Being Yourself

Is The Best

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I believe that being who you are is the way to live life. To begin with, if you are different person whenever you are with different group of people nobody will know who you really are. Its not bad being yourself, you don’t have to change who you are to fit yourself in society. Even if people don’t like the way you are or your personality then they are not the people who you should be socializing with but if your attitude is really bad and people come up to you and point them out then maybe you should reconsider.

Some how over the rainbow there will be people who can accept you for who you are but it all depends on how good or bad the situation is. This is why I say that being yourself is the best. However, do not run away from your problems putting on a happy mask when you are sad or depressed is just you trying to avoid things and may make things worst, it may be good but sometimes there are people who would want to help you out.  So all I just want to say is believe in yourself and enjoy life because life is like a roller coaster with all its ups and downs so live every second of it. Before I sign off, I’m Alyssa Sta Maria the new Division Head of Student Ink INTI. What is there to know about me? First I like being who I am also I’m an approachable person even if I may not look like it. Hanging out, listening to music especially my favorite genre Korean pop, dancing and lastly writing is what I do most of my free time. One more thing, I also would want you all to anticipate the new batch of creative and amazing writers for student ink which will be working along with me and soon to be revealed.

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In addition, I would like to introduce to you all the new committee members of the Mass Communication Society 2017/2018. I anticipate that this new batch of committee members will be able to make this club an exciting club yet a club that makes people wonder what’s coming up for them. The committee members are people who are wonderful, easy to work with and are like a family. Therefore, this also leads us committee members to make Mass Communication Society(MCS) not only a club where students can commit themselves just for co- curricular points and to fill in free time but to make this society into a family like club that once you are a MCS member, you’ll always be a MCS member. Last but not the least, I would like to thank all the past ex committee members who kept MCS going till today. If I had not found out about this club my college life wouldn’t be as fun and crazy as it is now.

That is all, I hope you enjoyed reading this and there will be more to come.

 

                                      -Alyssa Sta Maria

Student Ink Inti Editor

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Stitching yourself at the seams

A piece by Loke J-Han

Living the college life is never easy. Many of times, we hear that they’re going to be the best years of our lives; of self-discovery, a clean slate, the pursuit of our dreams, and getting lost or staying true to ourselves. But it is also true that – these could potentially be the worst years of our lives.

It will eventually boil down to how you decide to see things. Many of us will live the life of instant noodles, sleepless nights, and dirty laundry. Rest assured, it will be one of your most memorable adventures once you’ve gotten through the rough terrain because when the going gets tough, it gets really tough.

You’ll live through doing close to anything to lower your rent or surviving on a pack of biscuits for a whole day. We’ve all been there at some point, and you will too.

At my lowest, and I was sharing a room with 3 other people and was eating once in every two days. That was four years ago. Looking back, I wonder how I was able to survive that.

What made me push myself out of bed every morning? It wasn’t an end goal of any sort. There was no joy in a day and time passed without me knowing. But, that was a long time ago. Now, I am pursuing my Bachelor’s degree as a full-time student whilst working 2 jobs.

Although I’m much busier than before, I’m happier.

The mystery is, I still wonder what actually gets me out of bed every morning.

“You have to”

These were the words that run through my mind when I attempt to begin every morning, with heavy eyes and a restless aching head. Maybe it was the “Chinese” that was drilled into me but I was taught that hard work always pays off. I’m no hard worker by any means. I was always that one kid that was held back or forced to stand outside because he never did his homework. Compared to lots of other people I know, I still consider myself to be quite lazy.

I don’t see myself as brilliant nor articulate but one thing I know is that I am relentless. I’ve come to understand that no one is on the wagon for 24/7 and that you’ll fall off every now and then. Sometimes, you may fall off on Saturday, and again on Monday. It’s not easy, the college life that is. Giving up at any point just isn’t an option and it took me a good 5 years of being at rock bottom for me to figure it out.

