Catching (growing) up

This is CRAZYYYYYY! How’s everybody been?? I cannot believe it’s been more than a year since i’ve last posted here on Our Sun Shines, that is ridiculous! I have so much catching up to do with ya’ll if any of you are still around haha. So much has happened in my life this past year, BIG changes, i’ve settled in a new continent, now living miles away from my family, making friendships with people from all around the world, learning about new cultures, embarking on serious charity projects and most importantly, growing as a person and developing my passions.

Let me elaborate in a bit more detail and in perhaps a bit less of a glamorous way haha!

I am now studying in a boarding/international school in the UK, and my family has moved out of Hong Kong and back to Singapore. Thus I am now back home sunny Singapura for the summer holidays, where I can finally get a little bit of a breather from the intense pace and pressure of the rollercoaster ride that is sixth form life. Jeez so much has happened this year and yet it seems to have gone by in a flash. Do ya’ll know what I mean? That feeling that one has achieved so much in such a short space of time that when you look back at it, the feat seems impossible, and yet… you did it. It’s an incredible feeling. I can safely say it’s been the best year of my life. And what gets me even more excited is that I know the year to come, and the years after that are going to get even better. How you ask? Well I’ve promised myself, that I’m going to make every year, every DAY count for something. I have a newfound appreciation of time, that I think I didn’t use to have. And its a little bit ironic because I have quite a bit more time now than I did back in Hong Kong.

Back then, even though it was just IGCSE’s that I had to overcome, I really didn’t have that much spare time on me, because I would load myself up with commitments after commitments, and the overwhelming amount of responsibility and pressure put a lot of strain on my relationships with other people, as well as my relationship with myself. It was toxic. I was involved in so much, from sporting competitions and multiple leadership roles to tuition and fashion shows as well as dance, a SHIT TON of dance. I had to dance for scholarships, for rehearsals and performances and exams that it seized to become a hobby. I danced so much that during the last year of my time in Hong Kong, I had hit that diminishing return and I absolutely dreaded going to lessons more than anything else. With this kind of attitude obviously my dancing deteriorated immensely. Not to mention I broke down constantly, snapped at the smallest things, lost friends and became a rather insecure and shallow person.

Thing is, majority of kids these days who are getting a good education are probably being overloaded with responsibilities and activities like I was. Which can be seen as a good or bad thing. Personally, as someone who went through it, I completely regret it. But the thing is, I was never being forced to do any of these activities. I was the one actively asking to get more things on my hands. I was the one expecting myself to do so much, while consciously knowing that I would be incapable of living it out. My mama tells me that I’d always been like that, since primary school, since kindergarten even, I’d always wanted to do more than asked.

I realise all this seems pretty dark stuff and in all honestly I did have some great times and  made amazing friendships that are still going strong, but I wouldn’t say I had the best childhood I could have had. Typing that is actually making me feel really guilty right now, because I know that I am so fucking privileged as it is, to have parents that can afford and are willing to give me these opportunities in the first place. But a wiser present me says, life is about balance. And I was tipping too far off one side.

Reflecting upon my past self, I know a few things. I know that I want to keep my initiative but get rid of my unrealistic expectations, keep the drive but do rid of the stress. I know that what I needed was a fresh start. And thankfully my achievements helped me fulfil my wish of getting into a top school in the UK and get a second chance to manage my time and energy right.


Fast forward to the present, it really is so thrilling (and exhausting in the best way) to be placed in such an intellectual and inspiring environment, such an international community, in a place where young people are driven and passionate and want to have unique qualities that make them an altogether interesting person.

The IB has definitely been challenging. But like I said, I have developed a newfound understanding of time, and the importance of balance in my life. Especially moving to a new country and having that sort culture shock, I was able to focus on the experience and the living itself first. Finding peace within myself and finding a pace that suits me. I still challenge myself and strive to be the best I can be, I still take on sports and dance and leadership and service projects, but I can do all that and still have my life in order… because this new balance has actually allowed me to take pleasure and pride in what I am doing.

Work hard, play hard.
Know when to challenge yourself, and when to take it easy and live it up a little.

Though I now know that this balance is the answer, it still is and always will be a work in progress.

Sarah x




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