Pauline — multitasker and aspiring community worker — recalls starting a new chapter of her life in Canada, as she had moved there to attend university at 19. She initially found it daunting, as she did not have friends or family living there, never mind the fact that it was also her first time setting foot in the country! Soon, though, she found pleasure in the little things, such as wearing boots and dressing for the four seasons. “I felt joy, apprehension, fear and excitement about moving abroad for university,” she says. “I was finally able to fulfil my five-year dream of studying and living all by myself, away from home.” That taught her how to plan, budget and be resourceful: From choosing a suitable university to booking her flights, looking for accommodation and making the right connections even before she arrived in Canada. To this day, she relishes the challenge of having been completely independent for the first time.
Who was your favourite song/band/singer that year?
I enjoyed listening to Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, REO Speedwagon, Journey and Fleetwood Mac, to name a few. I have a favourite song for each of my moods: I listen to Ride Like The Wind by Christopher Cross whenever I’m feeling dreamy or restless, and It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me by Billy Joel when I feel like celebrating.
Life plan back then?
Finish my degree, get a job in a multinational company and repay my parents for their support.
What advice would you give your teenage self?
I’d tell myself to be more persistent!
If you were to relive your teenage years, what would you change?
I would make my parents worry less. I had floated the idea of studying and living abroad to them since I was 13. I also pushed lots of boundaries, like staying out late. I had given them way too many occasions to fret about my safety.
Art direction: Audrey Chan
Photography: Joel Low
Hair: Christvian Goh & Zoel Tee, using Revlon Professional
Photography assistance: Alfie Pan