Right now I’m just sat in front of my laptop, pausing every now and then as I try to fill the empty screen with whatever words I can. I finally decided to do this but right now I really have no idea what to write. It’s a lot harder than I thought but I’m definitely determined to do this. (But before that I can imagine this sitting in my drafts for a long time as I try to complete it)
Well… I guess this is a bit overdue. I’ve seen so many other people do their 2015 review in the first few days of 2016 while I’m here doing it in the end of the second week. I do have a reason though (though it wasn’t intentional at all). School starts for me next week and I’m honestly feeling really nervous. And since school was such a big part on my 2015, I thought it would be good to write this before that. For some encouragement you know?
So school. 2015 was the year I transitioned from secondary school to JC. I remember when I first got my O Level results and I felt really disappointed. I mean my overall score was still ok but the grades were not as good as I had expected them to be. It just made me feel super beaten down…
I managed to get over it though. I realised that there really was no point getting so upset because you are so much more than a grade. I should just focus on the future. After that I applied for a JC and I managed to get into my first choice. I was honestly so excited to start my new life in JC. I couldn’t wait to get a new uniform, make new friends and do well in my classes. It was a whole new start for me and what made it even better was that some of my old friends would accompany me along the way.
Sadly though that initial positivity wasn’t going to last. In my initial excitement to start the new school year I decided to challenge myself by taking up 4 H2 subjects. Man little did I know it would be the death of me. Not only was my schedule super packed and I ended really late every day, all the subjects were so difficult. JC life is already really tough as it is so taking up 4 H2s was incredibly painful. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t understand any of the material and my grades just kept slipping and slipping. I started feeling very discouraged and felt like there really wasn’t a point to study.
Now thinking back on it I remember how a few years ago I would be so hung up over my grades but gradually that started to change. (Like how I managed to get over my O Level score pretty quickly. If it was me in the past I would be incredibly depressed.) At the time I thought it was a good thing because it helped me relax more and even now I still think it helped me a lot. But at the same time it might have been a pretty bad thing because I became very jaded and started slacking off a lot. I already started showing signs back in sec 4 but in JC it became much worse.
And then there were my friendships. To put it simply, things really didn’t go well. It started out with my class where I couldn’t make any friends at all. Don’t get me wrong, they are all really nice people but I couldn’t click well with anyone of them. To me they were all super popular and extroverted while I was the shy awkward kid in class. And that made things very difficult because you are with your class practically 24/7 so I always felt really lonely.
I did manage to make some friends outside of my class though so that made up for it. But it was still very difficult because not only were they few but we rarely got to meet. You might be thinking: what about my old friends? Well… things didn’t go very well with them either. They started finding their own friends and we just started getting more and more distant. I tried to maintain our relationship but that didn’t really work out either. It just felt that things could never go back to the way they were before.
So overall with terrible grades coupled with failing friendships, I really struggled a lot. There were many times I felt very depressed and alone and I even had tons of suicidal thoughts. I constantly felt that my life would never get better. And to top it all of I gained a lot of weight. In the end of 2014 I worked very hard to exercise and lose weight and I succeeded. I became so thin to a point that everyone commented on it. But all that effort had gone to waste. It just made me feel incredibly unconfident and even more depressed.
My depression and anxiety even reached a point where I got really scared to go to school and would end up skipping. A lot of the time I convinced myself it was because I was stressed and I needed more time to do my work at home (which isn’t exactly false). But I think I really just wanted to avoid people. I didn’t want to have to deal being awkward around people and remind myself that I don’t have anyone I could really call a friend. At the end of the day, I really was just running away.
As the year progressed, I definitely had my ups and downs. There were days when things were better, days that my classmates would ask me whether they could help me buy food from the canteen and days where I would go out and have fun-filled time with my friends. Those were the times that I felt that I was appreciated and meant something to someone. But then there were also days when things were terrible, days when I would walk alone to my classes and days when I would see my friends hanging out without me. Those were the times that I felt that I could go my whole life without being noticed and it would not matter to anyone.
The rest of the year pretty much continued that way and soon enough my final exams were over and it was time for the holidays. I think that’s when my life really started turning around. If I were to sum up the holidays, I would say it was the holiday I really decided to do things so I wouldn’t regret it.
One of those decisions was to go for a internship. If this was the past me, I would have been so reluctant to go for it. I would have been so afraid to do something new. But with some pushing from my friend, I decided to do it. And I’m so glad I did. It was a very enriching experience as I managed to learn so much and gained a lot of insight into the profession. But I think the most memorable thing about the whole experience was the friends I made along the way. After having to deal with a year of failing friendships and being alone, I honestly thought there was no hope for me anymore. But I was really pleasantly surprised to see how friendly and welcoming they all were. They made me laugh so much and I really felt like I belonged with them, even if it was a short while. I honestly hadn’t felt so happy in such a long time and it will be a time I truly treasure.
