Blessed Seventeenth

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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Hello friends :-)

Birthdays are a mere celebration of the day one enters the world as an individual, living organism. It could mean nothing to a person and honestly to me it's not really that big of a deal because I did nothing to deserve a day like this - if anything, it's probably my mum's effort in pushing me out. It means a whole lot to me though, that my friends actually bother to celebrate it with me because they aren't just celebrating my existence (that wouldn't carry any meaning at all) but rather (hopefully -) celebrating how my existence has impacted their lives. And for that, I thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart. 

I do hope that every single one of you has been positively affected by my presence in your lives because you guys sure do, to me and have made 21 February 2014 so incredibly memorable. Marking my seventeenth year with the best company ever, I am truly blessed. And because I'd hope to retain these memories forever, here's how my day went by: 

Started the day with a little birthday song and birthday cake (the one pictured above!) from my family at home :') Can I just say that my family sings the birthday song in the weirdest way ever because everyone's not very comfortable with singing and my dad would sing in a really high pitched voice which would annoy my mum. And well, my brother would just snigger at the side. But that aside, thank you to my favourite parents and brother in the world. 

Headed to school a little later than usual and when I was entering the canteen, I saw the back view of the Belly Boings trying to sneak into the canteen (i.e. I was walking behind them) because they thought I was already sitting inside somewhere. Then some of them turned around and saw me looking at them and it was really awkward HAHA apparently Wang You assured everyone that I didn't see them yet. 

But you guys are the best - thank you so much for the cake, princess crown, balloon and presents :') We're all in different classes and it's so difficult to meet up nowadays but I really hope we don't ever lose contact because you guys are a bunch I'll never want to lose - ever.  

"Friendship forever pls pls pls pls pls" 

Thank you guys I love you all to the moon and back :-* Thank you guys for being my pillar of strength for the past two years and hopefully for more to come. And please update on all your new found boy boys - don't keep it to yourselves ok! 

Omg honestly thank you so much for the lovely lovely lovely cards, for getting me the book I very shamelessly hinted for, the cute lion plush (HAHA it's funny how I told you guys to avoid ducks - the Waddle mascot - and I end up getting the Bayley Waddle mascot) and the super amazing scented Yankee candles (caramel!!!!!!!!!!) 

Full photo of us in our JC school uniforms :') 

Minglu suddenly came halfway to take me away from the Boings and Channel 5 surprised me with another birthday song, a slice of Oreo cheesecake (!!!), presents and a huge obnoxiously yellow plush "duck" (which really isn't a duck) - thank you so much guys I truly appreciate it! Thank you for being the best House Capts I've ever worked with (well, yes you guys are the only House Capts I've worked with) and I do wish we could all be House Capts again in JC because that will be insanely amazing but of course, life does not work that way at all. But the times I spent with you guys were undoubtedly one of the best moments in my secondary school life and I know we'll still keep in touch. I have no idea where our photo together in the morning went though. 

Hehe thank you for the little gifts and cards :') Am extremely touched!

Big "duck" - it's probably a parrot or a chick - trust me, my expertise is in identifying plush ducks. I love it all the same though!

After morning assembly, my dear class (15A01C) broke out into a birthday song at the parade square and I was already incredibly happy and honestly didn't expect anything else. However, during Literature, our CT suddenly said she needed to cut short the lesson and two of my classmates, Nicholas & Jun Lei left the classroom to go to the "toilet" and came back with a lovely big cake and started singing the birthday song for me. Thank you so much guys - even though we have barely known each other, you guys still bothered to do something like that for me. I was truly caught off guard and most definitely, pleasantly surprised. They made me wear a party hat to the Econs lecture as well! 

Headed to the canteen after school to properly eat the cake - really looking forward to spend the next two years with this very fun bunch! 

Yay hehe - shoutout to my classmate/ OG mate Nicholas for initiating this in the first place - I'm extremely touched by this surprise. 

Unfortunately, I couldn't really spend much time with my class after school because Channel 5 wanted me to head to the Manna Café to receive further instructions. Turns out, they were kidnapping me to somewhere special (to be honest, I kind of already guessed where they wanted to take me because it's pretty near school and it's one of my favourite cafés ever). 

