The Past

Things We Forget: Class of 2015

If I could get a penny for every picture of my friends' holding shiny gold and silver letter-shaped balloons of the abbreviation of their degrees, which now belong at the end of their names, uploaded in social media, I would be able to buy return tickets to Iceland by now. Those photographs marked the end of another chapter in their lives where everyone celebrates the joyous occasion after the struggle of long hours of studying and all nighters, as well as the culmination of cheap instant food and countless cups of caffeine to get the blood pumping in order to write that fifty-double spaced pages of thesis they love to hate. And now what?

Good question. For the lucky ones, who have got their future sorted out and happy about it, congratulations. For those who are still confused as a headless chicken, I would like to say you are not alone. The great thing about trying to figure it out is to see things in a bigger picture. Some of us are stuck with the idealism of having the right job just as we are looking for a life partner to spend the rest of our lives with. And it's okay. One thing I realised, as obvious as it sounds, the older I get, the more I am aware that I am not getting any younger. None of us are. Not our parents, grandparents, and friends. And at the end of the day, we all are on a ride that only goes to one direction: death. I'm sorry to break this blatant, and arguably ugly and horrifying, truth to you but just in case you forget, the only certain thing in life is that we all are going to die.

Therefore, the more I would like to make sure that none of us is going to spend another second of our times doing what we don't like or being pressured into doing what others deem to be right. If you are not sure yet of what you like, I suggest you to keep looking. Most of the times, you would find yourself finding the things that you don't like before getting to the best part of finding out things you actually cherish. So, I would like to say once again, it's okay. Knowing what you don't like is as good and essential as finding things that you like. Cross that off your list and carry on.

Since the phone call I had with my parents twenty hours flight away two months ago, which followed with an inevitable act of intense crying and sobbing – I was not sure whether it was tears of longing to be held close by them or the desperately confused part of me approaching the future, I have never been more determined in my life to spend every single day making sure I know what I want to do and what I don't like. What I realised soon after is that I tend to daydream that figuring it out is an over-night act. But it isn't, and if I could, I would like to be reminded everyday that it takes hard work and it surely does not happen over night.

Here is a clip of my favourite musician, Dallas Green, explaining it best, not in a condesending but motivational way, as he shared his experience when no one was listening to what he wanted to do in life. With blurred background of green landscape and under his suede caramel-coloured hat, he said, "I realised I had to work harder than I could ever worked at something in my life, to make it happen. And it was then, that things started working for me, when I started working for it."

In addition to that, I also read an interesting review of the book I am currently reading called "The Opposite of Loneliness". The book itself is a collection of honest essays and short stories written by twenty-two year old girl named Marina Keegan who sadly passed away five days after her graduation day from Yale University. Nevertheless, I truly believe that her lively and witty spirit lives forever in her great works. In the review I found one paragraph I am eagerly to share to my fellow twenty somethings year old friends out there. And here it goes:

"In the book, Marina mentions a few times that she wants to be a writer. But from what I can tell she already was one. It made me think that perhaps we are already what we want to be, but that in the real, non-university world of 9 to 5 and money and responsibility, we find ourselves forgetting. Re-reading The Opposite of Loneliness will be how I remember, I think."  Lydia Tewkesbury 

I could not agree more that Marina was a great writer. Her voice, or writing, was so smart, subtle yet endearing, almost to the point of it wakes up your secret thoughts that most of the time you won't likely to admit. What is more, what Lydia wrote in the review nudged me as I heard a soft whispers at the back of my head: It made me think that perhaps we are already what we want to be, but in the real... world of 9 to 5... we find ourselves forgetting.

The next chapter of our lives will involve higher, greater responsibilities and demands. I genuinely hope it does not matter whether you are lost or you already have promising jobs lined up, you would still remember this: don't let the 9 to 5 routine buries your aspiration. Because maybe without you realising it, or the world validates it, you already are what you want to be.

This concludes the congratulatory post for the class of 2015. You made it this far. Now go write your future as if it were written in the stars.

