End of Spring + Semester 2 of my Masters Degree

Remember when I said I’d try to update my blog every week in 2021? Well that’s embarrassing, because I haven’t updated for two months. But I will write something, just for the sake of documenting my recent updates.

Firstly, spring had sprung! Spring is absolutely gorgeous in Edinburgh, and I particularly loved the abundance of cherry blossoms / sakura, my favourite flower. It’s almost over though, and summer is coming. Although by the state of the weather you’d think it’s late September, honestly. Scotland truly is something else.

I’m also officially done with Semester 2 of my masters degree where I took subjects I genuinely enjoyed such as Marketing in a Digital World, Understanding Brands, Marketing Communications and Marketing Applications. Some of my assignments included: an analysis of functional and symbolic branding (I chose Adobe Photoshop and Disney respectively), a creative brief for a campaign targeting the French market to visit Scotland, a viral video concept for the charity Age UK, and a marketing plan for the Edinburgh Science Festival. We sometimes got to work with real clients this semester and it was challenging but also rewarding. Now, I’m beginning to work on my research dissertation. Wow, I really decided to do a masters degree, as if my undergraduate dissertation wasn’t torturous enough! 😛 Today marks the first anniversary of me submitting my research investigating social media engagements with Avengers: Endgame – read about it here.

Next, I …kind of… got my first promotion ever. I’ve been working part-time in digital marketing since October, 7 hours a week. Unfortunately someone in my team is leaving. But now my hours are being increased to 17.5 hours a week! Alhamdulillah, for everything. I have more time to work now since I don’t have classes anymore, just my dissertation. So I’ll have to practice effective time management. I also hope to spend some time traveling around the UK where I can.

For the whole of my masters degree so far I feel like I’ve been toning myself down and not sharing very much of my academic / career journey on Instagram, compared to when I was an undergraduate. It’s regretful that I didn’t share more, but due to many reasons, I just feel anxious talking about my studies or career now, afraid people will think I’m over-the-top or kiasu or “too much”. I’m almost at the end of my masters journey, but I hope to be active on TikTok instead! So if you’re interested in my insights on marketing or self-development, feel free to follow me there.

Furthermore, I spent yet another Ramadhan during a pandemic. It was also Ramadhan with the longest hours yet for me in my life (up to 19.5 hours) – and hours get longer as time goes by since daytime becomes longer in the middle of the year for 4-season countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Unlike Malaysia where there are no such thing as seasons, and the sun comes up and sets around the same time all year long. But apparently, Edinburgh Central Mosque adopts a fatwa that stops Fajr from coming too early (the earliest was literally 1:25am). It was honestly so surprising for me – I thought only Scandinavian countries like Finland and Sweden adopt that fatwa. Never knew that Scotland adopts that approach too! Also, the Malaysian community here did a virtual Bazaar Ramadhan – one weekend it was even a “car boot”-style bazaar.

And of course, I also celebrated my second Cov-Eid. It was nowhere near as sendu as last year though, because Alhamdulillah cases have gone down and many restrictions have been lifted. I just hope to God that it stays that way. I got to enter the masjid for the first time since February 2020 to perform Eid prayers – with social distancing, QR codes, and plastic-covered carpets. I had fun hosting guests and had even more fun being a guest at houses with great food. I actually feel bad because Raya seemed to be a lot merrier in the UK than in Malaysia, where you weren’t allowed to visit other houses and where cases sadly seem to be increasing every day. Malaysia is always in my heart and prayers.

May be an image of 1 person, standing, headscarf, outdoors and tree

Lastly, Marvel released their first two Disney+ shows, Wandavision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier! I enjoyed them very much, a welcome treat after a long MCU drought in 2020. TFATWS was especially compelling for me, I would definitely rate it among my top 5-6 MCU productions. Now I can’t wait for the Loki series to come out in about 2 weeks’ time!

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arifahbadli

Creating contentment.

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