2015, Au Revoir

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With an amazing conclusion of 2015, here’s hoping that wishes do come true x

This marks the beginning of the end, and yet the closing of this chapter will lead to an amazing 2016 ahead. This post, while being unable to encapsulate all the moments of 2015, will hopefully be able to document the significant happenings through the year; memories unmentioned will still be etched deeply in my heart ๐Ÿ™‚

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The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open.

Do it. Throw yourself.

School.

2015 took me through a hell of a rollercoaster ride in terms of my studies. I started the year as a Psychology undergraduate, and as I’m typing this post, I conclude the year as a Social Work undergraduate. People may think that I’m crazy for changing my course of study when I’m already in my third year of university life – but this is a decision that I wouldn’t regret. I’ll admit that there have been (many) instances where I think about the what ifs, and reminisce about the times in Psychology.

Yet, this first semester as a Social Work major marked the happiest sem I’ve ever been through. Stepping out of the Psychology sphere, I realised how … depressed I have been, trudging through lectures/tutorials,ย even studying for finals back then was such a torturous journey that I dread every sem. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting Psychology down – I truly respect all Psych majors, for they are able to achieve & excel in a course of study that I’ll never be able to excel in, I get drowned in the competition. Pretty glad that I managed to complete all the core modules in Psych though ๐Ÿ™‚

Looking back, my university life has been playing so many tricks on me – so many twists & turns, from pre-uni decisions till now. But like I said, no regrets ๐Ÿ™‚ This sem’s Social Work modules have been interesting, looking forward to the subsequent modules in the coming semesters. Gonna attempt to be more studious than I have been this year (lol), and diligently attend all my lectures/tutorials from now on. Going to start my first placement in Social Work next summer, looking forward to a meaningful time, and a meaningful career ahead.

Because after all these, I think I’ve truly found where I belong.

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As you start and end your day, be thankful for every little thing in your life. You will come to realise how blessed you truly are.

CSC.

Life in CSC has been, pretty amazing & completely insane this year. From being the Vice-Chairperson of YR, to taking up the Sec-Treas role in C.A.N. XII, and currently the Vice-President (Regular Programmes) in CSC’s 14th Management Committee.

Rebranding from Youth Rangers to Youth Beacons was a bittersweet thing for me – PRVP Youth Rangers accompanied me through tough times, we battled against all odds and when we thought that things just kept getting worse, a miracle happened. Youth Rangers taught me so many things, it really isn’t easy heading a new programme – no past references to fall back on, everything was experimental & such. RVP Youth Beacons holds the hopes & wishes I have for this programme that has so much potential to continue growing, to continue impacting the lives of a really special group of youths whom I hold dearly & closely to my heart ๐Ÿ™‚ Tuesdays were made tremendously better because I get to spend time with ’em youths, never thought that I’d feel so attached to them, but I am. Witnessing their smiles & happiness as they fooled around with each other, really warms my heart.

I must have been insane to sign up for C.A.N. XII in Jan/Feb. But this insane choice gifted me with a summer that was, although busy & stressful as hell, a meaningful one. C.A.N. XII broadened my perspective in many ways, allowing me to really appreciate how diverse and how disparate the lives of Singaporeans can be. No regrets joining C.A.N. XII though it burned all the weekends in June/July haha, looking forward to joining C.A.N. XIII …. as a volunteer hee. C.A.N. XII also reunited me with a senior from NYGG; it also gave me so many friendships that I’ll treasure dearly ๐Ÿ™‚ C.A.N. XII taught me to think from different perspectives, to always consider one step ahead, and developed me to be a better volunteer. So glad that my friends came down to volunteer during C.A.N. Distribute, fulfilled my wish of volunteering alongside my friends (and also for them to witness/understand what I’ve been busy with my entire summer haha).

