To All The Blocks I've Lived Before


With COVID-19 hitting us during the summer of 2020, NUS mandated a zoning restriction to prevent the spread of the virus. This meant that people from different faculties could not intermingle, staying within their own zones as allocated. Each block had a specific zone attached to it, (ie. A, D & E blocks were Zone 3, B Block was Zone 1 and C block was Zone 2). Confusing, I know, but bear with me.

For us Kent Ridgeans, this meant that some seniors had to move blocks. The freshies who had just entered were required to stay in their zoning blocks as well, which made it challenging for them to connect with residents of their organic blocks. This went on for a few months, until our resident Freedom Fighter Foo was victorious in his fight for the removal of zoning restrictions last December. (You can read about his exploits here: https://www.kronicles.org/single-post/freedom-fighter-foo)


Even with residents finally allowed to shift back to their original blocks, some of us had already formed heartwarming friendships with our fellow zoning blockmates, which made it hard to say goodbye.

In view of this, concessions were made. 2021 marked the first (and only) year where Kent Ridgeans were given the choice to change blocks officially. The process was not an easy one, going through interviews by the respective blockheads and JCRC to get a sense about what made us decide to switch over. Eventually, only three of us found the courage to make the difficult and drastic change.

Here’s what we have to say about our experiences: (note: All group photos were taken either pre-COVID or during times where groups of 8 were allowed, please remember to respect SMM measures or else demerit points will be given as usual...)

Natalie Tay

Year 3, Shifted from E Block to A Block

Out of the three ‘migrants’, I was the only person who did not experience the full effects of zoning as my previous block was my zone too. So why change blocks?

Having stayed in E Block for two years, I will never doubt that E Block has given me the best experiences of my KR Life, especially during my freshie year. But sometimes things don’t always stay that way, circumstances change, people change, and I have definitely grown and changed as a person myself.


The main reason for my switch over to A Block was because I felt that across the years, my priorities in life shifted. This was a huge driving force in terms of the people I started to surround myself with. I began to feel a sense of belonging amongst those who shared the same goals as me in A Block.


At the same time, as Year 2 came around, COVID was still raging on and many of my good friends had left the hall. Of course, I think we all know about the famous KReviction which caused a hall-wide massacre (RIP). The dynamics of what was once my safe haven and comfort zone, suddenly felt very different. I found myself racing over to A Block every day to hang out with my group of friends, and overtime, I was gradually adopted into the A Block Family as they welcomed me with warm arms.


After your relocation over to A Block, do you have any regrets?

Absolutely no regrets at all. I feel like this decision made me a much happier person as I am able to focus on my priorities with the people I love. A Blockers have taught me the real way of “Work hard, play harder” and I am surrounded by people who constantly try to push and improve each other. I am forever grateful for the support system that I have found.


Do you have any regrets from your previous block?

I regret not moving over sooner. EH JUUUUS.


HAHAHA I am really kidding, I have no regrets in E Block!!! Thank you for being my home block for the last 2 years.

How different would life have been without the swap?

I think I would still find myself running over to A Block every day; it's like travelling from Singapore to Johor back and forth every single day. Maybe I would not be as active in KR as I am right now, phantoming in my room because I never thought I would continue to be so onz at Year 3. But at this point, I find myself still going for all these auditions and joining new sports with my friends here in A Block and I think it has made life much more entertaining. Most importantly, I also think my liver would be functioning better without the swap.


(Disclaimer: KReporters Chair from A Block here. We do not drink in hall and we just enjoy going to Hong Kong Kitchen 5 times a week. Thank you, now moving along…)

How's life in A Block now?

I honestly have been enjoying my time here every day, I feel like I found my people, the place I truly enjoy being myself, not having to care about internal or political affairs. I am blessed with seniors who are here to guide me in my career, introducing me to opportunities I never had. And a community who really knows how to SEND IT!!!


Shoutout to Tim for being the best blockhead ever, thank you for convincing me and giving me the courage to take this leap of faith. I am forever grateful to the A Blockers who warmly accepted me into their block, thank you for being so welcoming.


