31 Dec 2016.
As I sit down and sip my baileys with milk…
I thought to myself. “Oh boy, what a year it has been.”
2016 isn’t my luckiest year because anything that could go wrong, goes wrong. On the other hand, we could say that I’m lucky because I survived despite all this poor luck. After all, life is a zero-sum game and it’s better to finish my quota of bad luck to make way for better luck in the future 🙂
As I ponder about the past year, I hope to share some learning points and document my reflections. How cool is it to be able to look back at our old self 17 years down the road! What’s more important is for us to learn through past mistakes without having to experience what I’ve gone through.
This year has been nasty- kind.
Yeah actually every year is pretty much the same with ups and downs but this year is different (next year too!). I spend half of the year overseas while the other half was busy hustling with ExchangeBuddy ! I’ve lost much… but at the same time gained much. I’ve lost my grandma, and important things that I overlooked. I would run, tire myself out, take deep breaths and think. But you know… I’m sure there are many others out there who went through the same or even worse so I guess it’s normal to feel this way.
Whenever I hit rock bottom, I would try to jump back up. I do manage to jump out of the pit hole but find myself falling deeper and needing to jump back higher. That’s life isn’t it? That’s how life was for the past year.
Despite all the unfortunate events, there are many amazing moments which I’m grateful for and would want to treasure them.
Taking my grandma for her hospital check-up.
It was probably the first time and last time that I went out with her but still I’m grateful that I had the chance to do so.
Met lots of amazing friends on Exchange.
- Exchange is one of the most exciting and fun student experience we’d get as a student. Not trying to be a bad influence here but it’s the period when studies could be of a lower priority and it’s also the time we get to mix around with a network of international friends and experience things that we’ve never done before.
There’s much more to life that we thought there is.
- I used to fall completely into the category of chasing material wealth and status. However, after countless setbacks and interaction with the less fortunate, I came to realize that there’s more than just academic grades and the pride of climbing up to the top. I lived in poor conditions during my month long extremely tight budget (<700 euro) semi solo trip in Europe as I wanted to feel and experience how the less fortunate live. I came across homeless people, lived in the slumps and got to see how badly treated they were. It was then I realized how fortunately we were. We can afford food, shelter and receive love from family and friends while these people were not able to afford basic necessities and face daily insults. I’m not trying to say that material wealth isn’t important and I would still work to achieve them but I would want to create value and make a difference to the world we’re living in.
There’s too much adventure and I would save the action for another post.
No Regrets !
- Totally didn’t regret starting this. It has taught me so much about gratitude, hard work and the importance of a team. I am extremely grateful for the friends who have supported this initiative. Thank you NUS enterprise, CS3216, N-house level two, all the contributors, Instagram takeovers, friends who gave constructive feedback and most importantly, the team who have been working hard together with me!
- Disappoints aren’t bad, they show us the truth. During this journey, there will be times when we thought we had support but in fact didn’t. Yeah, it’s disappointing and sometimes these disappointments make us feel that we’re all alone. On the other hand, you’ll come across people stepping up and giving you support which is something I deeply treasure. Ya know know who you are :).
Plan, do, learn, repeat.
- Some people talk too much. I mean, it’s okay to brag when we have a certain level of achievements and give constructive feedback. However, being too full of ourselves and putting down others down is a NO go. There were many instances where I received criticism, looked down upon and even told to give up. It can be disturbing sometimes but we shouldn’t allow their actions prevent us from achieving our dreams because ultimately, our success depends on our TEAM and ACTIONS.
- THIS YEAR would be worse if it wasn’t for friends who have stood by me! And I must admit that ExchangeBuddy couldn’t have become what it is today without the support from these special group of people :).
- Thank you…
- MJC mates for ever being GL
- Secondary school mates for bo liao weekends
- Primary school mates for always reminiscing the past
- University friends
- Hall mates
- N-House level 2
- Block Comm
- Exchange friends
- Sabinki mates
- My room mate Mr SoTakChun
- NUS exchange buddy (ies) – Jy, Jt + recuits KK and Regular (Akilesh)
- Sue Mae, Irvin, Yan Hao, Han Ming, Kiat Han, Xin Ru, Kai Sing, De Shun, Kai Yu
- Kai Yi, Leon, Thant
- And everyone who have crossed path with me ! You guys know who you are. Thank you for making a difference in my life 🙂
Let me try to add a bit of drama suspense…
As I sip the last drop of baileys, I place the cup onto the coffee table beside me and look out of the window…..
Ok shucks I think I shall make do without the suspense. Not getting good at this. Haha.
Anyway, looking forward to an even better 2017! Where I’ll be heading to Shanghai for a year and do keep a lookout for more exciting stuff that are in the pipeline !
P.S : Gonna change URL to singaporeanboy.com soonz !