A piece by : Fiya Muiz

Great Scott

Great Scott! refers to an expression of disbelief or a pleasant surprise and popularised by Doc Brown from Back to the Future, according to Urban Dictionary. Which I believe, expresses my trip to two biggest cities in Scotland, Glasgow and Edinburgh (finally after four years living in Britain).

My eyes were half opened when my friends and I dropped our backpacks at the hostel across Glasgow's quiet river at the heart of the city. The weather was quite pleasant the sun shyly made its appearance behind the cloud, occasionally stepped out but every passing wind cast brief shiver, made me think my decision to wear only one layer checkered-print jacket was a little too optimistic for summer in Scotland.
The idea of white sheet-wrapped mattress sounded like a pot of gold then, but the check-in schedule was not due until three more hours. Hungry and exhausted from the early flight from London, we left only with the option to wander around the city, but less than fifty steps away, we found Wetherspoon pub and delighted eith the idea having a quick stop for cheap English breakfast.
The building reminded me of the Great Gatsby era where dozens of grand crystal chandeliers hung high at the wooden ceiling. At the back of the room, there was a presumably no longer used, iron-fenced elevator as I walked towards the bar, that was slightly too high for my height, where a dark haired man with beard and tattoos across his arms ready to serve.
"Can I have an English breakfast, please?" He smiled, and began his sentence with I'm afraid. Even though I had only been craving a set of English breakfast since I walked in, but my tired-self was too grumpy and unprepared for a bad news. "We don't have English breakfast herrre," His accent was Scottish-thick, with slight emphasise on the letter 'r'.
"What do you have then?"
"We do have Scottish breakfast," He handed me over the paper-printed menu with the picture of a plate of toast, beans, bacon, and some other additional on the side. "Basically, instead of fried sausage we have black pudding and flat sausage."
I forgot as I giggled to myself. It felt as if I called someone in front of their face with the wrong name, I'm in Scotland, I thought. Of course, it has to be Scottish! Although to me, those two were basically the same. Relieved and slightly embarrassed for forgetting England and Scotland are two different, well, countries. I apologised and settled with what he recommended.


I, myself, am a big fan of museums and art galleries, which is why I would like to recommend you two cultural spots you should visit: Kelvingrove Gallery and Museum and Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel. There was one room in the Riverside museum transformed into a 1920s-themed highstreet. If you walk around, it feels as though you have just time-traveled to the iconic era where carriage and dark horses were cars and it was just less than $1 to go to Canada from New York. As for the Kelvingrove Gallery and Museums, my favourite part was the great big hall with sculpture of heads of historical figures hangs high at the glass-ceiling above the stairs.
We then headed somewhere East to the Cathedral Street. Originally we intended to go to the Cathedral, which stood gracefully around historical buildings made out of grey brick stones, but I found another place that I incredibly infatuated with: Necropolis behind Glasgow's medieval Cathedral. Unfortunately the access gate was closed by the time we got there, thus I only got to admire from afar. With this, bear in mind most of museums and art galleries, even cathedral, close at 5 P.M, and often their last entry is at 4.30 P.M.

Edinburgh, on the other hand, won me at the first glance. The Victorian-like buildings and evergreen garden at the heart of the city were the firsts places in sight before our coach alight at full stop. Our first destination was Edinburgh Castle. The entrance fee was quite pricey but I must say it was worth it to see the history at the top of the hill. Besides, there would be a free half an hour guide tour at certain times scheduled on the day, which could save you few pounds from getting the audio tour (although it was only around £3/£4 for students), where a twenty-five years old ginger Scottish man with the bluest eyes and cutest accent told you the stories about the Stone of Destiny that was stolen from Westminster Abbey by four Scottish law students in 1950, and more of their version of the chamber of secrets within the castle. The tour was almost like a collective waltz through the Kings and Queens of lavish lives  and the pauper, too.
Make sure you go to Calton Hill as well. You can see Edinburgh in a bigger picture from the top of the hill. It is best when the weather is pretty as the sun is out to play, you can lay on the grass for hours and let the sunlight immerse in your skin and you, too, in the utmost peaceful experience Scotland has to offer.


Calton Hill, Edinburgh

A piece by : Fiya Muiz