White walls

Was I born to be lonely? To exist in a world where nobody understands, and nobody tries to.

Why do I have to be born with such a sensitive and paranoid heart?

Why do I need to depend? Even as I tried so hard not to.





My Oxford Interview Experience (Biological Science)

Now, THAT is a title I would never have imagined myself to write in a million years.

As this is supposed to be (and hopefully will) be an informative post for future Oxford University or Biological Sciences applicant, I will try to keep this as formal as possible (meaning, I’ll save all the emotional and sentimental notes for another post!)

For anyone that came across this post, a little intro perhaps hehe. Hello! My name is Maryam Jamilah, it is currently 2017, and I am studying CIE A-Levels at Kolej Yayasan UEM, Malaysia.

I applied to study Biological Sciences at Brasenose College, Oxford University for the October 2018 entry.

When I received the e-mail from Brasenose College informing me that I was shortlisted for the interview, I was given two choices since I am an international applicant; to do the interview by Skype or to fly over to UK and attend the interview in Oxford University ( in which they explicitly implied that neither will have direct impacts on the weight of your application). I chose to participate in the interview in person (I might discuss the reasons behind this in my later posts), and so my dad booked a flight ticket for me for 3 December which is 3 days earlier than the interview date.

Basically, I had 2 days free before I started my interviews in which I spent sight-seeing, doing some last minute prep and hanging around in the JCR. JCR stands for Junior Common Room where there are student helpers that help guide the interviewees about and where there are notice boards on which information on our interview time and place are put up. It’s also a place where people socialise and play games (but I’ll elaborate further on that later).

I will divide this post into several parts;

  1. The Interview (content and reflection)
  2. Accommodation and food
  3. Others (JCR, environment) 

Alright let’s jump right into it, shall we?

1. The Interview ™
Continue reading “My Oxford Interview Experience (Biological Science)”


I never really have been the type to feel. I perceive myself as an emotionally-detached person. I think, I rationalize, I connect things with my logic, but I very very rarely listen to my heart. I stopped doing so years ago.

As we approach the end of this year, I find myself feeling very deeply about everything around me. Family, friends, nature, everything. I can sense myself changing, maturing, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Since primary school, I was a very shy child. I only had one or two close friends, and I get really, really attached to them. Things change though- friends move schools, they make new friends, get involved in bigger groups of friends. I never fought back. I let go of them very easily. I did not contact them, I became awkward with them, I called them ex-friends or “old friends”.

Secondary school is a whole new story. I made a new best friend almost every year. I lose them almost every year. It is sad. I became friends with them, pour my heart out to them, cry, laugh, do everything with them for a whole year- and just, stopped. I was devastated, but they seemed fine. They had new friends, better friends, more popular, more fun groups. It made me think, was I not good enough of a friend? Was I too boring? Too plain? After all I shared with them how could they leave me just like that? They never came back. We talked, we apologized, we hugged it out but it was never the same again. They became strangers. The worst thing was, I never fought with any of them. They all just, drifted away as if I am phase in their lives that was not important enough for them to carry along. They dropped me and there I was, struggling alone in the open sea.

When I was 16 I swore to myself I will never, ever get attached to anyone again. Nobody is my best friend, no guy I like will be my boyfriend, no teacher will be my favourite-nothing. And for a while I thought I was happy living like that. I could have many friends that I can talk to with perfect knowledge that they will all leave one day and I was ready to let them go. Looking back, I probably pushed people away a bit too much. I didn’t like it when one friend was around me all the time and I told her to sit somewhere else, do something else, stop following me around. I ended up hurting myself and the people that I loved. No one trusted me, people misunderstood me and that is all because of this high wall I built around my heart that no one could break into.

And I questioned myself again and again, why is it that everyone is only around when I’m happy? When I was sad or had problems I was all alone?

2015 just nailed it all on the heart. For the whole second half of the year I was shattered, the two people I trusted most, the close friends I was just beginning to cherish, all of them slipped one by one from the tips of my fingers.

Enough with the sob stories. It’s all water under the bridge now. All I want to say is, I’m glad to have been able to develop stable and strong relationships now, and there’s nothing more I hope than to be able to keep all these important people by my side for as long as I can. Even if I have to let go, I will let them go with peace and not leave matters unattended and avoided anymore. The emotional aspects of myself are still growing and I’m only starting to understand the value of constantly appreciating the things around me; environments, nature, sceneries that might not be there and available for long, thus I shall cherish them wholly.

Ps// I miss writing. I miss it so so badly.


A Busy ENT Surgeon’s Life

I am an ENT Surgeon by profession practicing in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. My work begins at 7.00 am when I start driving my wife to work, a distance of thirty five kilometres from home. After dropping her off I then continue my journey to my morning practice of the day which will be a  few yards away from where she works (on Tuesdays and Fridays), or it may be a return trip to the hospital near home (on Mondays and Wednesdays). On Thursdays I go on to the charity hospital where I have an operation list in the morning. On saturdays the routine is quite simple, dropping my wife to work then proceeding to the charity hospital to have my clinic session. On Sunday mornings I might not go to work but more frequently I go on to one, two or all three hospitals to do my morning rounds for ny post-operative patients.