And finally, VPRP. When I first started volunteering in CSC, the thought of eventually ending up as the VPRP was a ridiculous one – a thought that I wouldn’t even have bothered entertaining. How ironic though, considering that I ultimately ran for this position, survived a gruelling elections that drained the hell out of me haha. The journey in 14MC has been quite an … interesting one so far? Interesting is probably an understatement. 14MC gifted me with friendships that I know I’ll treasure for life as well ๐Ÿ™‚ And it allowed me to grow & mature as a leader, and pushing me out of my comfort zone constantly. I’m not someone who particularly enjoys, or is even comfortable with chairing meetings, but no matter how much it distresses me, I’ve got to do it. Which is why I’m thankful for all the moral support/encouragement from those who know the stress I have while assuming this position, even if I don’t show it often.

Comparing to the past when I was the YR VC, I’m proud to say that I’ve definitely broken down waaaaaaay less times. Because I realised, that if volunteering is supposed to make me happy, why am I letting the stress get to me? I’m still learning, there are times when I still doubt myself, and the past month has been hell of a journey of soul-searching & reflecting. I need to learn to be less hard on myself, and accept the fact that there are circumstances which are simply beyond my control. It’s tough, I might still make mistakes & wrong decisions along the way, but I’ll learn. Toย take things in stride & hopefully make the best of my remaining term not only as the VPRP of CSC,ย but also as a volunteer with the heart to serve.

For these little things, affirm my passion & interest in volunteering.

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Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Donโ€™t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Life.

I’ve had less time for myself this year despite being out & about doing things that are meaningful to me. Nevertheless, I’m still glad that I had some opportunities to indulge in hobbies that calms me down ๐Ÿ™‚

After practicing Chinese Calligraphy for 12 years, I’ve finally gotten down to appreciating English Calligraphy. ‘am amazed & utterly in love with the pretty typography/calligraphy seen online (especially Tumblr),ย and for someone who’s a sucker for quotes, practicing English Calligraphy makes me really, really happy. Nowhere near perfection, but as with Chinese Calli, I’m sure there’ll be improvements along the way with constant practice hee.

Friendships wise, I’ve reconnected with some old friends & its pretty amazing. Just this past Christmas, a youth from my volunteering days back in JC whom I’ve lost contact with sent me well wishes ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s amazing & an incredible heartwarming moment, & so glad to know how much he has progressed in these years.

& because of my busy commitments this year, it has indirectly opened up my eyes to see which friendships are the true ones that are worth keeping. Friends who don’t get upset/angry with my (super) lag replies that are mostly about me complaining how tired/burnt out I was. Friends who were there to give me advice & provide a listening ear regardless of how late it was, friends who went the extra mile to stay up just to make sure I was okay. Friends who made plans with me & trusted me enough to share about their issues. Friends who just wanted to hang out, because we can. & friends who remember the little things, thank you.

For friendships that fell through the cracks this year, all I can say is that it was a huge pity that they ended. For those with or without closure, I remember all the special moments shared. There are friendships that I’m reluctant to let go of, but life works in ways that I’ll never comprehend. Because once the trust is broken, no matter how hard you try to piece the broken pieces, you end up as the one who gets hurt. Maybe this time, I’m done trying. Perhaps, it’s time to let go.

Turned 21 this year, just 5 days ago. Turning 21 means more responsibilities, turning 21 officiates me into adulthood. Turning 21 & celebrating the moment with my loved ones & friends made me so, so happy ๐Ÿ™‚ Special thanks to the two chinggus who went the extra mile to help me with the planning, pre-prep, and for everything during the party itself. Thank you for all the heartfelt wishes, be it through handwritten letters or text messages; I’ve read all of them well ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for the repeated affirmations of the life decisions I’ve had to make this year, thank you for appreciating the friendships we share as much as I do.

There have been too many what-ifs & could-have-beens this year. Leaving things as status quo at the moment, shall see how it plays out in the coming year. No time nor room for regrets, every step I take isย a directionย that I’ve been destined to head towards to, and while I’m in control of my destiny, I believe that I’m meant to be where I am.

