In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit if you're interested in more recent writing.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Home away from home?

I've been meaning to post this for a long time, but have always held it off - cos I've been too busy, cos I've been hoping I was wrong or would be proved wrong, cos I've just been letting these thoughts ferment in my mind and become more clear and concise. But we're already more than halfway through this term, and I guess I finally felt the need to post this, because I think I've finally figured it out, and cos I've recently been asked about it.

Disclaimer before you read on and jump to conclusions: the views aired and mine and mine alone, they do not reflect the views of a typical student because I'm weird like that.

Honestly, I don't enjoy being in my college much. I find it rather exclusive. Individually, they are all very nice people, but I think as a whole, as a group, they're a lot more clique-ish. I can go to hall/JCR and sit there and have my meal and feel like Nearly-headless Nick. Probably one more reason why I don't like going to hall, apart from the less-than-awesome food.

I thought it was just me, cos I'm really not much of a social person, quite bad at small talk and stuff. And I guess I thought perhaps with time, things would get better. But it's already more than halfway through the year, and I still feel as foreign in my college as when I first arrived - or perhaps even worse. Cos the window of friendliness to freshers has closed, maybe.

There's no lack of welfare support, really. There are plenty of people I can talk to if I wanted to, to air my views. But partly because I think it's just me, and partly because I don't see the point of doing so. It's not just pride preventing me from approaching such help, but also realistically what can they do? Force my presence on others? Nothing would work out - probably best to just keep quiet and live my life out of college.

Though to be fair, there really are nice and friendly people around. Maybe I just need more time to re-establish my comfort zone.

Or maybe it really is just me. Just back from CUMSA (Malaysian and Singaporean Association) Ball and I feel traces of the same feeling. I'm pretty much a floater, very planktonic, friends with everyone. Don't particularly have a clique, bunch of people I always hang out with, unlike in rg/rj days. Though I guess I don't feel that excluded, nor particularly bothered, cos at least people still talk to me...

Still, especially when everyone's at the peak of photo-taking, as though it were gradnight and you're not gonna see each other again, I sit there and think about my friends back home and the gradnights I've attended (and felt the same, distant feeling), and I wonder if I'll ever feel at home anywhere.

I guess I'm just highlight this cos people always think studying overseas is all fun and exciting; but perhaps the slight negativities just aren't mentioned. I wouldn't say this really disturbs me though, I'm trying to write as matter-of-fact-ly as possible. I would still say that overall, I'm thoroughly enjoying myself and the things that I do here.

If you're not the very sociable kind, yet not introverted either, (that's how I'd describe myself), then I guess all you really need is to expand your comfort zone. Courage. And know that God is always with you, and with Him, nothing else really matters.

Again, these are only my thoughts and feelings and definitely do not represent everyone in my college, or everyone who's studying overseas. There are plenty of people who thoroughly enjoy their time in college, I'm sure. Just check the JCR website and read the testimonials. I'm just providing an alternative opinion. Don't let this put you off applying to Peterhouse, cos I guess your experience depends on your batch and personality as well!

Also, (if you're concerned about my emotional state) I really am not very emo about this, at least not this term (one reason why this term is better than last). I have been listening to a lot more hymns of late and they do have a very strong, calming influence on me. I have also been spending quite a bit of my time out of college. Though I guess this leads to a positive feedback loop since the more time I spend out of college, the less I feel attached to it and yeah.

At the core of it, I guess it's just that for the past year or so, I've been able to just go out with different groups of people and be perfectly content, yet being back in a schooling context where cliques are the norm, I just feel a little out of it.

Anyway, I'm going climbing tomorrow at Peak District and that's enough to make me happy :)

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