Dear Dreamer

This is an excerpt of my made-up diary:

Dear Dreamer,

Did you really think that you would become a University of Melbourne blogger? You put it out there into the universe, and you did it. You’re an official blogger for ‘The First Year Diaries’, you should be proud of yourself.

Did you really think that you would become a writer? Well, you are what you say you are, and you are most definitely a writer. Like Elizabeth Gilbert says, don’t put too much pressure onto your art, or you’ll stifle it.

Lately, I’ve had offers from two different schools to do casual relief teaching, and I’m so happy. It will keep me busy.

As for penpaling, the official program may give me a few new penpals, which is great because I have a pile of cute little snail mail packages, all ready to be sent out to people around Melbourne.

I just sewed another kawaii cloud pillow, I have two now, one I will give to my penpal.

Apart from that, school holidays were pretty quiet, although a few things did happen to call me away from writing this post-holiday blog.

Until next time, take it easy.


Currently listening to: Jai-Jagdeesh ⋄ Kundalini Yoga ⋄ Mantra’s and shabads ⋄ Sanskrit Tradition

With love,

Raspberry & Rocks

Back to the grind

I am over the holidays and everything else that I was so caught up in last week, now it’s study time. Given that Cat is busy with her Vet visits, I am having to fix the assignments myself and I even have to sit through the lectures alone 😵

She’ll be ok by next week, just a few trips more. She endures them with perfect poise as long as you do don’t mention the ‘F’ word around her. And by that, I mean ‘Fat’. #BossCat

I should be ok with the assignments, mostly because the teams I am in, are totally awesome. I do my part and that’s it. I am not expected to carry deadweights or pick up their slacks. It makes life so much easier!!! Not that I have anything else to do with my time. I just sit there, staring at the huge shirtless poster of Channing Tatum in my room, wondering why did I even get it in the first place?

No, that’s not what goes on in my mind but moving on… 😋 I am getting things done on time and slowly the exam stress is starting to creep up on me. Don’t want a repeat of last sem and not sure what to do.

Keeping my mind out of the gutter and in the books (not the one from last week)


Mozzies & mid-sem break

How are you guys?

I’m really not a winter or cold or rain or dark-in-the-mornings kinda person but I really do look forward to all the bloody mozzies disappearing in a few weeks time. ugh. During the 10 minutes which I have been in my bedroom lying working on my laptop, I have already killed 3 of those bloody things. Who thought mozzies were a great idea?

Anyway, I hope everyone is enjoying mid-sem break, I’m honestly so grateful for no new lectures and some time to catch up on assignments, however, plenty are due next week and I have not started…. Mid sem break gone wrong. Oh well. It’s going to be interesting!

I hope you guys are doing better and are being productive!

Stay safe and healthy people – speak soon!



Check-In Time #10 – the mystery of recess week

2:05am, Singapore. At this point, I have no hope in my sleep schedule anymore – there’s never a day I sleep before 3am, let alone 12am. Even during recess week which is supposed to be for relaxing. Good news is that I just cleared an assignment, so the main priority for this week is down! Tomorrow I have to run some errands, write a draft article for Farrago, as well as do some filming and catch up on some outside school things. I’m also planning an itinerary for some things my family and I can do over the weekend – trying to make use of whatever time there is in recess week to relax.

I’m really not sure why, but this semester’s recess week seemed sort of… rushed? Like it feels as if the semester just started yesterday, and then recess week is suddenly here. I didn’t really feel that way last semester. I remembered that recess week last semester was more relaxing for me, and I managed to schedule in outings with friends. I guess the only reason I can attribute to it is that I took on more commitments this semester?

In other news, I got a new phone! Finally! My old phone has been dying on me at random times in the day – and sometimes this happens more than once. However I don’t want to throw my old phone away as it generates unnecessary tech waste and it technically can still be used. Researching for ways to use it effectively; feel free to leave a comment if you have any suggestions!

And to anyone else reading this: enjoy recess week and have lots of chocolate!! Recess week is really too short… all 12 weeks of the semester should be recess week!!

Holidays are still here

Yup, they are still here. Had the most amazing time last weekend doing nothing 😁 A much needed respite from the meetings and etc etc etc, you get the idea. The most complex decision I had to make was if I wanted to make cup noodles for lunch or stick to my burritos 🌯 Didn’t want to get out of bed to go buy stuff, so burritos again this week.

Also discovered that Bridgerton was a series of books before it became a show. Reading book 1. Again. That’s another reason why I didn’t want to get out of bed. Too old to go 😍 over fictitious heroes but the book is quite engrossing.

I don’t think I am going to catch up on past lectures this week and the assignments are postponed until further notice. Make way homework, the Duke of Hastings is here 😘 Not being otherwise engaged this week, I have all the time in the world to admire every single detail. If only I had half of that much interest in my textbooks…

Yeah, I know, I must live up to my name but then again, no harm in a little distraction and I still haven’t found my hero-handsome in real life, I’ll have to do with mooning over the ones in books. I’ll finish my assignments on time, somehow. Promise (Maybe 🤞🤣)

See you in term 2. Hopefully my literary honeymoon with Simon will be over by then.


Holidays are here

Making progress in my swimming classes but I am in no danger of qualifying for the Olympics anytime soon 🤣 I am sure you are wondering how things get done when I spend my time lounging in the pool and chatting by the coffee machine at work.