Setting my NYR soon, but I’ll take that offline instead since it’s a tad too personal. Hope that everyone has had a fulfilling 2015, and took the time to just think through the happenings of the year ๐Ÿ™‚ Congratulations, no matter how good or how shitty 2015 has been for you, we have all survived the year.

Thank you endlessparadigm for journeying with me through this year, documenting the little events in my life. Wouldn’t have traded for a different 2015, but here’s hoping that 2016 will be a year filled with more smiles & laughter ๐Ÿ™‚

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365 new days ahead, 365 new chances. I hope what you’re finding for in 2016.

2016, bring it on. I’m ready for you.

Shiaowei x
31 Dec 2015.

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2014

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Happy NYE everyone! This post will be the first since I turned 20. And this post will be the last of 2014. Taking some time to type & reflect on the year, guess it’s sort of a review post of how life has been in 2014 ๐Ÿ™‚ Disclaimer: It’s really long & boring, but I choose to document all of it down for myself, as a keepsake memory. It has been a tough yet interesting journey thus far,ย and I’m thankful that it’s going to be over soon, for 2015 will definitely be filled with even more fun, excitement and challenges that I (hope I can and) will conquer ๐Ÿ™‚

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Life as a psychology undergraduate in NUS

2014 marks the final sem of being a year 1, and proceeding on as a year 2 in uni. School hasn’t been easy on me, or perhaps I’m just a student inferior to others. But I truly enjoy what I study, and it’s nice to see the fruits of my hard labor in the results received recently – albeit not fantastic or impressive, but an improvement is all it takes to convince myself that it’s worth it. In 2014, I took modules that interest me the most (social + abnormal psychology). And this affirmed my dream of reading psychology :’)

Social psych taught me social skills & know-hows in daily interactions, it made me (slightly) more sensitive to people’s behaviors. I guess this is why people assume that psychologists can read minds, though it’s really more of just being more observant in certain things that others tend to neglect. Whatever it is, I still have a looong way to go ๐Ÿ™‚

Abnormal psychology taught me the art of empathy, yet at the same time to be less judgmental. It’s really important that we do not label people with disorders as “the person with depression” or whatsoever, but to accept & view them as who they are, for they are only humans who are less fortunate than others to be diagnosed with psychological disorders. And I finally got the chance to visit IMH through my course of study, which makes me really grateful ๐Ÿ™‚ It has provided me with fresh insights & what-nots, definitely will continue to volunteer @ IMH if I have the chance!

Overall, despite the hectic schedules as an undergraduate, where I experienced my first double 8am lectures in uni (which I will avoid to the best of my abilities from now on), it has been a fulfilling year in terms of studies ๐Ÿ™‚

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Life as a volunteer in CSC

2014 marks the year where I officially involved myself in volunteering once again, after a one-year hiatus in 2013. The first major event was the Adventure Camp held in June. Planning for the camp while rendering my services as the Secretary in the committee taught me loads of things, especially since this is the first time I’ve planned for a camp that’s held in Pulau Ubin. A foreign location naturally brings about more difficulties & uncertainties, but the camp made me revisit Guiding skills that I’ve missed, which makes me really happy because it brought back fond memories of Guiding with the pitching of tents & firelighting for outdoor cooking ๐Ÿ™‚

Then came theย biggestย decision I’ve made in 2014 – accepting the role of Vice Chairperson of Youth Rangers. It was a really tough choice & I was in a constant debate between acceptance & rejection of the role, for I wasn’t sure if I could handle the responsibilities that came with the title. After consulting & considering the various advice from friends, I decided to give it a try. I don’t regret the choice, albeit knowing that perhaps there might be someone out there who has better capabilities for this role. Because this choice has ultimately shaped & steered my volunteering journey to a different one – one that is more meaningful than all the volunteering experiences I’ve ever had in my life.

