#whykr

You could be a fresh-faced Year 1, brimming with anticipation of what awaits you in the magical realms of KR. Or maybe you’re already living your third year in hall, and life has made you a cynical and permanently exhausted pigeon. As time goes by, there’s no doubt that the excitement of staying in hall would fade, just like the initial spark in a relationship. Hall becomes a mere place of convenient residence. Block dinners become a chore. People drift. But as I start reminiscing all the good times and memories made in my three years here, I start to realise #whykr.

I remember my first day in KR as a freshie. Armed with a huge suitcase of clothes (which were later deemed unnecessary since I ended up wearing KR tees and fbts to class all the time), and huge IKEA bags filled with cleaning supplies, snacks and pillows, I was so excited while checking in as I starting thinking about all the fun I would have in this place which I’d (hopefully) call home for the next four years. And I remember getting lost in the labyrinth of identical looking corridors in the KR blocks. Thankfully, I bumped into one of the seniors, who then brought me to my room and helped me settle in. Being a freshie was great.

Fast forward a few months later, I stopped getting lost. The novelty of living away from home and doing daily life things with friends was also lost. Living with friends just became the norm, and I couldn’t see myself not going back to my room after class with all my neighbaes, that I’ve grown close to over time, around. Friends become such an integral part of my life, and I admit that I sometimes find myself taking their presence for granted because they seem to always be there. I forget how different life would be if I didn’t have open doors around me every night, with the knowledge that I can go seek a friend out whenever I wanted to.

Some say KR is the place where you’ll meet toxic people. But let’s face it, there are toxic people wherever you go, unless you plan to live in isolation with cats and dogs. You’ll just learn how to avoid getting involved with them. Granted, there are some people whom I wish I’d never met, but the insane quality friendships I’ve formed makes it all worth it. I didn’t expect to still be in contact with senior friends I made in Y1 (who are now working), or grow so close to the freshies on my floor, or make one of my now-close friends just because we bumped into each other in the lift and had small talk. I’m glad all that happened, *insert cheesy tumblr quote ->

People might forget memories, but it’s hard to forget feelings. Like the thrill of having supper for the first time at supper stretch with your CBB OG mates at 2AM. And the mix of apprehension plus excitement when chatting with your blockmates during the first block dinner. And being borderline delirious with joy/amusement when you execute the random-est and wackiest idea in hall with your partner-in-crime.

Of course, things aren’t always rosy and great in KR. It’s no fun when your milo/ice cream/cheese tofu keep getting stolen from the fridge, or when your neighbours karaoke a little too loudly (55< decibels) in their room when it’s 4AM. I do miss the aircon at home. I get a little jealous of the RC food. But despite all that, I still wouldn’t trade the KR experience for anything else. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and I know that when I look back on my uni life, these small hiccups in my KR life would just become interesting stories to tell.

Three years into the KR life, but I’m still trying to figure out where the “rabak” stereotype came from. No, there isn’t a party bus from KR to Zouk every Tuesday. I also haven’t felt pressured to do anything in particular by friends or seniors. If anything, KR has helped me realise how much power I have over my own decisions.

When you’re looking from the outside, it’s easy to form a stereotype based on a few social media posts you’ve seen, or stories about individuals making bad decisions in KR. But trust me, when you’re on the inside living with ~500 people and making wonderful memories, you’ll come to realise that mistakes don’t define the people who made them, much less a hall. *cue another cringe-worthy tumblr post ->

#whykr isn’t just about the free BBT/Macdonald’s happy sharing box/prata (THANK YOU NAT/HERI tho). #whykr isn’t about the weekly 1AM BIAP you’d have with your KRew and then subtly brag about. #whykr isn’t just about the nice blue HONUS shirt which you would have to otherwise buy from your KR friend.

#whykr is about the intangible feelings that can’t be captured on 15-second Instastory videos, the friendships (be it fleeting or forever), and seriously, the irreplicable experience that you won’t get elsewhere.

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Kent Ridge Hall Reporters 2019