About Me

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She writes simply to put her thoughts together.
Sometimes they're well-structured, sometimes they're in absolute mess.
But always, they're personal.

Ultimately, this is all for Him.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Grow and Change

The other day a friend of mine shared a personality test on facebook. Called the Myers-Briggs personality test, by far it has been the most reliable and trustworthy test, where most employers and organisations use it as a tool to get to know their employees/workers better. I've done this test multiple times (I would say it's pretty much accurate) but since this link has a better visualisation, I thought of sharing it here.

I first did this test when I was applying for a scholarship after SPM - when I was 18. I had a different personality back then. But I never thought it would be that different until I found out my result for the same test when I was 20.

So this test breaks down into 4 main categories.

  1. Either you're an Extrovert (E) or Introvert (I)
  2. Sensing (S) or Intuitive (N)
  3. Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
  4. and Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
They each have their own weightage and percentage for each category. I'm not here to tell what the test is about and what those letters represent - you can try the test or google it if you want. Basically these 4 categories make up the personality that you are. Some might be a bit skeptical about it but as far as I know, all this while, it has been reflecting my personality perfectly.

So here is the comparison between the 18 year-old me and the 20 year-old me (until now).

This was me when I was 18 (and basically anytime before that).
Thorough description here.

And this is me from when I was 20 until present. Read more here.
By the look of these two results, I can confidently say that I changed 180 degrees! Minus the perceiving (P) instead of judging (J) bit of course. But I'm glad that didn't actually change because I've always considered myself being a very non-judgemental person.

What made me change, you ask? Who was I back then? Was it really different from the Sofina today? hehe

I was indeed a debater. At school, I took pride of it, especially on being extroverted. Because when you get all the opportunities and attention, who doesn't? But then the environment changed. Throughout the two years (and a bit) between the two tests I took, I went to a pre-university college that was harsh to my emotional and mental state, I went through several breakdowns, and I looked for God (not that I didn't believe in God before, but I didn't take religion that seriously, despite being in an islamic stream). I could feel the transition, really. 

Example 1
It was my first year in A-level. Since my college is basically a school with the A-level students being the sixth formers, there was this one time when the secondary school kids organised an interhouse debate and my house was lacking one debater. Since I have a background of being a debater, they signed me in. Simply said, I won, unanimously. Then I got into my second year. They were aiming for me this time round because of the glorious victory I had last year. Having gone through what I had gone through, what with our IELTS classes require us to provide unbiased arguments (stating both the pros and cons) for all of our essays, I wasn't able to be firm on my stand for that debate - hence lost. You might say that I was on the wrong side of the fence for this particular topic but...... yeah we might have had stronger arguments if we're on the other side but, no, really, I saw both the pros and cons of both sides. In the middle of the debate, I was actually agreeing to what the opponents said.lol. Enough said, that was the time when I was really sure that I have lost that debater side of me. 

Example 2
My parents had always advised me to listen more and tone down my harshness, especially in speech. I might have took heed a bit of the latter but it was slow and difficult as most of my friends were guys and you can't be friends with guys if you're soft and gentle - you'll be a girlfriend then.lol. The former, I never understood why my parents tirelessly said that to me. I believed that I do listen, but I also have a point to make. This is exactly an attribute of the debater personality - they do listen to people's points, but they have their own that they demand to be heard as well. Then my number of male friends shrunk and I developed to suit more in the feminine environment. The last close male friend I had, when I asked him if there's anything I should improve, he said nothing except "do you think you ever back down whenever we argue or have different opinions?" and he had me at that. I'm pretty sure he did most (if not all) of the giving in throughout our friendship. Yeah, I was that kind of friend ._. So I grew on, swallowing my egomaniac behaviour bit by bit until I happily listen and take in people's opinion before I develop my own.

The old me was hard, emotionless, and fierce, but I wouldn't say it was entirely bad. It was necessary for me to be so at that time. And even understandable too. Otherwise, I might have not survived my teenage years to come out as successful as I had been - big lol to the glory days. The new me is softer, full of empathy, and perhaps more open to things. It is understandable considering all that I went through and indeed, the behaviour is necessary for the conditions that I'm in.