It was really hilarious because I saw my CT at Manna Café and she stopped to talk to me/ ask me how my day was. She knew it was my birthday because my class celebrated it for me during her Literature class and I was carrying a birthday balloon + other tangible forms of love (I am so blessed honestly) and so she started asking for my "secret to being so popular" and it got a bit weird. Of course, I couldn't answer her question but she was really insistent, asking me why people liked me so much. It was all in the name of fun and Channel 5 came to my rescue, giving all sorts of funny answers. She later told me that she was very glad that I didn't choose to run for Council and could remain as her CT rep (i.e. class chair). Well, well :-) 

So, these are my two kidnappers - Huiying & Mel (i.e. Barney)! Unfortunately, Minglu and Van still had lessons at that time and couldn't come along with us to our hunt - Old School Delights! Kind of ironic that they kidnapped me here because I was the one who introduced the place to them. 

It wasn't just three of us though ;-) 

"2 servings" - we ended up getting four heh heh and Hui Ying tried to get a free birthday cake by subtly writing "Happy Birthday Li Yin" at the bottom of our order white board. Unfortunately, it didn't work!

D r i n k s :-) 
Probably the best wings in the entire universe - I could eat four servings on my own I think.

Super happy and blessed after a whole load of chicken (which I didn't even need to pay for whoa you guys are the best of the best! :-*) 

Love love love this photo of us and of course, the people in the photo! 

Channel 5 was supposed to bring me back to school to "hand" me "over" to Sarah but when we were on the way back, Sarah called and apparently Phionna fainted because she donated blood to the blood bank in school and it was pretty scary. We rushed back to the Innovation Centre and kept Phionna company afterwards. That girl is so noble she keeps on giving to others and caring about the welfare of others but ends up overlooking her own well being. Sarah and I didn't manage to go out but it's perfectly okay - thank you so much for the thought though, and everything else! We still have our study dates no worries ;-) 

Afterwards, I found out that my OG was still hanging out in school so I headed to the amphitheatre to join them - love their company anytime. Somehow, when I'm with them, I end up laughing really hard (and for the record, I laugh hard at everything but this one is a bit more extreme) which is always nice. Somehow, throughout my birthday, I didn't really laugh a lot because I had to stand awkwardly and thank people which isn't what one does naturally so it was nice to truly let go with my OG near the end of the day. 

Yay :-) 

Oh, and my OG was sending birthday wishes via Whatsapp throughout the day - thank you guys so much for that! One of the messages came with this photoshopped photograph of me, done by Nigel! Thanks so much for the effort it made my day :') The original art piece isn't one of the duck. 

Ended up staying in school with Gabriella, Jia Qian and Chan Wai till around 7.30pm because they didn't allow me to go home - they literally dragged me away from the Marymount gate, I don't even know what they were thinking but anyway you guys are fabulous company, I didn't really mind even though I showed some dissatisfaction. Yes, that concludes 21 February 2014 - it was an amazing day, to say the least. Apart from the surprises I received, thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes and birthday presents be it on social media, face to face or via text - I appreciate every single one of you, really. 

Thank you Chris :') :') You da very best, most irritating chum I know of - much love hehe and our get fat sessions are still on okay! 

Also, my brother was really hilarious - he put a box of Japan piggy chocolates into my bag of birthday gifts without saying a word at night and I only saw it on the morning of 22 February and I couldn't identify where the mystery box came from until my mum asked him. Thank you bro for being so quietly caring though! 

Truly felt like a princess that day. However, it didn't even end then :') I headed to school the following Monday (24 February) and was surprised by another group of people - the Dwen An kids! 

It was a lovely cake - note that it was and look at the photograph closely! The cake was smashed halfway but it's still beautiful hehe thank you guys :') It might have been the least aesthetically appealing cake I received this year but honestly, it was the nicest tasting one! 

Thank you Yijing, Leirong, Tiff & Ben for the surprise - I truly appreciate it although you guys are not particularly good at surprises HAHA y'all can't even locate me in one very small canteen (well, at least Ben couldn't) but thank you all the same! We must continue keeping in touch as much as we can because of our shared experience - we were in one of the most memorable experiences I ever had in my life together and I enjoy you guys' company very much. 

T H A N K  Y O U 
to every single one of you who made my birthday so amazing, 
to every single one of you who has been a part of my past 17 years, 
whether or not you came and gone, just came, or stayed by me all this while, 
I  L O V E  Y O U

I am so incredibly blessed, loved and fortunate. 
Here's to another great year ahead! 
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

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Well, well. So I'm finally seventeen. Not really sure what being a year older really means since maturity doesn't happen overnight - it's not as if I'd become this wise old (young) adult the moment the clock struck midnight on 21 February & that I'd get surrounded by tiny sparkles and fairy dust, magically transforming my mental capacity from a sixteen year old to that of a seventeen year old. No, of course it doesn't work that way at all, and I suppose my becoming a person of this age was a gradual process and who I currently am today was a result of that process. 

