Reflecting on Postgrad Life
It's been about a month since I arrived in Hong Kong. Although it hasn't really been the smoothest transition, I can finally say that I feel settled. This past month has been an constant process back-and-forth: adjusting my expectations about this city, school, living on my own, and starting a new phase in my life in general. Needless to say, things rarely pan out the way you expect it to. Coming to terms with that has been difficult.
For the most part, I've tried to hold on to the familiar. Things like going to class, taking notes, and writing research papers have, surprisingly, been comforting. In a way, it makes me feel that not much has really changed - that I'm still a student and that the real world is still quite far. I'm ashamed to say that the real world does scare me. And as much as I'd like to think that I'm slowly inching towards it, the fact is that I'm still a student. Even in class, it feels as though there's a clear divide between the fresh grads and the working, part-time students, who strive to show that they have already had their dreams shattered and souls heartlessly carved up by society's vultures. We, on the other hand, are the naive, innocent idealists who are taking our time crawling back into the ocean, unaware that they're eyeing us, waiting dig into our soft, newborn shells.
In the beginning, I was constantly wondering why my life here wasn't the glamorous, cosmopolitan, intellectually stimulating experience I had expected it to be. Why my cute bachelorette pad was just a sad and rather ghetto daily reminder that I was all alone in a new city. Why my classmates were always nodding, smiling, but looking at me as if I was growing a third eye on my forehead as I was speaking. I wasn't just a fish out of water - I was a deep sea fish shrivelling on 5th avenue in mid-July.
But things have been better as of late. I suppose it's because I have a better idea of what I'm doing here. While my purpose is to study for my degree, I've also come to realise that I'm here to just live life. I may not be living in the real world just yet, but I'm living in the transition towards that. I have many new experiences to speak of and you always gain the most when you're outside of your comfort zone.
Things like finding an ideal friend group at school and learning to love the city will come in time. Meanwhile, I'm just trying to take it easy and focus on the present like enjoying getting to know new people and the city, little by little. I'm sure that next year, when the time comes to really start working, I'll be able to man up and look back on my time here fondly.