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From NYC, with love!

Summer break has started in New York. Every day I followed the same routine of waking up to my summer classes, with nothing to look forward to. As I was getting ready to bed one night, I got a surprising call from our Head of Scholarship Section, Ms Susie. She asked if I wanted to join the 12th BSDSDP 2022 (12th Brunei-Singapore Defence Scholars' Development Programme 2022). I was stunned as I was given a delightful chance to reunite with my fellow scholars, especially Zharfan and Liessa who are going to enter Officer Cadet School (OCS) soon. I immediately called my whole family and broke the surprising news to them. They were already setting a one-week menu to welcome my return (which was full of different variations of Buttermilk Chickens, my favourite food). At the same time, they were also blasting my phone with items they wanted me to bring back from the US, haha!

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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

Dr Seuss said, "If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good".

Trying new things can be undoubtedly daunting. The unfamiliar puts us in a vulnerable position, and leaves us with an onslaught of questions running through our heads.

And then there's the rush. There's nothing quite like- or as memorable as- the thrill of a new experience. This is what I have been chasing this past year.

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"Hustling in Ramadhan"

​The holy month of Ramadhan have witnessed the scholars striving to excel, finding enjoyments in the company of each other while persevering through hunger and thirst. While the Coronavirus restrictions were still in place, I had to find something to channel my energy into  – that was the fitness training for me.

The memorable first week of Ramadhan training, I could recall my struggles to pick myself up for the 9PM session. Admittedly, I was often sluggish after breaking my fast but I pushed through and drove myself to Dewan Gerak Badan, Bolkiah Garrison.

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March Fitness: One last goodbye to Morning Training

We marked this as our last month of training together in the morning as we would be moving on to night training in the upcoming fasting month in April. This month we were introduced to new various training routines which add some spice to our morning exercises. Despite the fact that training under Performance Optimisation Center (POC) could be challenging and strenuous at times, we slowly learned to stimulate the fun that comes out of suffering together during training.

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D-Month, D-Departure!

​At last, time has come and its February! How fast time went by… It felt as if yesterday we were just awarded the scholarship! And now here I am, meeting Ms Susie for my predeparture briefing. We went through all the relevant information and documents. The documents included Australian Visa, E-Ticket, Negative PCR Result Letter, Australian Travel Declaration, MinDef Movement and Admin Instruction Letter, MOE Approval Letter, PMO Exit Travel Letter and Australian Overseas Student Confirmation-of-Enrolment (CoE) Letter.  Ms Susie also gave me lots of advice for when I am in Australia. In all honesty, I still feel surreal that I was going abroad. But little did I know… things were about to get more surreal in the coming days.


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