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Humans of KR: Firdaus Firlany

“Hate leaving work late”, Fir drops me on telegram. The time reads 7.15pm on my watch but knowing Fir, who knows what time his physical and metaphorical clock runs on. He seems to be doing something at every hour of his day – be it being a Producer/Social Media Intern at Left Profile, being the producer at Dauntlus Studios, or being the Media & Communications Director at Kent Ridge Hall. Who knows if he even has 24 hours in one day?

We grab hall dinner at eight, which for Fir, has become his daily norm and routine as he undergoes his compulsory internship as a Communications & New Media student this semester.

Between mouthfuls of mutton curry, fish nuggets, and the occasional vegetable, Fir tells me how he came to his current role in the JCRC. Previously as members of E Block Comm, he and Melvina both decided together to run for their now current positions in the JCRC – himself as Media & Communications Director and Melvina as Outreach Director. They both had their own apprehensions, but ultimately, took the leap of faith together.

I ask him what he thinks of his other fellow JCRC directors. “I hate them! I can’t wait to leave!” he laughs, maybe half-jokingly, maybe half-seriously. He later tells me that he was only kidding.

This is his last official month as the Media Director, and he is feeling bittersweet about his year-long tenure. “There’s been wonderful highs the past year, being able to see the works of the media committees come to life, seeing photos being published, videos emerge from the bowels of productions, designs pasted all over the corridors, and articles being shared and discussed in the hallways. These are the things that make me proud to say that I am the one overseeing all this,” His eyes brighten, not long before it reverts back to its original state, “But with the highs come lows, and I really regret not being able to train more residents in KR in their media skills, because that is what I originally set out to do. Also, not being able to spend more time with my committees, not being able to build more bonds within each committee and also between them.”

“Why do you think that that is the case?” I question him in response.

“The simple fact is that we are all so busy. That’s the nature of our work – constant work.”

A few hours later, I find Fir at work in the media room – his second home in his second home – in the midst of a photoshoot as the principal photographer.

He talks a lot about the three Ps. I asked him earlier on what advice he would give to the incoming Media Director, and again he mentioned his three Ps. “Passion for your work, professionalism to those whom you answer for and to those who you answer to, and lastly being true to your personality, being true to yourself and who you are.”

Fir stays true to himself, I guess. His heart has always been in media work and content creation, but ever since stepping up to the Media Director position, his mind has drifted over to the administrative side of things, as it naturally should. That said, being creative and clerical are not mutually exclusive qualities, and he tells me that he likes to think that as of now, there’s a 50-50 balance between his creative and administrative duties.

But that’s not the only thing he’s had to find balance in, let alone struggle to do so. Right now, essentially juggling three jobs, is a tall task – for him, or for anybody.

“I think at times, everyone experiences burnouts, especially when you’re doing so much for the hall. It can get tiring, but I keep reminding myself that the things I do are ultimately worth my whiles.”

At the end of the day, both literally and figuratively, he’s just happy that he is able to come back to a place he can call home.

“What makes KR, home?” I ask.

He pauses for a couple of seconds, and furrows his brows, “As cliché as it gets, it’s the people that make KR home – the people that you interact with, chat with, eat with, have fun with – and that is something that I never have to remind myself about.”

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