“Companionship”

When you look at yourself and see nothing that you can be proud of, you look at others. The people around me are all absolutely amazing and inspirational to me. For them to be able to wake up in the morning, feel motivated, and excited to start the day is a miracle. Watching someone do something they enjoy and create something they’re proud of fills me with joy. When you can’t find your own happiness, share theirs. Be happy for your friends, cheer them on, motivate them and by doing that you might just keep some of that positivity for yourself.

Surround yourself with people who provide you with some form of positive affirmation. Even if it’s something as simple as “You look good today”, or a “Nicely done”. Find people who will laugh with you when you make bad puns. Find people who will try to understand your dark humour and sarcasm. Find people who will make an effort for you, and you should do the same for them.

“It’s okay”

It’s not easy coming to terms with many things. One that’s especially hard is accepting and hopefully, loving ourselves. It’s okay that you might not be as tall as you want to be or as skinny. It’s okay that you have a crooked nose and wrinkles when you laugh. These little quirks are exactly what makes you, you. These little quirks will also be the things that one day, someone will love the most about you. When you’re in love with someone funny enough, it’s all the things they don’t like about themselves that you seem to fall in love with the most. It’s these features that you want them to highlight and to embrace. If you snort while you laugh it’ll be the cutest, funniest, and sweetest thing that they’ve ever heard. It will take some time to get there and it will be a very long journey, but that’s okay.

“Stitching your wounds”

Truth be told, not everyone is going to be with you when you need them the most. A lot of the time, you might be alone. A valuable lesson that I’ve learnt is that we have to be our own protectors and healers. It’s those times at night when you feel like your whole entirety is coming apart from all of the pressure that’s building up inside of you, and you know you’re going to burst. That is the most crucial time to know that it’s up to you, and only you – to find a way to diffuse the pressure as you’ll find yourself completely on your own and alone. You have to learn how to fix yourself, and the best part about it is that once you’ve figured that out, you’re invincible.

“Epilogue”

Honestly, I’m far from figuring anything out myself and I thought that it’d be a good idea to share whatever that I have. Life isn’t the bad guy, it really isn’t. Sometimes it just looks like it is but the truth is, there isn’t a bad guy in every situation. Things get better, they do, but only if you want them to and if you’re doing your best to make that change. Give yourself time, and it’s especially important to understand that everyone learns and changes at different paces. Don’t compare yourself to anybody and put your best foot forward every day.

Life is like the weather. There are sunny days, rainy days, typhoons, and dry spells. And just like the weather we change from season to season. The trick to being happy is finding the joy in all of the days.

Book Review: Carol by Patricia Highsmith

A piece by Ziyan Chow

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One might be reminded of Christmas Carols upon coming across the book, but the title refers to the love interest of the main character, Carol Aird.

Regardless of whether one has heard of this author, Patricia Highsmith is famous for her psychological thrillers in the 1950s. One of them, Carol, initially known as The Price of Salt, was first published in the 1950s under the pseudonym “Claire Morgan”.

The book was Highsmith’s first work revolving on the topic of same-sex relationships.

Set in New York during the 1950s, the book tells the story of the lonely Therese Belivet, who aspires to be a theater set designer. Being with a man she does not love, she finds herself infatuated with Carol, an attractive blond in her early 30s at the toy department store Therese works at.

While Carol may seem to be a happily married woman with an adorable daughter, she is actually in the midst of going through a divorce with her husband, Harge, and the impending separation from her child. Like Therese, Carol finds herself alone.

As time goes by, the strong attachment Therese develops after spending time with Carol turns into something even more which then leads to several complications when Harge secretly hires a private investigator to gain evidence to prove Carol’s sexuality, which could lead to permanent consequences involving Carol’s custody of her daughter.

Will they end up together? We, as readers may find ourselves asking that same burning question at the turn of each page.

I enjoyed the flow of the story that followed a slow pace. The variety of emotions and conflicts that occur between Therese and Carol kept me engaged and curious about the couple’s fate.