Being the VC has its pros and cons. For one, I’m really glad to have been given this opportunity, & it has led me to meet an awesome RVP Team AY14/15, especially the other Children/Youth sector chairpersons ๐Ÿ™‚ It has also allowed me to be more involved in the behind-the-scenes of volunteering, ranging from planning of events to attending countless meetings & gaining new insights from other fellow chairpersons. I can’tย emphasize how much importance volunteering takes in my heart, and it’s so so important to me that people volunteer because they have the genuine passion & heart to do so. It’s obvious when their reasons for volunteering are otherwise, but sometimes I choose not to say anything because well, it’s their choice, and as long as they don’t jeopardize anything, I guess I’m not in the position to judge or whatsoever.

I foresee changes in the future, in YR, and I’m hoping for the changes to be a good one. Since I officially accepted my certificate of appointment on 4 Sept 2014, I promise to make the best out of this AY, as the VC of YR. May things be smooth sailing from now on, and I’m confident to say that I’m no longer who I was in the past. The volunteering experience thus far has shaped me greatly and I’m thankful for that.

It’s really so heartwarming to see the youths acknowledging & being happy because of our presence & commitments, the fun & enjoyment that they display during sessions are what drives me to continue pushing on even if it’s a tough time ahead. Because as long as we have impacted & made a difference in contributing to the lives of our youths, I know that all the hard work is more than worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

Apart from YR, I’ve semi-involved myself as a volunteer in GAW during the wish adoption + party phases ๐Ÿ™‚ I had the opportunity to learn basic Braille during a workshop @ iC2 Prephouse, it was a really eye-opening experience! Attended 2 GAW Parties (iC2 Prephouse + BSS), and I’ve learnt a lot from both parties. Interacting with children of different backgrounds, with children who have slight disabilities in terms of sight, it really made me feel much more humble while seeing the amount they had to offer despite all the setbacks going on in their lives.

One semester left as a member of YR Comm, & I’m going to make sure things get better, and that it’s the best yet. Looking forward to the continuation of rendering my services in CSC, as volunteering continues to play a significant role in my journey to self-discovery & fulfillment! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Life as a tourist in Korea

This is definitely one of the highlights of 2014. My first independent 15-day holiday trip overseas with friends! Thank you to the best travelling buddies I could ever ask for, I really love how our travelling styles & preferences etc all complement each other so well, and that the trip concluded so memorably without any arguments or whatsoever. I had the best time of my life in Korea, and am already looking forward to future trips together with this awesome bunch! In these 15 days, I’ve been to Jeju + Seoul, and it was a really interesting experience.

Hobo-ed at Incheon Airport overnight for the first time in my life, and it was such a historical moment where we coincidentally managed to meet various k-idols (including our bias group INFINITE!!!!) while hobo-ing overnight. What a pleasant surprise it was, I’ll never forget how it felt omg :’) Aaaand I met my bias Dongwoo’s parents by visiting their family restaurant! Thank you my dearest friends for scheduling that into our triip & not giving up despite getting lost for a while in an attempt to find the restaurant (there was even a slight drizzle)! It was simply … magical HAHA. Conversing with Dongwoo’s dad, and him being so enthusiastic about taking a picture with us that he even made sure that Dongwoo’s poster will be captured in the picture! And Dongwoo’s mom personally feeding us (although the spicy octopus really made me have legit tears), such awesome fan service that his parents gave to fans (especially since they knew we were not local fans but international fans!) I’ll definitely head back to their family restaurant the next time I go to Korea, and sincerely appreciate the warm hospitality that they served us with!

From randomly following this rookie group at Myeongdong whom we initially didn’t know of (and subsequently found out they were B.I.G.), to all the crazy shopping & fun times in Jeju/Seoul, thank you to Yumin, Sheryin & Amanda for the memorable Korea trip ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s to more #guesswhatadventures to come in the future!

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Life as a music fanatic

In 2014, I attended 2 concerts! Avril Lavigne Live in Singapore 2014 on 15 Feb, and The Red Tour by Taylor Swift on 12 June.

