• Katherine Pan

The Hot Tea From My Sophomore Year in NUS

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

If my freshmen year left me feeling like I was hit by a truck, then my sophomore year left me feeling like I was run over by a steamroller. Zoom university kickstarted my first semester and I could not attend many school activities as they were either cancelled or held online. As restrictions started to ease in the second semester, your girl could finally live out the college life she was missing out on. I will be mentioning the highlights of my sophomore year and start taking down notes because it will all be in the final exam. Why did I just give myself war flashbacks…? [1]


Oh god please no. (Source)


Hugging the Toilet Bowl While Piss Drunk:

Have you smelled a certain type of alcohol and it reminded you of that night you almost died? I was vomit-free since ’00 but not anymore this year and I sure do have PTSD now from smelling gin and tonic. I was invited for drinks on a Friday night in March, and I agreed without much consideration because what could go wrong?



Until I sat down on the barstool and decided not to drink but knock back glasses of double shot gin and tonic within 10 seconds as a challenge. Not too sure whether I was brave or stupid to do it not just once but twice as I remained oblivious to the consequences of my actions. Later that night I was sitting on my bathroom floor and hugging the toilet bowl while I puked continuously. I was so drunk I could not even shower, so I dragged myself to bed with vomit in my hair. I woke up numerous times throughout the night to continue throwing up as I was still wasted. Despite the taste of vomit in my mouth, I gulped down water to avoid dehydration as I puked so much. While I hugged the toilet bowl throughout the night, I seriously wondered if I was going to die from alcohol poisoning.


My kidney will not cheers to that. (Source)


How I Met My Boyfriend & Joining NUS Ballroom:

The crème de la crème of my second year was my time in NUS ballroom. I have been eyeing to join the club since 2019 and your girl finally did it! As restrictions were easing, a physical welcome tea was held in January and I signed up via NUSync. To my horror, I was turned down at the entrance of the dance studio because my name was not on the list. It turns out that my dumb ass did not click the submit button on NUSync to submit my form! I registered on the spot and was randomly assigned a learning pod comprised of two others. During the session, we learned three basic Waltz dance steps within our pods and I remember thinking that my pod leader was pretty cute. I liked the way that he carried himself and I found him attractive. Little did I know that somewhere down the line my pod leader would eventually become my boyfriend…


It applies for males that try to holla at my boyfriend too. (Source)


You probably imagine couples swaying across the dance floor when you think of ballroom dancing. Yet for the first three weeks, everyone in the club had to do solo dancing and practice safe distancing due to COVID. As the restrictions eased, couple dancing resumed but with a catch: we could only dance with one partner for the entire semester. Due to clashing schedules, I had to turn several candidates down and by then, most couples had already been formed. As I scanned the room looking for a partner, someone standing at the corner of the room caught my eye. It was my pod leader from welcome tea, and I noticed that he was looking for a partner as well! At that juncture, fear was the last thing that was on my mind because I was more concerned about losing out on the full ballroom experience if I danced alone. With nothing to lose, I walked up to him and asked if he would like to dance together. We shared great chemistry and we subsequently exchanged numbers to plan our practice sessions. Within the semester, we learned the beginner routine for Waltz, Tango, Quickstep, and Foxtrot. There were moments where I would forget my dance steps and I would step on my partner’s feet. One time I broke my partner’s toenail because I kicked his foot really hard. Thank god he did not drop me as a dance partner and the rest is history.


My boyfriend when he tries to demonstrate the dance steps I forgot. (Source)


My time in the club was delightful because of the people in it and I look forward to the new experiences that NUS ballroom will bring me.


How a Bat Took Over My Room:

Why leave the house and risk catching COVID when you can catch it within the comfort of your home? In October 2020, a bat flew into my house through my kitchen windows and decided to fly into my room. I was clueless about its presence while I typed away on my laptop when I saw an object flying above me. To my horror, I realized that a bat had taken refuge in my room. My family has zero experience dealing with wildlife animals and our attempts to chase the bat out through the windows were futile. As it continued to fly in circles in my room, I decided to leave my windows wide open for the night and bring my traumatized self to sleep on the couch.


The next day, I called up pest control companies and the National Environmental Agency (NEA). The pest control companies quoted me $200 for inspection and removal of the bat while assuring me that they will come down immediately upon request. Meanwhile, the staff at NEA told me that they could only dispatch a team to inspect my house in two weeks, and there is no need to worry as the bat is most certainly COVID-free. Frustrated, I questioned the staff about the appropriate follow-up measures I should take, and the staff proved incompetent as he failed to provide me with useful information. NEA’s response was a major disappointment because the staff was inexperienced, and his nonchalant behaviour annoyed me even though I was distressed over the phone.


It infuriated me further when my father did not understand the gravity of the situation and how dangerous wildlife animals can be. He refused to engage the services of the pest control companies, leaving me to take matters into my own hands by inspecting and sanitizing every nook and cranny. Thank god was the bat was gone when I did my inspection because I would have fainted. The experience had left me shaken and fortunately COVID free. Although I still wonder if I truly am because …


Meme generated from source


Conclusion:

If my sophomore year were a theme park attraction, it would be a roller coaster ride with one lift hill and seven inversions [2] to represent the hot mess of an academic year. Despite its challenges, it was also a year of immense personal and professional growth and I brace myself for my remaining two years in NUS. To be fair, nothing can hurt me anymore after I have taken the NUS internal shuttle bus during peak hours [3].


Credits: [1] Line from syd's vids: source

[2] One lift hill and seven inversions is a reference to the Euthanasia Coaster, which was designed to kill its passengers: source

[3] Shuttle bus joke from peeaigee: source

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