Yup, it’s Cat. She diligently attends workshops, sits through lecture recordings and walks on the keyboard to finish my mess of an assignment. Now you know who wears the 👖 in the family. If Cat attends enough workshops, I’ll seriously consider applying an honorary degree for her 🎓

Cat at work

Easter weekend’s here, can’t wait to get started!!! Still no plans of what to do or where to go but not too stressed about it, there’s always more homework waiting to be done.

Enjoy the looooooong weekend and go easy on the🥚


Check in time #9 – one more check in till the 10th one!

1:08am, Singapore. Yeap, evening again, in classic Charlene style. (I just downloaded Grammarly by the way, not sure why it wasn’t there earlier as I had Grammarly way back but here it is back again!) So… this would be the most grammatically correct check-in time! 😉

How’s everyone doing? End of Week 4 huh… the semester really is going by fast. To be honest, I feel like I’m undergoing duck syndrome (something new that I have learnt on Tiktok today). Meaning, on the surface all’s good, but I’m paddling very hard underneath to stay afloat. For the most part, I would say it’s working. Most things go like clockwork in my life nowadays, as with lectures, tutorials and a relatively fixed set of commitments, I roughly know what to expect from each week. For most modules, I’m starting to get used to how things work, apart from one of them, and I think it’s because I’m still not used to the heavy content in it. It does help due to the February subject I took earlier on this sem (see previous posts).

However, I’m noticing subtle changes in my lifestyle as well that are not for the better. For example, I feel like I’m getting more tired during the day and have to take more naps, and am taking longer to fall asleep at night because I keep getting afraid that I forgot to do something meant for that day. My mind can’t seem to “shut down” and live in the moment – when out with friends, I notice my mind wandering to work-related things, and not pay attention to what they are saying. I’m having lesser time to do things that I like, such as baking and online shopping, which I have been putting off for so long now 🙁 I’m starting to wonder if my physical health has taken a toll too. I had a bad stomachache tonight (not sure what it could be due to. Thankfully I submitted my assignment before it happened). But I had to push on as I had some other urgent matters outside class that had to be done today.

I guess the only advice I have for myself and others facing a similar situation is that this will pass, and to take things one step at a time. I remind myself that there’s a reason for Week 1 content to be done in Week 1, and Week 3 content to be done in said week. It’s always better to cut down on quantity than to skimp on quality – everyone is trying to stay afloat too. And that as idealistic as it sounds, what matters is for myself to be happy and healthy, and the rest will fall into place.

I’ve been staring at this paragraph for the last five minutes, wondering how to end it off, so I guess I’ll end off with some plans I have for tomorrow. I’m finally going to get new fishies! Unfortunately, the last of my previous batch has died due to old age earlier this week. While I am sad, I’m looking forward to welcoming a new batch of fishes and be a good fish mom to them.

Best of luck for the semester! Feel free to leave a comment on how’s life been 🙂 We got this!

Some of my favourite things…

Something different for today’s post, a list. And everyone loves a good list.

This list is what I’ve been up to lately. Enjoy!

  1. Studying.
  2. Submitting assignments before time.
  3. Drinking bubble tea.
  4. Sipping flat whites.
  5. Making coffee with the coffee machine at work.
  6. Started a new job.
  7. Attended a job interview.
  8. Drinking matcha lattes.
  9. Texting old friends and my network.
  10. Listening to Oprah on Youtube.
  11. Shopping at Kikki-k.
  12. Playing with washi tape and my planner.
  13. Writing to my University of Melbourne penpal.
  14. Buying new shoes and work clothes.
  15. Having a great time at work.
  16. Writing this list.



Raspberry & Rocks

I did it!

Yeah… I went to the Uni for the first time ever! Was soooooo stoked that I got lost and then had to ask my way around. It’s just as awesome in real life as it in pics. Found the map, with all the directions, on my way out 😆

I was here

My swimming lesson was no less interesting. I discovered that I float and that me and Cat both hate being in water with a vengeance. We both try to jump up out as fast as we can. But the similarities end there. Cat wants you to know that Cat is not fat and Cat is a better programmer than I am #BossCat

Although her doctor disagrees with her about her weight, Cat has neither lost appetite nor sleep over it. Certainly not the kilos 😝 And yeah, she does roll her eyes when I code and snores as loudly as felinely possible, to let me know her opinion of my coding skills 🤣

I have still managed to stay on track with my assignments and even submitted them before time. Was kinda worried if I could manage homework along with the extra-curricular going on, but the swimming lessons fit in perfectly with my schedule. And even though I suck big-time and literally can’t swim to save my life, I am totally going again next week 😤

Can’t wait to be back.


Take it easy

Pockets are feeling a lot lighter after paying the fees for this semester but glad that Cat can continue her quest for knowledge 😁

For some reason, studies are not too stressful this time. I am not making lecture notes, going through recordings thrice a week till I am sick of it. Instead, focusing on concepts and looking at the bigger picture. It’s working out so far, I had enough time over the weekend to work through the eternal mystery of my non-existent love live. Yeah, figured out I need to get one 😆 Not sure where to start, any tips? Not into online dating. Tried them, they suck.

VERY excited about my first ever swimming lesson this week. I even got a brand new tankini to celebrate 🥳. Hope the water’s not too cold, I just can’t breathe in cold water, even knee deep. No wonder I can’t swim 😣 Won’t tell you what happens when I drive 🤣

Swim on 🤘



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