Carol is narrated from Therese’s point of view, presenting readers with an intimate understanding of the main character’s development. It can be seen in how much Therese matured from the time she met Carol until the ending. From this, I was able to immerse myself into Therese’s mind through her many encounters and scenarios, as she grows to understand same-sex love and relationships. It is difficult to not be captivated by her introverted persona throughout all of this.

One unique phrase that has been pinned onto my mind is: “Flung out of space” – which Carol says to Therese in how she captivates Carol in a way she had never expected to be.

Carol leaves you with a warm and tingling sensation due to author Patricia Highsmith’s talent in delivering the character’s strong emotions through words, and the use of her real life experiences and inspirations that got her to create this sensational book.

As much as I find this book a personal favorite, I wish readers got to see more of Carol’s point of view as well, especially during the emotional struggle of holding onto Therese while fighting for her daughter.

Nonetheless, it is recommended for a slow and warm romance read for those seeking an old fashioned love story between two people who happen to fall in love unexpectedly.

Note: Carol has also been adapted into a film in 2015 starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, directed by Todd Haynes.

Written

A piece by Ivan Wong

Who are these characters who pretend?
Of what philosophy can they comprehend?
They are those set upon this earthly stage
Who try to perform each and every page
That was purposefully written.

Know you not this Writer?
His words which turns darkness brighter
The written truth revealed by ink on paper
His characters brought to life.

Their shadows which fall on the stage curtain
Mortal players in a world so very uncertain
Yet, their Writer supplies needed direction
A show written and brought to completion.

But this well written play is a tragedy
An unthinkable drama of mutiny
Players who have gone their own way
Defying all that the Writer has to say.
How then shall this stage survive?

Are players to play a role of their choosing?
Does the Playwright not have right to casts?
He decides who comes first and leaves last
Taking heed of him does not mean losing.

Is there any victory that is considered greater
Than actors playing roles determined by their Writer?
There is a kinship that no one sees and it goes unheard
Of the forbearing Writer and actors who know they erred

So, what of us today then?
Players on our own stages
Or writers of the current ages?
What say you?

Game Review: Overwatch

A piece by Loke J-Han

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If you ever thought that it was about time we had a new RPG FPS, you’re in for a real treat. The new game, Overwatch has taken the gaming world by storm. Its fast paced action-packed gameplay has captivated almost everyone who’s heard about it. Before we get into the juicy bits, we have to of course, give you the dry stuff.

The game was developed and published by Blizzard entertainment and was first unveiled at BlizzCon back in 2014. It encompasses a multitude of playable heroes and game modes, which we’ll get into later. The North American and European closed beta was launched back in October 27 2015 and had just finished the latest one that opened in April 15th 2016 to May 11th 2016. The game will be available in PC, PS4 and XBOX One as of May 24th

Now let’s get into the game a little more. The game encompasses team-based combat between 2 opposing teams with 6 players on each. Players are able to choose characters from 4 main classes: offense with greater speed and damage, defense with higher defense and more utility, support that provides buffs, debuffs and heals, and finally the tank that is designed to take most of the teams’ damage.

Players are allowed to change characters between deaths, an extremely cool feature that can and will win you games. Some of the maps are inspired by real world locations. For instance, Kings Row is inspired by the streets of London.

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The game has four primary game modes, them being: assault, escort, assault/escort and control

Assault
In this game mode, players are divided into two teams one is tasked with capturing two target points on the map while the other has to stop them.

Escort
The attacking team is tasked with escorting a payload to a point while the defending team must stop them. The payload moves on a predetermined track and will only move if there are allied players near or on it.

Assault / Escort
This game mode is a combination of the above. Attacking teams are required to capture a point before the payload is revealed and then escort the payload to the target destination. Defending teams must stop them.

Control
Here both teams are tasked to capture and control a point on the map until a counter reaches 100%. In other words, a King of the Hill match. This mode is played in a best of three format.

Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s talk about what makes the game so hard to pull away from.

Gameplay
The game is fast and extremely action packed leaving almost no room for you to breathe. Having played the latest closed beta with friends, it has proven to be one of the most entertaining games we played together this year. The quick matches, ever changing game modes and maps provided us with almost endless action for hours late into the night. Each game mode has about 3 different maps available and while it may sound like it could get repetitive, the maps are so large and intricate that it’s almost impossible not to find new paths or nooks and crannies to hide while you wait to ambush the opposing team.