Any parting words to E Block :')

Thank you E Block!! Shoutout to Weatherman!!! For giving me the best freshie experience ever and I miss you guys a lot. I think a part of me will be crying when I see you guys all command without me... y'all will always hold a special place in my heart…

The past two years honestly I met the best people who supported me all the way, and I will never change a single thing about that. But lastly, to the real ones, thank you for being with me in every step of the way, even up till now, for being my pillar of strength through the politics LOL I will definitely be visiting often hehe.

Amal

FYF, Shifted from E Block to C Block

As an FYF who spent 3 years in E Block, what made you switch over to C Block?

During AY 20/21, I was fortunate enough to be placed on a floor where the majority of the residents there were (originally) from C Block. I realised then that it was so much easier to talk to them than it was my first 2 years in E block. Since it was going to be my last year, I decided to change blocks and see how my last year would be.


What are you looking forward to in your new block?

I'm definitely looking forward to being closer to my floor and having more heart to hearts randomly at 2am (or ghost stories over BIAP LOL). I'm hoping that since it's my final year, there'll be more fun block activities & memories made because it's kind of the last time to have fun before becoming a full-blown adult with adult responsibilities :-(


Do you have any regrets from your previous block?

I think I regret not opening my door LOL. I know it seems like a small gesture, but you'd be surprised how many impromptu h2h sessions happened simply because I started opening my door. I think it made my neighbours feel more welcome and that they could come and "disturb" me because if I was really busy (with tutorial or meetings) I would close my door.

Would you have done anything differently?

Maybe being more open and attending more block events. I think it was difficult to juggle between school, work and hall life so I felt like I was behind in terms of bonding whenever I didn't attend an event and I was too scared to take the first step and try.

Any parting words to E Block :') or anything you would like to say to incoming freshies/juniors about changing blocks?

Thanks E block for the past 3 years, I'll keep the memories close to my heart 💙


Advice to freshies: Give it time to find people you can vibe with, friendships don't happen in a day. Remember that you have your comm members, team mates & culture friends to lean on. Don't stop trying to make friends because you never know when you're going to find a gem. If you haven't been to any block events or you're shy, just try. The worst that could happen is you'd have wasted a few hours of your life but you might have witnessed some good ass drama so you never know!

Ethan Liew

Year 2, Shifted from C Block to A Block


From a freshies POV, how did you find the COVID-19 block zoning experience?

As an incoming freshie, zoning definitely played an instrumental role in determining the friendships that I made in my first year in KR. For starters, zoning made it more convenient to make friends in my zoning block, mostly through day-to-day activities such as getting lunch or dinner - I think the physical proximity just facilitated these processes, as it’s much easier for the people that live right beside you to knock on your door when it’s time for lunch or dinner, rather than have to actively coordinate plans.

What made you switch blocks to A block?

So... I made the switch to A block because I just grew closer to the people I was essentially living with on a daily basis. I mean, there also comes a point where you have to choose who you want to spend your time with because you can’t really be at two places at the same time, and I think my choice is evident from where I am now?


I also grew really close to my floor last year, and that was one of the major reasons for the change - I think we had a good mix of people that got along really well, and that was honestly one of the biggest takeaways from my first year here in KR.


After your relocation over to A Block, do you have any regrets?

Honestly, not really? I don’t think I would have done anything differently, and I would like to think that every party involved was better off after the move so I can’t say that I have any regrets or that I would have done anything differently.


How different do you think your life would be without the swap over?

I think it’s safe to say that my life would be pretty different right now without the swap. Having to acclimate to living with new people, on a new floor and in a new block would definitely have taken a while.


That’s not to say it would have been bad by any means, but the sense of familiarity of being around some of the people that I’ve spent so much time with in the past year was something that I really appreciate, and I doubt I would have had that off the get-go without the swap.

Any parting words to C block?

Thank you C block for having me for the past year. I'm genuinely grateful for the friends that I’ve made from there and for the pleasant, albeit limited, memories that I can look back upon. See you guys around!


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