Brave New Year

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

-Abraham Lincoln

2018 ended with the sky bursting asunder in tears. Fireworks scantly glittered the black curtain of sky last midnight–before the rain hushed them to sleep. I lay under my covers, next to my cousin and little sister, just as last year. Except this time, no message from a special someone would greet me in the morning, wishing a splendid new year. So instead, dear reader, I’ll wish you one! šŸ™‚

For me, 2018 was full of contradictions. There were countless beautiful new memories and experiences where I felt that God was giving me the best present in the world–yet perhaps just as many days where grayness filled my heart. 2018 was a year of growth.

To be sure, going to UWC was one of the most life-changing events that have ever happened. For that reason (and a few others), perhaps 2018 has been my best year so far. This year I learned about what it means to love someone–family, friends (old and new, far and close, young and not-so-young), special someones, and random strangers. It means trusting that they will be there for you, and carving out a space in your heart for them–despite doubt, lack of proximity, or even distance. I created bonds with people who I will appreciate endlessly for their kindness and patience in dealing with an annoying dork like me. šŸ˜› I hiked for the first time in my life. I slept in a grassy field next to an Irish and an Australian in the Wu Gong Shan Mountains, where for the first time in my life I saw an unfiltered sky winking its twinkling stars upon us. I met people from all walks of life, and became their friends so that now the problems which seemed so far away from me previously now feel much more personal. I’d have to say, that is one of the best things about UWC–the things you learn from simply living and growing together with people, and of course, tolerating and accepting all their differences.

Thus, I want to encourage you to go beyond your boundaries. Step out of your comfort zone. To put it in terms of a hiking trip: you might be the last one in the team, you might be gasping for breath, sweaty, and scared beyond your mind, or you might feel dizzy as you look at how far the ground is as each step leads you to yet more thrilling heights–yet the view and the swell in your heart at what you’ve accomplished isĀ soĀ worth it. Besides, there will always be people willing to look out for you, and make sure you don’t fall. Trust me.

Wu Gong Shan Mountains Hiking Trip

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Besides the hiking trip, some other memorable events last year include:

  • Teaching English to kids in Luoning, a rural area in China, for Project Week.

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That is the middle school building my Project Week group taught at.

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  • SEAFEST (Southeast Asia and Far East Asia) Culture Week

This is the Indonesians performingĀ Laskar PelangiĀ and two other dances for the SEAFEST Culture Week Performance.

 

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Performing Balinese Dance. Look how happy Abigail is in here!!

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CookingĀ pisang goreng, nasi goreng,Ā andĀ mi gorengĀ for the food fair.

  • Going to Korea for the International Standardization Olympiad

 

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Yeah, you can’t really see me, but I was there he he.

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  • Performing as The Nicest Kids in Town forĀ Hairspray the musical

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This isn’t the picture of the actual musical, but the mini dance performance during the Christmas Concert.

  • Realizing what amazing, beautiful, and kind friends I’ve been gifted with

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Missing a lot of people, but it’s okay–you know who you are. Guysss, if you’re reading this… good luck with SBMPTN and UN!! I wish I could be there to struggle with you all and cherish the last year of high school, but fate says differently. I’ll always send my best wishes and prayers, anyway. ā¤

  • The Geography Olympiad at UGM with Kak Amel
  • Learning Chinese and Economics–my new favorite subjects! And finally…
  • Meeting my new family in China šŸ™‚

Like this gal from Mexico.

Also these lovely Heimat girls. Btw, we were stealing another House’s shark in this photo. Don’t blame us. They started the war.

There are a lot of people actually, but not all of the pictures are decent enough to post so, these two will have to do. šŸ˜›

Thank you, 2018. I’m excited to see what next year will be like. By the way, do you have a resolution you want to share? For me, one of the resolutions is to do more and say less. I feel like I have too many ideas that I don’t put into action. Next year I vow to improve this. Although 2018 was the most amazing rollercoaster ride, I feel like there is still so much more I could do, especially for others. So with that…good luck my lovely reader!

I hope that each day we can be a better person than who we were yesterday.Ā 

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