After being a Black Star since primary school days, I finally got to enjoy Avril Lavigne’s concert live for the first time ever! Made sure to get the best tickets with the best view, and saying that Avril is awesome irl is a major understatement omg. Can’t wait for her next album to be out, since it has been almost 2 years since she released her fifth self-titled studio album. Her sincerity & confidence in her performance really deserves the utmost admiration from all her black stars indeed, may her songs continue to serve as my therapy in the future! Taylor Swift was incredible live as well, and her stage performances & entertainment level is insane. Thankful to have gotten the chance to attend both concerts this year ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m hoping for Lana Del Rey to come for a tour in Singapore in the future! Her album Ultraviolence released earlier this year has been on replay for the longest time ever, there’s just something about the songs by Lana Del Rey that is so addictive.

Infinite released 2 albums this year,ย Season 2 + Season 2 Repackage, and both albums are nicely sitting on my shelf hee. Infinite songs are definitely my favorite in Kpop, and Last Romeo + Back (both of their title tracks this year) literally blew my mind away. I really love how much sincerity they put in each of their performances on stage, where they actually sing live despite their dance being really tough & energy draining. Definitely going to continue supporting Infinite by being their loyal Inspirit! It has been said that Infinite H will be having a comeback in January, Infinite in February, and Sunggyu with his second solo album some time next year. Hence, I foresee 2015 being an awesome year for Infinite already, may all their group/unit/solo comebacks be successful! ๐Ÿ™‚

Amidst all the songs from specific singers, I’m glad to have stumbled upon loads of other random English songs with lyrics that resonate deeply within me, that I can relate to, and that are applicable for different moods etc.

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Life as who I am

In 2014, I’ve learnt a lot and gained loads of valuable experience, to continue shaping my future for who I’m meant to be. One recurring topic is undoubtedly “friends”, as I realized how people seem to loosely classify (& I used to be guilty of that as well) acquaintances as friends. This year, I’ve realized who my true friends are, who are the friends meant to stick around, and who aren’t the sincere ones. This year, I had the chance of several friendships resurfacing, from years ago. And I’m really glad it happened, because it does feel good & reassuring to be able to reminisce & share freely about things, to people who were once in my life (and have re-entered thankfully).

Lost friendships might be hard to revive, but for what’s it worth, the effort put in by both parties will definitely keep it going. I really like how it isn’t awkward at all despite losing contact for years ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess this goes to show the genuine core of what friendship should entail ๐Ÿ™‚

And I’m more than grateful to those whom I’ve been talking on a regular/daily basis. No need for mentions, you guys know who you are. Thank you for tolerating all the nonsense & enduring all my rants/frustrations etc. It hasn’t been easy, I’m sure of that, but thanks for sticking around :’) It means so much to me. Old is gold indeed, I wouldn’t trade you guys for any other, not now not ever.

Living life as a 19 y-o and turning 20 so so recently, I’ve grown to notice the amount of independence needed in my life. Things aren’t the same as what they were when I was young, safe in my comfort zone & protected from all ’em unpleasant happenings. But this is a learning & growing process. As we make mistakes, we learn from them, we rebound, and get back up stronger than before.

This year continued to touch me with endearing birthday wishes/messages, all of which I read well & will hold the words close to my heart :’) Thank you for all the birthday wishes/dedications, spending time to meet me & what-nots, planning surprises, and all the handwritten birthday letters! For I’m still old-fashioned when it comes to this, but handwritten letters really hold so much significance than any other. So thank you to everyone and yes, I’m finally 20! ๐Ÿ™‚

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May 2015 be a better year for everyone, with less tragedies happening & more happiness spread throughout. Going to make a 2015 new year resolution since I’m turning 21 next year, but probably not going to post it up since it’s more private haha. First two weeks of 2015 really packed & hence ensuring that the beginning of 2015 will be a blast, may it be a meaningful & insightful year ahead, where everyone gets what they wish/aim for :’) Put behind whatever unhappiness or grudges incurred in 2014, and welcome 2015 with a fresh start, an open mind, and a hopeful heart!

With this, I conclude my final post on endlessparadigm in 2014. Till the next time we meet, in 2015 x

20152015, bring it on. I’m ready.