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Heroes
The four different classes of heroes provide almost everyone with at least one character that would match their playstyle. If you would rather stay VERY far away from the combat and pick off your opponents quickly and painlessly, you could try Widowmaker. Her insanely high damage sniper coupled with her ultimate (provides you with sight of all enemy players for a short duration), makes her unstoppable if you’re good. But I personally prefer Tobjorn. He is able to build turrets, targeting enemies that come within 40 meters and shoot automatically. Pretty over powered (OP), really.

In essence, the heroes have a good mix of using skills, as well as shooting. It’s unlike a game that primarily involves the latter, like Counter Strike. This design makes it easy for those who have almost zero background or experience with playing FPS’ (me, basically) to pick it up almost effortlessly and in no time.

Being able to change characters between deaths is a very new and absolutely mind blowing feature. If for instance, your current team composition just isn’t working out and the opposing team keeps annihilating yours, all you have to do is switch it up a little bit and win the game. Constantly changing characters would keep the opposing team guessing what they might face next, putting them on edge and giving your team the upper hand.

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Play of the Game
Who doesn’t want to see their name on the highlights? Come on. At the end of every round, there is a short snippet where the system will choose a “Play of the Game”. This highlights one of the 12 players’ best moments for that session. It could either be a large killstreak, a game changing ultimate or even just a Tobjorn walking around while his turret takes out the entire opposing team (best highlight I ever got). While providing us with not only bragging rights, it showcases some amazing plays made by other players. It could be used as a learning platform or just to show us how good some people really are at making us feel like noobs.

Overtime
When the game counter reaches zero, it’s not over yet. If one member from your team is able to contest the objective, the game timer will be extended and will only run out if your whole team is wiped out and no one is left to contest. This mechanic has given us all the opportunity for that one last “all out” push for the win. The music gets louder and tensions run high as we all watch the overtime bar burn away while we either try to defend a point or destroy the enemy’s team.

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Rich Lore
While the game itself is remarkable, the developers have also provided us with an awesome background for all the characters and the plot of the game. The official trailers were followed by shots of characters and comics, leaving us with nothing but the hunger for more. We aren’t going to spoil anything else for you, so all you have to do is hop on to their Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClOf1XXinvZsy4wKPAkro2A) to catch it all. We know they’re leading up to something but we don’t know what and were dying to find out.

Loot
At every level up, players receive a loot box which when opened has the chance of dropping character skins, sprays, voice lines, poses, emotes and even in game currency giving broke gamers a chance to eventually own some cool in game items. Praise Blizzard.

But the game isn’t all that great…
Just kidding, it’s amazing. The only beef that many of us have is that it’s priced at USD 39.99, which comes up to almost RM 163.23.

HOW LIKE THAT?

It may scrape you a little dry, but we truly believe that it’ll be completely worth it. If you’re not convinced yet, just watch the trailer here.

Once that’s over, if you ever find me in a game (ShippuHan), just pop me a hi and we’re bound to have a ball.

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All images were retrieved from the official Overwatch website: https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/game/

The Zombification Process

A piece by Loke J-Han

We all know that the start of the semester is the absolute worst. Having to wake up before the sun is up and pretend to pay attention in class.

Do you understand?
yes miss…*murmurs*”

We’ve all been there. Our minds fantasizing about the soft and comfortable beds at home and how wonderful it would be to sleep on the cold side of the pillow at that very moment. Sadly we have to deal with reality and begin the process of becoming a student again right after that wonderful holiday of sleeping in and getting fat. Here’s how you begin to turn into the walking dead.

1. The Cycle Begins

It’s back to waking up at 8 am or earlier, depending on traffic. You religiously set your alarm, and the 10 other back up alarms, before falling asleep, waking up, just trying to make it through the day, before going back to bed.
You just jump (or fall) back into the rhythm of being a student once again. You gotta do what you gotta do right?

