Overwhelmed but Marching On!

(pun intended)

February was a a short whirlwind of good news and bad news for me, especially in terms of my professional career and academic path.

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Something about Reflections

{{From a thread I tweeted.}}

2017 was the year I got dumped romantically AND academically but I bounced back so quickly that some people mistook me for being strong and feisty when what happened and what is happening now is me actively avoiding relationships and attachments since then.

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The Voyeur Stands Where She’s Most Familiar (#SisTulisThesis)

At the start of my PhD journey, I encountered Michel De Certeau’s seminal piece called Walking In The City that very much spurred me into the direction my research went in. I even adopted walking as one of my main methods during my year-long fieldwork in Kuala Lumpur City. What I neglected to share in my PhD Thesis which I’ve submitted for examination more than 2 months ago is perhaps something I’ve taken for granted at the time of doing my PhD. Only now, in this post-thesis-writing calm and after ample time and space from my PhD, do I get to linger on my experiences before and after the fieldwork.

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My PhD journey was not as smooth as I hoped it could be.

Before I started PhD, I had many people telling me that I’m sure to have it easy because I’m single and I don’t have to juggle my responsibilities between doing a doctorate and being part of a family. I agreed with this statement and I recognise the immense stress and responsibility that my friends who are on their journey with families have to deal with on a daily basis. Therefore, I didn’t like to feel that what struggles I went through were big enough a problem to be concerned about.

This is not a healthy view to have when doing PhD.

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As I’ve explained in my previous blogpost, I was using the hashtag #sistulisthesis whenever I post snippets of my PhD journey on Instagram. Since I submitted my thesis on the 29th September, I opted to use the hashtag #SisHabisThesis (I finished my thesis) to commemorate my activities after writing and while waiting for the comments and results from the external examiners. Read More


I’ve been wondering why I never started blogging during my PhD journey. I did occasionally upload photos and insta-stories (which disappear after 24 hours) with the hashtag I am proud of coining for myself : #SisTulisThesis. The hashtag, for those who are not familiar with Malay language and the Malaysian slangs, meant “I write a thesis”. Sis is the term commonly used by Malay Muslims to call other Malay Muslim women. Tulis means “write” in the Malay language.

And a thesis is a trigger for an existential crisis backed by mounting financial woes and crippling anxiety episodes which are turning into an academic norm.

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