Taking a look back on the past seventeen years, I must say that I've been extremely fortunate. I've been blessed with so many things that I honestly don't think I really deserve. But above all, the most important lesson/ way of life I've learnt so far is the mindset I have towards my own life. Truth be told, the "life" that I portray on my various avenues of social media (especially Instagram) isn't really how my life is. On these places, somehow everything seems so perfect and I look happy most of the time. In fact, close friends enjoy telling me how Instagram Li Yin (and actually even blogger Li Yin) is very different from real life Li Yin. The way I behave when I'm with my friends I'm comfortable knows no boundaries - I just get really crazy and appear incapable of any deep thoughts or appreciative feelings, unlike the way I blog or my captions on Instagram. However, I know this is quite scary but even the weird/ crazy girl I am when I hang out with people isn't an accurate reflection of who I really am nor my life. 

Be it portraying a happy version of myself, be it portraying a reflective version of myself or be it portraying a crazy version of myself, notice that all these are images of me glowing with positivity. And I'm not saying that these are images I've formed purposefully and that I'm secretly this really emo and sad person behind the masks I wear because that's just quite eerie. That is not what I'm getting at at all and it'd be such a horrible bombshell to drop on the people who know me after seventeen years of my existence. 

But really, what I'm trying to say is that real life Li Yin, Instagram Li Yin, blogger Li Yin and whatever other platforms I have formed an image of myself on are all me. To be exact, these platforms portray the eventual person I truly want to become. I'm not trying to be fake, though some people may just label me as that but I constantly take particular care to censor truly negative parts of my life from public domains and honestly, even the closest of my friends. I do rant to people, just like a normal human being does but those are really just tiny things - I have this little personal policy of mine to not draw attention to the flaws in my life (which are actually many) because for one, the more you think about the negative things, the worst it'll be and get to you and secondly (and not so importantly), possibly because I've been raised in a (semi) traditional Chinese family and Chinese people enjoy "face" and it's a tad embarrassing to talk about the shitty things in one's life. 

This is such an incoherent post but the bottomline is that - after seventeen years, I have learnt that the positive mindset I have towards my own life (i.e. the way I portray my life everywhere, even in person) is one of the things pride myself the most for. At the start, it may just have been something I did only because I wanted people to think that my life was great (shallow Li Yin surfaces), but eventually, it started morphing into the parts of my life that I valued the most and somehow, all these positive vibes I've been portraying of myself slowly overshadowed the negative bits in my life. And that's great - I truly appreciate the mindset that I somehow grew to have & at this point in time, I do believe that the past seventeen years of my life have been incredibly fulfilling - and yes, I'm saying this because I mean it. 

Oh, and by the looks of my Instagram feed (hurhurhur), I guess I had a very happy birthday :-) And I really did. Thank you to everyone who made my special day so amazing - another post will be coming up hopefully soon. 
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Kaleidos 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

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Hello friends :-)

So, what can I say? JC has officially started and one of the most memorable events I'll ever get to experience in my JC life has already ended. The four-day Orientation programme for the J1s is definitely something I'll keep close to my heart and I'm so thankful to have been given the opportunity to have had the company of a group of people I have grown to love and care for, hopefully for a long time to come. It's insane how my Orientation group, BW01, grew so close so fast - in a mere span of four days.  

Initially, I must admit I was really afraid of JC life in general because I've heard so many strange things and rumours about it but I think Orientation truly helped me assimilate properly into the school and well, JC so far isn't that bad at all in terms of the previous fears I had about people being all judgemental. 

That aside, I'll be recapping the things that happened all through Orientation, probably in chronological order because it's the most I can do to make these memories last forever. Oh, and none of these photographs belong to me - most of them are by Wei Yang (thank you!) Here goes :-)

Day 1 (6th Feb) 

Met BW01 for the first time and of course, as with meeting new people, it was slightly awkward and everyone hasn't really warmed up yet. Somehow though, I knew that I was in for a great time, because the energy of the Orientation Group Leaders (OGLs) was undoubtedly infectious. We had ice breakers to start off the day!

Before the ice was broken - look at our faces! 

Afterwards we had Storyline, which is actually a play that lasts through all four days of Orientation and the nature of it is definitely something incredibly difficult to pull off. I wouldn't say that it was great because it's an uphill task to sustain a performance for so long but major props for the effort put into it. I can't imagine all the work that went into putting up something like that for us. We also learnt the batch song that day which is amazing and 1000000 times better than the one we had as Year Ones in RG. Then came lunch, another round of Storyline and probably the most exciting activity of the day - Station Games! :-) 

A game I was so bad at - I was the "auntie" for at least two rounds whoops. 

