Prompt: If you could turn back time to before the MCO, what would you do?
As most of us are aware, classroom learning has been shifted to online learning (e-learning) ever since the MCO was in effect.
A benefit from this new learning style includes being able to wake up 30 minutes before classes instead of having to wake up at an ungodly hour just to avoid the morning traffic (also, to get a parking space in the basement). However, e-learning just doesn’t really feel the same as F2F learning. Take the jokes our lecturers share for instance, it feels especially less amusing.
– Joey Yap
I would pause.
Instead of anxiously looking at the time, I would pause to savour every deep late-night mamak conversation.
Instead of running to class, I would pause to actually observe what is around me.
Instead of hugging my friends as a form of courtesy, I would pause to appreciate their presence in my life.
I would pause and realize how blessed I am to have these moments.
I’d hug my friends tighter. If I could go back, I’d cherish and truly appreciate watching a movie on the big screen. If I knew that that was the last time I’d be seeing my love for months, I wouldn’t let go of him and I would repeatedly tell him how much I love him.
I’d look around and realise how much love surrounds me. How we as humans are social creatures that want to love and be loved. I’d appreciate the presence of my loved ones more. As the saying goes, you really don’t realise the value of something until you’ve lost it.
Be there for my friends and appreciate the time I had with them.
I already spend so much time savouring moments as they come, I don’t believe there’s anything more that I could do. The meals, club meetings, outings, classes, and exam panic of the preceding three months still live with me. So if I was back in January, I wouldn’t do anything different – except catch a few more movies in the cinema.
Honestly? Stock up on some chips.
If I could go back to a time before the 18th of March – the day all of us were left with no choice but to stay inside – I wouldn’t have put off going to the restaurant that serves the waffle I had been craving because “I could go another time.” I wouldn’t have turned down my friends when they invited me to hang out because “I would rather stay at home and watch Korean dramas.” I wouldn’t have gone home so quickly after my classes because “I go to university every day anyway.”
Who knew that because of these mindless decisions, I’m currently craving that waffle so much I would die just to get a taste of it. I’m currently missing the voices of my friends that I find so annoyingly endearing. I’m currently missing the gust of wind that would mess my hair every time I walk under the big fan in the foyer of the university, the food in the cafeteria that I used to find incredibly boring, and the tables in the lecture halls that couldn’t even fit the whole size of my laptop.
But even with a mountain of regrets, you can never get back the time that had already passed. With that being said, time will continue to pass… and surely, there will soon come a day when all of us can go outside and live our lives to the fullest again.
I’ll be honest, there isn’t very much that I would have done differently. In the weeks before the MCO was implemented, I celebrated my birthday with my closest friends, spent an afternoon just endlessly talking about random stuff with my cousin over Dao, had a dinner with a group of my favourite people while laughing over who was being “shipped” with who and bonding over boba… so yeah, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
– Jaclyn Heng