2. Eye bags

“You okay mou?”
“Got sleep ah?”

Habislah. The horrid panda eyes begin to return after a week or two of trying to get that sleep schedule back on track. But it’s not all bad, at least now you get to play with makeup a little more.

3. Assignments

This one goes without saying. You find yourself searching for the motivation to mentally prepare yourself for all those nights that you’re about to sacrifice sleep for to do the assignment – only because you were too lazy to before.

4. Suddenly becoming super calculative

If I sleep now, I’ll have 6 hours

Don’t pretend you weren’t up all night watching re-runs of The Flash.

Of course going back to college isn’t all that bad. It gives you a reason to dress up every day, and go hangout at Asia Cafe for a nice cold drink on the deck after a long day. Not forgetting the lunch dates after 12 pm classes and those few occasions where you decide to ditch responsibilities and go somewhere nice (we’re not encouraging it of course, but those are the moments that make some good memories).

College, most people say, will be the greatest years of your life.

We say they’re going to be the worst, but with some of the greatest highlights.

If you think about it, we’re all just a bunch of 20 year olds, floundering about trying to figure things out – which if you payed close attention to, will realize it’s actually quite amusing to watch.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

A piece by Kelly Anissa

Once upon a time, Melissa Pinto found herself wondering if she would ever make it into college like her friends.

“ When you’re in school, you don’t really realize how your parents are financially, until it starts to affect you like just before college,” she said.

Before Melissa became the successful accountant working at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) today in the UK, she was living with her family in a lower income household. To say life was simple might be an understatement.

There was nothing miserable about their situation growing up, but things were never easy. The one thing that kept constant through it all was her studies. She had her head buried in a book almost everywhere she went and excelled in her education. In many ways, it felt like I was speaking to Hermione Granger. However, the absence of the iconic character’s big curly hair brought me back to the very real person sitting in front me, her legs crossed and a packet of teh-o-ais in her hands. It was a hot day in Seremban.

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Melissa Pinto, a successful accountant who was from a low-income household

Melissa’s parents made it known from young that there would be toys she couldn’t get, or go shopping like others did. She noticed that the house her family lived in was smaller, and observed as others compared the things they bought among themselves.

They had no car at first, only a motorbike and took a bus almost everywhere they needed to go as a family. Her father was a government servant and her mother a housewife.

With very little savings of their own, every year at Christmas, they would get a bank loan to put up new curtains, change the cushion covers and buy presents for the family.

“When you’re younger, you don’t realize what that means.”

After Form 5, Melissa and her parents hit a speed bump they saw coming a mile away – college. There was no plan.

“I could see all my friends applying to private colleges and I knew there was no chance in hell that my parents could afford that.”

It was at that point that Melissa made herself a promise that when she has children someday, they would never share the same concerns she had to at that very moment- that if they worked hard, they would be able to go study wherever they wanted to.

“I had to make a better life for myself. ”

During the interview, she continuously reiterates that she doesn’t blame her parents. No matter how tough things were, they gave Melissa and her sister the best they could. The house was well kept and warm food was always on the table.

“It’s just how it is, isn’t it? ” Melissa said.

She wanted to be successful and made many promises to herself, but wasn’t confident if she would make it back then. I observed the look on her face as she spoke about the hopes and dreams she had. For a moment there, I wondered about mine too.

She had law on her mind, but settled for accounting instead because it costs less. Not long after, she started on the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), a diploma level qualification where payment was made on a per semester basis, which took a load off her parents’ shoulders.

Melissa paused to take a sip of her tea. As she set her drink aside, she now had a different vibe. I could tell a silver lining was coming up.

As he was flipping through the newspaper pages one day, Melissa’s father came across a scholarship advert from The Star and brought it home. Turns out the scholarship was linked to where she was studying, Systematic College Kuala Lumpur to do her Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualifications . What were the odds right?

“I was in the Star’s Bright Roving Annoying Teens (BRATS) program,” She said. “I used that and put it in my resume for the interview and I actually got the scholarship.”