People change. In fact, change is the only thing that we do. 
It's just that, it is upon ourselves whether to improve for better or for worse.
I've changed. In fact, I change every day - and I'm fully aware of it.
I just hope I constantly change for the better and not for worse.

Allah won't change a nation unless they themselves make that change. Right?

Thursday, 13 August 2015


Someone printed this off and put it up our notice board.
7 weeks in being a full-time scientist.

I left school with the aim of being a lecturer.
I got into uni with the aim of doing a PhD.
And I applied for the summer research project with the aim to get an insight of being a researcher.

I'm on a 10-weeks project so I'm just a couple of weeks away to being done now. The experiments are now tougher with frustrations being witnessed at every corner. After 7 weeks being in an office full of postgraduates and sharing a huge lab with a lot of people, I can safely say that all of the words mentioned in the picture is heard almost every day. I thought scientists are sensible intellectual people that don't curse but haha, they do. Very rarely do experiments work that when they do, you're in cloud nine.

Today was probably one of the worst days. One of our equipment wasn't behaving nicely today and after various efforts from very early morning till noon fixing it, with little to no effect, our mentor broke down. A lot of people were trying to help resolve the issue but my friend and I, being project students, just sat there minding out own business quietly, trying to not add to the tension. In the midst of the mess, one of the postdocs exclaimed to us "this is why you should never do a PhD in solid-state NMR" and a moment later another said the same. Funny, because one of them had been in the group for most of his career life.

I get entirely what they mean, and I can truly relate to the statement. Often do I find myself being brain-drained at the end of the day, doing the work that I'm assigned to do. But after looking at the end result that I obtained, I get this really high sense of satisfaction, and the frustrations and exhaustion all went away. I must say that I quite like doing what I do now.

I don't know. It seems like I'm doomed to be like this. Loving things that would definitely make my life a catastrophe, that I would definitely not excel in, that everyone else would tell me to avoid. Like physics, or Chinese, or perhaps solid-state NMR. Al-kisah orang sentiasa bertepuk sebelah tangan *insert awkward laughter*

But my heart is as stubborn as it can get, no matter how much the matter drives me to the wall. I cannot just tell myself to stop doing physics - I'm dead serious about furthering my studies after my degree. And I can't seem to tell myself to not do Chinese for another academic year - must be one of the stupidest decisions I would ever make in my academic life but I'm doing it anyway. I guess this is how Allah is teaching me of His love. Whilst I seem to be rejected by almost everything that I love to do, if I seek His love, He would definitely never fail me. It would never be one way. He promised that if I come closer by an inch, He'll come by a yard (figuratively), and if I come to Him walking, He'll come to me running.

So, if your heart is stubborn enough to chase those things that won't "love" you back, how strong is it to chase after the love that would guarantee you a better return?

Sunday, 9 August 2015


Berdiri dalam kalangan manusia yang asyik berbicara,
Berebut hendak berada di tengah-tengah pentas dunia,
Mengutarakan pandangan mengetengahkan hujah.
Amar makruf nahi mungkar katanya.

"Kita orang Islam, 
Tak boleh duduk diam tak berbuat apa-apa."
Tapi berbuat "apa-apa" kah kita bila yang dibuat hanya berbicara lantang semata?
Atau itu hanya alasan kita untuk merendahkan manusia?

Jangan dikatakan kau berdiskusi,
Bila kau menilai hanya berdasarkan apa yang orang sebarkan.
Bila kau turut sama menembak manusia di alam maya dengan berahi.
Bila ruang diskusi di alam realiti hanya sibuk membicarakan perihal perkahwinan.

Teruskan berkelahi merebutkan trofi imaginasi,
Aku disini tetap teguh dengan perjuangan abadi,
Walaupun aku dilihat seperti diam sendiri.

Berbumbungkan langit, berlantaikan tanah.
Dengan cuaca yang sangat sedap, ah rasa nak minta nilah kat syurga nanti :3


Earlier this month, I had a conversation with a graduating senior during an Eid celebration hosted by the Malaysian community here. He was the only other Malaysian undergraduate doing Physics at my university and he did the summer research project (the kind of work that I do now over the summer) twice. After telling him about my doing one right now and how exciting everything is, he said "This is your third week right? Wait until you've done six weeks. Excitement usually dies off by then."

