Didn’t think there was much to mention about the last year, but thinking a little further made me see 2016 differently. I finished my life as a student, graduated, and got my first job! 2016 didn’t seem so negligible after all.
I actually didn’t have any intentions to do one of these new year posts, but I thought it’d be nice to do a little recap to look back at what I’ve done and experienced in 2016. Take it as a reflections/appreciation post for my past year.
So here it is, looking back at my past year – the highlights of my 2016!
1. My final semester in NUS
I still remember my first day of university vividly. Preparing for my first ever lecture, knowing I’ll be attending the class alone, wondering what to wear, where to go, what to bring. The social anxiety and uncertainty of being a freshmen.
Somehow it all flew by so quickly and I went through my final semester of university in 2016. I remember running through my doors all excited when I finished my PSLE exams, and somehow last year marked the end of my student life! Time sure flies.
Being a student was really a comfort zone. Each year I’d go through the motions as I did the previous year: Attend lessons, finish my assignments, and take exams. I had so much free time on my hands to work on part-time jobs, side projects, and had the time to blog more. I guess I only miss the school holidays hahaha.
2. My first internship
Since I was intending to graduate in 3 years, I only had 2 summer breaks. The first I spent on taking driving lessons and working part-time at a dating agency (yes, ask me anything! LOL). The second I spent mostly travelling to Europe with Yibo and going to summer school with Hazel at Imperial College London!
The hopes of getting an internship before I graduated wasn’t high by then. But somehow my search for a full-time job landed me a part-time internship with Marketing Magazine during my last semester.
It was a really brief stint over barely two months, but I already learnt loads and got so much exposure through the magazine. Being an editorial intern for Marketing Magazine also gave me opportunities to get my name out there. Overall, it was a rich experience that I’m thankful for.
3. Putting up my first YouTube video
As part of my application to The Travel Intern, I decided to upload my first travel video on YouTube! It was quite a personal milestone, considering I had already edited 2-3 videos that were sitting in my hard drive. I figured it was time to just put it out there, without thinking too much about it. And I think I did well on that decision 🙂
If you’re interested, you can check it out!
4. Bought my first DSLR
After using my Sony NEX-5N for about 3-4 years, I decided that an upgrade was necessary if I wanted to meddle more into photography. I’ve been intending to get a DSLR since the trip to Europe, especially as I was using Yibo’s 5D most of the time hehe.
Pretty happy that I made the purchase of the Canon EOS 80D with my own money, and was able to bring it to our family trip to Scandinavia to capture all our memories. I’d say so far so good – been quite happy with the camera so far, and all that I’ve been able to capture with it. (It should be all evident in the amount of visuals I’ve been putting up hahaha.)
5. Graduated with my bachelor’s degree
3 years in the making, and I graduated with my degree in Communications & New Media! Who would’ve guessed I’d end up in communications, and even end up in writing as a career? My eyes were set on Psychology for so long, but I guess things had a way of working out on their own. Memorisation just wasn’t for me hahaha.
Graduation was definitely a personal milestone, and also for the family! It didn’t feel like much of an accomplishment to me, since I wasn’t graduating with top honours. But seeing how happy my parents and grandparents were, I guess I made them proud 🙂
6. A first self-planned trip with Brenda
A mini milestone this was. While travelling is always an exciting adventure, it feels different when you planned it yourself. Since Brenda and I both graduated at the same time, we thought it’d be a good idea to take a grad trip together. Hong Kong was our destination of choice, and wow despite the few days we had there, we covered so much and returned with plenty of fun memories 🙂 Also many many photos!
7. Visited Scandinavia in the summer
Our trip to Sweden, Denmark, and Norway was the one last family trip before the working life robbed me of the long breaks. Hopefully I’ll still be able to find off days to continue with these yearly trips!
Scandinavia was beautiful in the summer, thanks to the 24-hour sunlight – I got to use all the time I needed to take the perfect sunset shot (since the sun never really set). I took so many photos, I have yet to even look through all of them! You’ll see them all here soon (I hope)!
8. Started freelance writing with TripZilla
My job search landed me with the opportunity to be a freelance writer with TripZilla, which managed to tie up nicely with my whole direction with travel writing. In fact, I think TripZilla is the platform to get the exposure my blog needs. To greater heights then!
If you’re interested to see what I’ve been writing for them: Read here!
9. Got my blog post shared by Hurtigruten
Part of the little milestones of 2016 was having my blog post shared by Hurtigruten UK & USA on Facebook! I didn’t even find out until I checked my blog stats – which spiked like crazy over that few hours. All I did was share what we ate on the cruise, but I guess people really love food posts!
Hopefully there will be more of such cases as we go along! 😛
10. My first stint as a photographer
While on the job hunt, I decided to put myself out there and try out portrait photography with my new camera. It turned out surprisingly alright! It started with a small gig doing a grad photoshoot for Brenda and her friends, and then I did a couple shoot for a lovely pair who contacted me over Gumtree (Yes I put up an ad on Gumtree).
11. Got my first full-time job!
I’ve been working temp jobs, part-time, and freelance jobs, but after graduation, it was time to search for my first actual job. Just a year ago I would have thought it was crazy to even consider writing as a career. Somehow I started to apply for editorial, journalism and comms positions.
Would never have thought of myself to be working in advertising, but here I am, about 5 months into my first job. Thankful to be working alongside some of the best people 🙂 Couldn’t have asked for better.
For the blog wise, I’ve been trying to work on better content for the blog and even purchased a domain in 2016. I’ve got asked plenty where I’m going with this. I started blogging as a way to document my memories, and connect with my friends. Then I continued it to share all the pictures and videos I’ve been accumulating from all my trips.
Here are the top posts of 2016 – to be honest they are some of my favourites too!
We slept well and ate well on our 5-day cruise with the Hurtigruten while in Norway. I thought it’d be nice to compile a post on all the food we ate while onboard!
Brenda and I did lots of eating and took lots of photos while taking a tour of Hong Kong. It felt like a photography trip at some point, and am so glad we had the same intentions for our trip! A compilation of the places we went to so you can up your Instagram game just like we did!
A spontaneous listicle I decided to do after getting through a graduation photoshoot with my friends under the immense heat and humidity. It was a hot and sunny day at Punggol, and there was hardly any shade. I’m actually proud that we even got our pictures to look decent 😛
Anything about food seems to attract eyeballs always. We didn’t make our Hong Kong trip much of a food trail, but we did eat plenty of good food!
Raey came back to Singapore for a short while last year, and we thought we’d make the most of it. Visited the National Gallery to take some photos and it was quite fruitful! I should do more of these outings.
Looking back at 2016, it wasn’t so dull after all? If you’d like, you can have a #throwback by reading my recap of 2015: Looking back at my 2015.