35 Of The Best And Worst Things About Living Alone

Something to pounder on

Thought Catalog


Ever since I can remember, as a kid I was obsessed with the idea of living alone. I guess it was a fantasy I had from playing house and taking it a little too seriously. This resulted in becoming a fiercely independent child that turned teen adolescent to now grown woman. It progressively got to be a little strange and concerning for some that I had no qualms with being alone and the mere slightest hint of unnecessary socialization would freak me out and feel ultimately, claustrophobic and smothering. I used to ask myself in a hopeful non-conceited way, ‘Ugh, why are these people so obsessed with me?’ of course they probably weren’t obsessed with me, they were just legitimately wanting to hang out like regular people do.

Now, cometh the day when I am suitably independent and (semi) socially acquired, living alone has proven to be a redefined…

View original post 1,529 more words


Project Home

I have always been needing a new external hard drive as the storage in my laptop and my 3 or 4-year-old 500 GB external hard drive are running out and I always have to delete some files to make more space. It was until recently that I came across a really good deal: a new 1 TB external hard drive below market price. My friends were telling me that I should buy it immediately before the deal is over but I insisted to do a bit of survey first. I finally decided to purchase it after a several-day-long research.

While I was doing my research on this, I read about the importance of having regular backup and the convenience of having a private home server. I dived deeper into this and came to know that it doesn’t cost much to build a home server, as you can make use of any working computer.

As I work from home sometimes, cloud drives are essential to me. I need not bring any hard drive or laptop to office, all I need to do is to save my work in the cloud. It is however unlikely for me to save my media files (movies, music, photos) in the cloud due to limited free storage (and no, I will not pay for cloud drives, at least for now). Transferring to my external hard drive on a regular basis? Nope, too much effort.

I share a house with a few friends, having a server would also be convenient for we lazy asses to share our movies or series without having to pass our hard drives around. You can enjoy a movie at the cost of several clicks, and even from my iPad too, if I am too lazy to get up from the bed to turn on my laptop.

These are the few reasons I think I need a home server.

How much do I plan to spend on this? Zero, for now. I remember having an unused laptop (a 2009 one if not mistaken) laying around collecting dust at home. I foresee that in the future I may invest in some hardware to upgrade though, probably a proper computer housing unit with extensive internal hard drives.

That is for the tech part. Alongside with this home server thingy, I also plan to properly furnish my current living area.

I was told by some that I probably shouldn’t be doing this because I won’t be staying here permanently but I think 4 years is a long time (considering I continue pursuing my doctorate here). It is understandable that it is not quite economical to fully furnish a place where you only stay temporarily, but I think making home comfortable is crucial. But in order to keep it within the affordable range, purchasing pre-owned furnitures is the way to go.

I currently own a bed, 2 desks, a wooden chair, some shelves and a wardrobe. It may be sufficient but I feel that I need solutions for sitting, storage and probably decoration.

Project Home incurs a somewhat big sum, which is why it will be a long term project. As for now, I would focus on setting up my home server with all the available hardware.

Default Path on MATLAB

MATLAB stands for Matrix Laboratory, it is a powerful programming language for computations, optimisation, plotting functions or data etc.. MATLAB is widely used in the science, mathematics, engineering and economics industries as well as academia and research institutions.

As a postgraduate candidate in the metocean industry, the MATLAB is probably the common tongue (at least amongst my peers and colleagues). Having been working with it for the past 1 year, I am always annoyed by the fact that I could not change the default working directory (Note: I’m using MATLAB R2012b for Windows). I did try to Google this issue every now and then and I was returned with solutions such as creating a startup.m file or using the userpath command every time I start my MATLAB. I find these suggestions are either of too much trouble or doesn’t really solve the problem.

It was with the help of a friend this morning that we finally have this issue solved. It is as simple as changing the directory in the Properties!

First of all, go to the directory where you wish to set it as the default working folder, copy its address.


Then go to your Matlab.exe, Right Click and select “Properties”, under the “Shortcut” tab, replace the directory in “Start in” with your desired directory.


And voila! You can now start your MATLAB in any directory you wish!

Really hope this helped. Till next time, cheers!

Losing Momentum

I believe that almost every one, if not every postgraduate candidates, encounters this at some point of their lifes. Losing momentum may not sound as scary as it is, as it eventually leads to procrastination.

Before I continue, I have to admit that I’m not the best postgraduate candidate in town. I, too, face problems like this. I realised this issue and have a conversation with a fellow senior of mine, which helped me understand the situation and identifying the way forward.

Let’s get back to this. Try to picture this situation:

Today I have published the journal, the one my supervisor has been pushing me to do so for the past 2 months. I FINALLY did it! What a relief! Okay, I think I deserve a great rest and an awesome dinner as celebration.

So I had a feastful meal and had fun all night long. Waking up the next day, I tell myself: I think I should have another day off. This goes on for days. The moment when I want to get back to my work, I realised that the work has been piling up since the day I took my off, I don’t know where to start. This is where procrastination comes into the picture.

OK enough of the story. So, what actually makes us lose our momentum? It is the false sense of achievement. We often tell ourselves that we have done so much for one particular project and we have that screw-it-I-am-done mentality. However, we did not realise that the particular project we completed is not our end goal; the end goal is something even bigger, and have we achieved it? NO.

Then who told you that you deserve your rest?

Overcoming this takes not only discipline but also a good understand of how our brains work. I believe that our brains are designed in a way that it’s similar to how a machine works. If you use it continually, it’s always easier to get back on track; however if you try to use the machine again after a long time, it would probably be rusted and will be difficult to let it work as efficiently as it used to.

My fellow senior (whom I had the conversation with) often use this analogy: Imagine you’re driving a car and after reaching a milestone, you tell yourself: Ah I’ve done enough! and lifted your foot off the acceleration pedal. No doubt, your progress slows down significantly and when you try to start again, you gotta press the pedal harder than you do to keep cruise. In order words, you need to work even harder to get yourself started again. If you’re not doing that, the next thing you realise, you’re procrastinating.

A Chinese scholar from the Qing Dynasty once compared learning to boating against the flow: if you’re not progressing, you’re regressing. I think it pretty much describes this whole post.

But please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should not take a break from your work. My point being, take short breaks to refresh your mind but never too long that you start losing momentum!

A Wake Up Storm

It was 3.30 in the morning and the wind suddenly grew so strong. Waking up from sleep, I was worrying that the wind was going to tear the house down. 

Obviously, I was overthinking.

I closed the windows, knowing that it would eventually turn into the storm. True enough, the wind picked up speed and the trickling rain started. It turned into a full downpour in just a moment.

The rattling wind and the ticking rain kept me awake. Overthinking again, I wondered if the house would be too flimsy to survive the storm.

“Probably I can use this event for my new blog,” I thought, not sure why this idea popped up. 

For quite awhile I have been having the thought of starting a journal, be it physical journal or blogging. Used to have a blog but it is now collecting dust at a corner on the Internet (if it still exists).

And suddenly, it hit me. When on earth am I ever gonna do it? I dismissed the thought and went back to sleep.

Not sure if it’s the storm outside the house or the one in my brain, I still couldn’t sleep. And I told myself: this is it, I’m gonna do this!

Here I am, with my half-opened eyes, creating a new blog and writing the first post in the wee hours.