The afternoon is quite simple. Except for Fridays and Saturdays I do clinic sessions at the charity hospital which is actually my main practice. Then it back to my wife at 5:30 pm and driving back home together. If we are lucky we might get home and see our three baby boys by 6:30 pm. However if the traffic jam is heavy on the day we may be delayed by half an hour or so.

Breakfast along the highway on the way to work. Our servant girl would have prepared a simple meal of black sweet coffee, toast and eggs or hamburgers. my wife earnt to have her own breakfast and then wait for the car to settle running smoothly along the new Klang–Kuala Lumpur dual carriageway before giving me mine which also includes a multivitamin pill and two herbal tablets.

Lunch is light and simple. For me it simply means a mars chocolate and a soya bean drink at office wherever U may be that day.

Tea is served along the highway, the only difference being it has to be bought from a stall on the way back.

Night is spent recovering from the traffic jam.

Why do I do it when I could have easily settled down as a University lecturer in kelantan and have a fairly quiet academic life. It is a combination of circumstances and the ever present drive to prove one self. This must have begun from the early kampong days when life was very difficult thirty years ago. the ever present inferiority complex persisted throughout the boarding school years and this was made worse by the six years of medical school in egypt only to come back and found out that many of the things that one learnt from there was not applicable in this country. But this was nothing compared to the ten year struggle of working and studying for the final fellowship examinations when others took three to five years only.

However all those pain and suffering disappeared about one year ago when I finally felt that I have achieved the level I wanted in life and the busy schedule is part of the therapy, an answer to all the years of reading and working to gain operative skill and experience.

My next aim is to go back to the rural society where I was born and start a two weekly charity clinic on Sundays, a project which is well on the way.

Written by Dr. Mohd Hafiz Ali on 1997.

Olympic Sportsmen Vs Me

I have never been the type to watch sports. But when Dato’ Lee Chong Wei the national badminton hero qualified to the final after defeating long-time rival Lin Dan I knew I had to witness the possibility of history being made: The possibility for Malaysia to get her first Gold Medal in the Olympics.

Alas, we have to be a little more patient and wait a little longer to achieve that when LCW ‘only’ managed to get a silver medal; his third consecutive one in the Olympics.

I put the (”) in only because I do not think that the word only  should be put there. I still have a dull ache in my heart thinking about last night, to see the disappointment so apparent in our hero’s eyes. More than anything, he feels sorry to disappoint us, the people of Malaysia while we are overflowing with love and compassion for him. He, who trained relentlessly for 3 consecutive Olympics, faced various obstacles, powered through numerous injuries and scandals to make us proud, to place Malaysia- our humble country – on the world map in the sports field. Basically we all just want to give him a big hug for everything he suffered through.

We are so proud of him. Gold or silver, his name is engraved in our hearts as our hero, our badminton legend.

I do not intend to write a full post of Dato’ Lee Chong Wei as my limited knowledge on his autobiography and my average writing skills are too limited to describe his glorious achievements in life. I am here to reflect.

Continue reading “Olympic Sportsmen Vs Me”

Something to think about

People are complicated.

The mistake is that they are often categorized. Someone can be known as brave, another as less so. Someone can be known as smart, another as a little dimwitted.

The truth is, we have so many more layers to ourselves.

As humans, we are horribly inconsistent. We are brave, then fearful. Intelligent, then dimwitted, and many more defining traits, all at different times, and that’s what makes us more human. We cannot be categorized, because we would likely be placed into every category at some point. One cannot be defined as solely brave, because there are times when they will feel fear. One cannot be defines as only intelligent, because there are times they’ll know nothing about a particular subject. Human beings are tricky things; complex and layered into these unpredictable personas.

I often think that as humans, nothing is ever definite. We just often think that way because when we watch movies, read books, each character has a distinct and pre-determined personality. They are called fiction for a reason. Obviously, it would be impossible to incorporate the entirety of their lives and traits to make them realistic as it would deter the readers, the viewers from the intended plotline.

That’s what differentiates us. We don’t have plotlines. Life is so fluid, that each micro decision you make will contribute to the shape it will take in the future. Simple, harmless choices like “where should I eat tonight?” “should I go jogging this morning?” have impacts in our very own messy little stories.

Do you know that we are entirely made up of atoms? We exchange atoms with the surrounding with every inhale and exhale of our breaths. Think about it. We leave trails of atoms behind us wherever we go. There are pieces of us in everything. There are pieces of us in nature. There are pieces of us in life.

Inversely, we are made up of everything around us as well. We take a piece everywhere we go. We interchange atoms, with every human we cross paths with. We store what is around us, and leave it somewhere else. There are pieces of us in nature. There are pieces of us in our friends. There are pieces of us in our families.

If our atoms have different colours, maybe we can see how the world is one big, messy rainbow. Maybe we can see how everything latches on to each other to keep each other alive. Maybe then, discrimination will stop, because then we can see each other for what we truly are- a part of each other’s lives.


disclaimer: some parts of this post is not from my own words, but I took several excerpts to give my own comprehension to them 🙂