Melissa’s parents were relieved off the burden of the expensive fees. That, and taking the bus from Seremban to Kuala Lumpur everyday kept expenses at a minimal.

There were about 14 papers in her course and the average time to complete them takes three years. However, Melissa completed them six months in advance. For one of those papers, she secured her spot as the highest scorer in Malaysia and second place in the world.

By 20 years old, she had already graduated and booked her first job at Sunway Group, where she got to deal with auditors from established accounting firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). Her bosses were nice, but they told her that getting a job in a firm such as PWC and Ernst and Young would be difficult.

“ I didn’t think I could get into a company like that, BUT I wanted to try,” she said. “ So I thought I would spend a year in Sunway first and then apply with PWC and I ended up getting the job.”

“ Melissa told me that someday she is going to buy her parents a house and a car,” Debbie, one of Melissa’s cousins told me. “ That was her goal and she worked very hard to move towards it. ”

After spending 4 1/2 years at PWC doing auditing for hotels and companies all over Malaysia, it was time for a change. Bernard Chow, Melissa’s friend who was working at the UK at the time told her that the finance sector there was blooming.

“ So I thought okay, I’ll give it a try, ” she said. “It was also scary because being an auditor was really hard, you don’t even get paid a lot and by the time I left, I started earning about close to RM 4k.”

With only RM 7K in her savings (which only came up to about one thousand pounds at the time), the then 28 year old Melissa went ahead and took a big leap of faith.

Upon arrival in the land of hope and glory, Melissa settled in with some friends in the area and began going for job interviews right away and eventually secured herself a position at a German bank doing product control with a three month contract.

“I thought I would try something different, so I tried it ( product control) and I hated it and decided to go back to normal accounting, ”

After hunting for a more permanent vacancy somewhere else, she managed to get one at Citibank. Within a year of landing a job in the UK, true to her words, Melissa had enough to buy her parents a house.

“They sold their house when I was 12, I’m not sure why, financial difficulties maybe,” she said. “Ever since then, they just rented and I think they always felt a bit sad about renting ‘cause they wanted their own home.”

She called her parents and told them to go look for a house they liked with the only condition being that it needed to be a one storey home, because “they were going to get old in this house.”

After working in Citibank for a year, Melissa left for the Royal Bank of Scotland, because it had the challenges she was looking for. Fast forward to about seven years later, Melissa is now the Vice President for Franchise Reporting & Accounting Developments.

She told me she thought she was going to end up back in Malaysia within a month. Had she not secured a job when she did, nothing would’ve worked out, you see.

After two years, Melissa and her friend Bernard, who told her about the job opportunities in the UK, got engaged, married and now have a little family of their own.

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Melissa and her hubby, Bernard.

This sounds like the kind of fairy tale EVERYONE needs.

It was around this time, the newlyweds bought her father a new car for Christmas.

Being surrounded by friends who are currently deciding where to further their education, which college is better than the other or if whether they should do it locally or abroad, I wondered if which college you go to plays an important role in the real world.

“ No, I don’t think so. I think if a person is driven, you would do whatever it takes to get to a point to get to a better life. But maybe if they did have the money to get to a better college, they would make a better living perhaps, IF they had the same personality. The thing is, being driven is something you’re born with. Its not something you can buy with money. That’s most important, you need to have that in you first ‘cause if you’re not driven or tenacious, you can still go to some fancy college and still be a loser. If my parents had more money, I might not have been more driven to be better or to push myself harder. I feel like its a balancing act. Now that I have kids, I have to make sure that I don’t spoil them too much and teach them that only if they work hard enough, then only will I spend money to get to a good college. If not, you’re on your own. I want them to be motivated and not just think its going to be handed to them. I don’t think you can rely on people to constantly push you to do a good job. Even when you’re working and your boss sucks, your boss shouldn’t be the reason whether you do a good or bad job. You need to do something you’re proud off.

 

No one should be responsible for motivating you except yourself. If you don’t, then maybe that’s just laziness.”