You know your lecturers really love you when they give you exams and essays as a Christmas present. So, how might we give them equally noteworthy exams and essays to read …

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