Attempting to build a tall tower with ice cream sticks - my group kind of cheated stole masking tape from the station master when he wasn't looking! By that time, we were actually really quite comfortable with one another already :-) 

One of those outdoor games that try to pair girls and guys together! 

Vinay and I paired up - this was only day 1, before he found out how crazy I could get! I think it's super funny looking at photographs and thinking about the first impressions you had about people before you really get to know them. 

Yijiang and I at the really awkward balloon game! 

Continuation of the awkward balloon game, though this time not as awkward because we weren't facing one another :-) 

Station games were really quite effective in breaking most of the boundaries and reservations we had within the OG but I don't think any of us came out of our shells yet (for example, I don't think I showcased my strange laughter at this point of time).

BW01's four OGLs - Ryan, Fang Ning, Grace & Wei Yang :-) I truly appreciate them a lot - and look at that gorgeous kit kat fixture! Ryan's also the Bayley Waddle House Captain so that was pretty cool too.

For dinner that day, our OG headed to Burger Shack at the Botanic Gardens and we were such a hipster OG, travelling all the way there while most chose to go to Serangoon's nex or Bishan's J8. While travelling there, Ryan asked me if I was the Waddle Captain which was rather humbling and then the competitive side I used to have last year emerged from him which was so funny and he started asking what my batch of Waddlians were good at. Heh, we used to exploit talents for Inter House Games too. I'll honestly miss being a part of House leadership over the next two years sigh, especially with House spirit so strong over here. 

T'was a great first day :') 

Day 2 (7th Feb) 


Had dance first thing in the morning which isn't a very good idea because my brain usually doesn't function that well so early but it was actually a lot more fun than I expected. They taught the dance at an insanely fast pace though, which is understandable because we had four dances to learn but only four one-hour sessions. I got paired with Chan Wai, who is probably one of the most high-energy guys of my OG which was great because one of the fears I had about Orientation was getting paired with some dude who wouldn't want to dance with me. 

Both of us weren't very good at dancing or rather, we didn't take it too seriously and just had a lot of fun :') And yes, we were trying to make a heart shape there - I think we used the wrong hands. 

My QT OG dancing :') 

After dancing, some talks, the learning of school song and cheers (which reminded me so much of my time as a SIMU member - teaching the Year Ones school cheers ahhh), we had House Hour which was our first exposure to Bayley Waddle officially and I must say, I was blown away. The House spirit is so damn high, the House cheers are so damn good and the House Captains carry themselves really well on stage. So much to learn from the RI(JC) House system honestly and after that mere one hour, it seems as if everyone just miraculously has House pride bursting from within them. Perhaps we should just bring Waddlians to RI for one hour to experience a bit of the House spirit there and they'll return to RG full of it. Anyway, House Hour led up to War Games and everyone basically transferred their new found House pride into energy and played hard for BW :') 

ROUGH but FUN :-) Our House/ OG had Chang Kyu so we were pretty safe most of the time! 


And this is a really pretty OG photo :') 

We were all pretty tired from War Games so we didn't bother to travel that day for OG dinner - just headed to Bishan J8. We stayed there for a really long time playing games with many other OGs who were there as well. 

T'was another great day, but thank goodness for the weekend break :') 

Day 3 (10th Feb)

Back from the weekend break for Day 3 of Orientation and the highlight of the day was most definitely External Activity where we got to venture out as an OG to various parts of Singapore (well, limited to the Circle Line but still). 

The first stop was Buona Vista - I don't normally notice this particular MRT station so it's nice to have been able to explore this area a little, though I must admit there wasn't anything very interesting there. We headed to a hawker centre and had to match several riddles to the stall names. 


Us after we've completed the task (quite well, I must add)! 

Second stop was Haw Par Villa, a place most people shy away from. I'm actually a pretty huge fan of that place, as one may be able to tell by this post here. So I was actually quite excited to go there again. The task given there was to take selfies of several of the statues situated around the park. 

Cute :-)

And this was one of the selfies we took for the task! :-) Ryan's actually not too bad at this, though there are several where only his eyebrows are featured. 

The third and final stop was Habourfront - we had lunch there first though before heading to the Sentosa Boardwalk to receive the last external activity task. We were required to be tied with someone of the opposite gender and go around taking selfies with certain iconic (or not so iconic) things such as plants and signboards along the boardwalk. 

Paired with Chan Wai for this! By then, everyone didn't have any qualms being paired with someone of the opposite gender already unlike the first day, which was really good because everyone was so comfortable. 

Such a cute scene HAHA I love it. 