Another one of those decisions was to travel. In the past, there were many times I decided not to travel during the holidays because I felt that I had a lot of work to do and I needed to study so it would be better if I didn’t travel. But whenever that happened I would always end up regretting it. Soon enough I realised that there will never be an end to the amount of work you do, so why not go and enjoy yourself? So I headed off to Japan and spent a week there. Japan has always been one of my favourite places in the world and being able to go there was fantastic. I managed to see so many things and do a lot of the things I wanted to do. The whole trip just made me feel really really happy. And even though I knew I had so much work to do once I went back, being able to get away and relax after such a hectic year made me feel really good inside.
This holiday has definitely been a incredible one. You could say I find it so memorable because it happened recently, but I really think it was a very eventful holiday. It was the happiest I felt in the entire year (well I did have a pretty terrible year but anyway) and I think it really opened up my life a lot. I know that sounds quite weird, but I like to think by taking this step in my life things will be different from here. It gives me hope that things can improve as long as I try. The holidays are already coming to an end though and I’m really going to miss it.
And that leaves us with where we are now. If I were to sum up the entire year, I would say this has been the hardest year yet. I know I always say that and it’s true. As you age, life will never get easier. But this has definitely been the most emotionally turbulent year so far. I don’t regret going through any of it though. I’m a firm believer that your experiences, whether it be good or bad, make you the person you are. So 2015 has definitely been a very reflective journey and I have learnt a lot of things that have allowed me to grow and develop into a much better person.
I would say I have definitely changed as a result of 2015. This has definitely been such a hectic year for my studies as I made a huge jump from secondary school to JC. And it was very difficult for me to cope. Because of that I become very jaded and started slacking off a lot. It definitely caused me to struggle a lot in the year, but I honestly think it was inevitable. I think what’s more important now though is I try and improve from here. I think that’s the best thing I can do for myself now.
When it comes to friendships I think I’ve changed a lot too. I’ve definitely learnt a lot more about friendships and how to manage them. But I think the biggest realisation I made was how important my mindset is. There were many times in the year I wallowed in my own self-misery, thinking that no one cared for me and even wanting to commit suicide because of it. But thinking back on it now, all I really needed to do was to calm down and think things through properly. If I had actually put things into perspective, I would have realised things weren’t as complicated as they seemed and I would have been a lot happier that way.
To be honest though, a lot these things I’m saying actually came from a friend. I really have to thank her because she was one who gave me a lot of advice and helped me put things into perspective. Without her, it would have been very hard to realise a lot of the things I previously said. However, when she first told me these things, I’ll admit that I was very turned off by them and didn’t understand anything at all. But gradually I started to realise that there was a lot of truth in what she said and it helped me through many of my toughest times. Although I’ve come a long way, right now I will say that I don’t think I understand everything fully and there will be times I fall back to my old habits. But I think it’s a journey and you just need to keep on going because there is a lot to look forward to at the end of it.
Some other ways I felt I have changed is in the way I see myself, physically at least. Like I said, I put on a lot of weight after I had worked so hard to lose all of it. And because of that I started feeling very depressed and unconfident. But at the same time, I really think it was a blessing in disguise. There were many moments during that time I felt like I needed to change but that takes time. So I just had to accept the fact that in the meantime, I would remain the way for a while. And from there it made me realise that there was nothing wrong with me and I’m perfectly fine the way I am. I definitely still have days where I feel insecure or unconfident, but I think I have made improvement in my journey for self-love.
On a similar note, there were many times I kept telling myself that I needed to exercise to lose weight. But I kept pushing it back later and later with many excuses like: “I already ate so much today no point going back now” or “I’m so busy I’ll just start tomorrow”. And in the end nothing ever happened. This was something that happened with my studies too and it just made things harder and harder. So something that I’ve learnt from this is that if you it is never too late to start. If you want to make changes in your life, it is always going to be gradual so start when you can.
And now we’ve reached the end. When I first started this, I remember having such a hard time figuring out what to right. But now it is more than 2,000 words long. As I wrote more and more, things just got easier and easier and I couldn’t stop. If this was the old me, I’m sure she would have given up half way. But I’m glad I finished what I started and it has definitely been a very therapeutic journey down memory lane.
So here is to a very uncertain 2016! May 2016 be the year that improves from 2015!