I find the statement interesting. I always keep track of the number of weeks I had gone through so I was looking forward in reaching the 6-weeks mark just to see if the case would be true to me too. Weeks went by and I still find my project interesting. Experiments had been working well, results were tremendously good, and I even received a good-job praise from my supervisor. Of course there's the occasional I-don't-feel-like-going-to-work-today feeling, but I never felt like I'm dreading for the week to end (of which I always felt when I used to work as a teacher). What could go wrong?

Then the sixth week came.

By then scholarship applications for postgraduate study in 2016 was starting to open so I had to start making up my mind on which area I want to pursue, which university I should pick, which course I want to apply to, etc. The constant searching and browsing through the net had led me thinking "yeah I enjoy my summer project, but am I really sure I want to do this for the next 3-4 years to come?" The thought process was long and exhausting, what with the experiment I did on the fifth week wasn't all that smooth and the sixth week was of reading articles and a failed attempt in the lab. It was on the Wednesday that this thought occurred to me: "I'm bored".

So the hypothesis was true after all.

Then later during the week, as I was talking to my postdoc mentor, for some reason I brought up this conversation I had with my senior, before that saying that I cannot imagine how people in the research area can withstand doing the same procedure again and again for more than a few years. Then my mentor asked "so do you feel that way?" to which I replied "well........." and basically said yes. What she answered back was probably the best answer anyone could give.

It was something along the line of
"Well, yes, the excitement dies off after a few weeks because nothing is new to you any longer. I think it's not because things are less interesting, it's just that you've obtained a certain level of maturity in the research. So really, you are actually going on to the next stage. So it's good."

Her words struck me so much that my passion for the research that I'm doing is restored :D

I can really reflect her statement on this conversation I had with a friend the other day. We were discussing about how pious people can be consistent in doing qiamullail while at the same time constantly feel it at heart when in my case, if I've been going on for some while, I no longer feel the sweetness of doing the night prayers. It would become a mere routine. The same goes with my interaction with the Quran. When I first know of the wonders of it, I craved more and more understanding but now that I've gotten the gist of the large portion of it, reading the Quran and its translation become routine. In the end, to most of us, the spiritual journey that used to be really sweet became dry and we begin to think: "is this all there is to it?"

It's normal. I used to feel bad about it. Which is also normal. But I didn't know how to go about it. Now I know that it's actually good to feel that way. Because it means we've progressed. But it also means that we had only gone through the first level. We need to be patient and be strong, because that's the only way to get to the next level.

And who doesn't want to attain the highest level of closeness to Allah? Kan?

It's wonderful to know that the teachings of Allah to his slaves can come from any angle at any direction, even from a non-Muslim :')

Sunday, 2 August 2015


The future is daunting, what with I'm about to become a finalist (British colloquial term for a final year student) in a matter of a couple of months time. Despite knowing the fact that the final year carry the heaviest weight of my degree, having known how I've performed in my studies for the last couple of years, I decided to not stress too much about my academic performance anymore. Yes, it's important but being in a very fast-paced British system, it's about time that I take actions for my future plan.

Here's how I plan to go about it.

  1. Till the end of this year, go on an application spree. Apply for every single scholarships that I can qualify to, eventhough I have not decided whether I want to do a Masters first or jump straight onto PhD.
  2. Keep an eye on PhD projects across the country. Again, application spree. Apply whichever that catches my interest. It's best if funding is included. Will do Masters only if it's taught(?)
  3. By spring next year, if there's no news about scholarship/funding, do some job hunting for relevant research posts in Malaysian universities.
  4. In summer, if there's a postgraduate placement offer yet still no funding, application to JPA and MARA would be the last straw to further my studies. Be on the lookout.
  5. The ultimate last straw, go back home, continue job hunting. Preferably a post that includes a fellowship.
  6. Worst case. Fully dedicate myself in finding a husband if not have found yet by then.lol
That's basically the end of my degree right there.haha. Time would surely fly for the next year to come.
Trying hard to not panic. ha. ha.

May Allah ease everything.