The Road to Independence

It’s as good a time as any to reflect on the transition from college life to working life, so here goes nothing.

The PUMSA Alumni Panel

Let’s start off with an event!

(you know how I love those)

(not sure who “you” are supposed to be in this case – I guess just you, generic and beautiful friend of Ashwin)

Anyway, the event: The PUMSA Alumni Panel back on March 26. My illustrious cohorts Shing Jay (super successful), Fatt Hon (super funny), Wei Phang (super goofy), Meng Yee (super fat – inside joke), + myself (super malik) were invited to sit on a panel to answer the questions of our younger PUMSA brethren about work, life, and the secrets of the universe.

I think the panel was quite fruitful for both us golden oldies and the attendees; there was a good amount of great questions and insightful answers (mostly from the other 3 guys). I felt a little awkward, since I had the most jumped-up position title yet the least working experience, but I made it through.

For what it’s worth, the after-party was fun. 😉

The passage of time

Time doesn’t just fly, it rockets past you at breakneck speed. I didn’t think it was that bad, but it really does; You work 8 to 5 each day, Monday to Friday, enjoy the weekend, and here’s another week. Another month. It’s already April, can you believe it? I started writing here in December, but it only feels like 4 weeks ago, not 4 months. This scares me more than anything else.

Solution? Keep trying new things (in work and in leisure), keep talking and meeting with people (old and new friends!)… Anything to break out of the monotone.

Still working on this.

The icky adult crap

The nightmare is real. Fly! Fly, you fools!

You’ve been warned.

So much stuff to wade through: Immigration paperwork (which took 120 days out of a max of 90), employment paperwork, social security, driver’s license renewal, passport renewal, apartment applications, taxes, and insurance.

All the things necessary to function as an adult in society, with absolutely dire repercussions if you happen to mess up any of them, but none of which you’re ever, ever taught… I only survived through a fair measure of winging it, receiving advice from some lovely helpful people (Aaron & Tara most of all), and bucketloads of patience.

The social life

I’m still living close to campus (only for another 2 months), so this hasn’t hit me yet.. But in the not-too-distant future, I’ll have to say goodbye to my college friends (the ones still here, at least). I won’t be able to just go out on a Friday night and hang out with people anymore.

Well, I’ll just have to enjoy my limited time left with these people. Soon, like my friends on the other side of the world, we’ll be confined to Facebook Messenger. 🙁

The freedom

That was quite a few paragraph of complaints, so let’s talk about something I am immensely enjoying:


Outside of work, I’m free to do anything I want. No homework, no obligations, except for what I want and like to do myself. SASE calls all night long? WHY NOT?! Spend hours getting the roads right in Cities: Skylines? WHY NOT?! Read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? WHY NOT?! (I’m taking forever to finish it)

Write a blog? OBVIOUSLY, HERE I AM!

Of course, it helps that I don’t have kids.

The financial freedom is both liberating and terrifying. On one hand, not having to answer to someone you don’t get along with is immensely joyful. You work for your own money, no strings attached. On the other hand, your balance in the bank.. That’s all. That’s it. If anything goes wrong, that’s all you have. So you better be careful with it.


All in all… Still lovin’ it. 9/10 would recommend to fellow homework-haters.