Unfortunately, just like our dancing, Chan Wai and myself are really quite bad at taking selfies and we both have really crappy front cameras so here's one of our best attempts, which is supposed to feature the "sentosa" sign in the background. 

At the end of the task they didn't even check the photographs so it was more like a keepsake for all of us which was a little weird. It was fun though :-)


We had a bonus round where we were required to stage a proposal so here's feminine Rachel Koh proposing to the ever manly Chang Kyu - our OG is quite a joke ;-)

Headed back to school (some of us slept on the MRT) and had to continue with Internal Activities where we chased OGLs and did tasks for them. Insanely tiring but still fun and it's definitely worth it doing it for BW. Afterwards, we had dance again and it's really hilarious because it's the third session and the first two dances were long forgotten. 

Candid shot that's actually quite nice HAHA

The elation one feels after finishing learning one dance. 

The back gang (i.e. the taller people) - missing Vinay though :-( 

For the third OG dinner, we headed to Plaza Singapura because we needed to get costumes for O'Nite the next day as well as presents for our OGLs! We hobo-ed under the escalator and played games like Murderer before some dude came and wanted to enlighten us on "some truths" and he started speaking about religion, which is quite a sensitive topic but I'm glad we managed to get him to stop - though grudgingly - after a while. 

T'was a great day yet again :') 

Day 4 (11th Feb)


Started the most tiring day with War Games, which wasn't that much of a great idea because no one's really in the mood for intense physical activity in the morning but everyone still went all out for the House again, which is something really heartwarming. Honestly, I wished I could've worked with this sort of House spirit back in RG. 

I thought my shirt got ripped at one point during the game and was so worried but thank goodness it wasn't. 


And then I met Shermaine during the JEDI game in the Multi Purpose Hall - I really miss the Boings :-( 

In my opinion, I feel like the War Games are amazing because the games actually make use of fresh and new ideas and concepts and are the right level of difficulty and complexity for our age group. It was really fun. 

I think I was doing a forfeit during one particular war game but I don't look too happy oo-er. 

BW01 after the last round of War Games! 

It was a jam-packed day and we had dance immediately after War Games, which was so crazy. Plus, it was our last dance session before O'Nite itself but we still didn't take it that seriously and instead had a lot of fun, which was the most important I guess. 

Sigh thanks Chan Wai for actually bearing with me as your dance partner throughout the course of Orientation :') 

Wow we are the only ones practising amongst everyone HAHA shucks this photo is hilarious - or maybe we were too late in standing up I don't even know.

After lunch, we had things like Song Recap and Storyline before O'Nite Preparation. Our group, called Kit Kat decided to dress as kittens because Kid Cats! :') We basically wore cat ears we purchased from Daiso, yellow and/ or black and Rachel worked her face paint magic on us. 

Thanks Rachel! :-) 

Super cute OGLs :') Thank you guys so much for everything and all the effort put into making Orientation such a fantastic experience for us - honestly can't thank y'all enough! 

BW01 - Kid Cats! (Kit Kats)

With Kim Tsai, the only one in my OG from 104/204 - really glad I have her with me though, always full of nonsense all the time and annoying me so much.

Anyway, O'Nite was incredible - the spirit, the atmosphere, the performances! Everything was amazing especially Dance Off and the dance performances put up by the Song and Dance committee of Orientation. Thank goodness the batch dance was a really small part of everything. 

We almost got a nice heart - or maybe we did except it didn't get captured on camera! :-) 

After we did the dance, we were both super happy because it was one of the best series of dances we did together and definitely the one where we had the most fun. When we all started singing the batch song, the atmosphere all around the hall was incredible and I just had chills all over. It's really things like these that make one's journey in JC beautiful. Not sure if it's going to be something that lasts though or simply a one-off emotion sigh.

Louisa - hehe I love you, you'll forever be my wise mentor! :-) 

I love you guys omg thank you so much for everything :') 

For the last night, we headed to nex at Serangoon for dinner and it was a beautiful way to end everything, though I definitely wish it didn't have to end. Truly blessed to have been placed in an OG like this and I really hope we don't drift apart that much even though Kaleidos is over. 

Thank you OGLs - Fangning, Grace, Ryan & Wei Yang. 
Thank you Chang Kyu, Chan Wai, Clarissa, Emmalene, Gabriella, Gabriele, Josiah, Kimberly, Jia Qian, Lorraine, May, Nanxi, Natalie, Nicholas, Nigel, Peter, Rachel, Shang Rong, Vinay, Wilson & Yijiang.

You guys have given me four fun-filled days that I'll never forget :') 
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