Since I’m a pretty sentimental person 90% of the time, it’s only fitting that this first week of the New Year has me feeling all nostalgic – I’ve been constantly looking at old photos from my phone and polaroids, going through my old agenda, and simply reflecting on how much one year can do to a person.
2018 was all about building my grit. I learned the hard ways that achievements are earned, not gifted on a silver platter. That dreams demand hustle, hard work, and persistence. While it may seem like I always ‘have it together’ most times, the truth is far from that. People close to me are aware that I’ve had my share of failures and breakdowns, because juggling uni, job, and being 5,000km away from home has not always been a breeze.
While it wasn’t without its share of downswings, I learned a lot and came out feeling more confident and sure of myself. This year brought me my angels in human form. It brought me grace upon grace, showed me the harvest of my hardships, and reminded me to have faith in myself. 2018 was a good one and I’m nothing less than thankful for every big and small bits of it.
Here are a few of my most favorites from last year:
1. January: Completed my first internship in Australia during my summer semester. I had the pleasure of working with insanely driven young individuals through a fin-tech start-up. While it was a long shot from my engineering degree, I’m glad I was able to pick on their brains around all things business and finance (something I obviously didn’t get enough exposure on).
2. February: Set foot in Cairns and snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef. Another thing checked off my bucket list!
3. March: Turned big two two with the sweetest surprises from my loved ones, my home team. To say that I’m thankful to have them is an understatement.
4. June: Submitted two thesis projects which I somehow manage to complete in one semester. I will forever remember walking home from the library at 4am most days only to catch a 3-hour nap and a quick shower (which was often opted out because an extra 15 minutes of sleep was clearly more crucial than one’s hygiene) before heading back to uni. This photo was taken right after my final presentation with a gorgeous bouquet from my man and a grin bigger than my face.
5. Graduated with two degrees behind my name: Bachelor of Engineering with Honours from The University of Queensland and Sarjana Teknik from Universitas Indonesia. Easily one of my life’s proudest moments.
6. Took a well-deserved break and spent two months back home to catch up with my family and friends. One of the highlights has to be this impulsive trip to Jogja with mum, my best travel buddy for life.
7. Despite the mounting rejection letters in my inbox, I got a call one day with an offer for a position I didn’t even apply to. When I was able to trace back how they found out about me, I thanked myself for taking the time to build on my connections during my time in University. So if there’s one tip I could give all graduates seeking jobs out there it’s this: Networking will get you places. I’m so grateful to have found a place to learn and grow professionally and to be surrounded by the friendliest group of colleagues I could ask for.
8. July: Left my old place behind and moved into a two-bedroom apartment in the city. It’s definitely been an interesting change of scenery after two years of suburb-living, but Carr Street will always have a place in our hearts. I know that it’s not just the house I’m missing, but the love that filled it (and the parties too).
9. September: Bought a studio apartment as my first property investment back home. It won’t be finished until 2021 but my Pinterest is already so full of interior/decoration ideas that I can’t wait to recreate.
10. Explored Tasmania in June and Sydney in November with my favorite people. I’m one to constantly plan my next adventure, so I’m excited to see all the places 2019 will take me.
Credits: Pricilia Clarissa Syafira
11. 2018 marks the year I’m finally able to fully support myself financially. After starting my first real job, of course (packing groceries at a local deli weren’t exactly the most lucrative careers). While it’s thrilling to be independent, I’m still learning to manage my finances and trying not to spend like a rock start after every paycheck. One of my resolutions this year is to learn more about saving/investing, so if you know any good tips or books on them, give this girl a shoutout.
12. Another Christmas away from home, but made sure I’m ending the year with the right people at the right places. We spent the last bits of 2018 swimming in waterfalls and counted down the New Years playing sparklers by the pool in our cosy Airbnb in Lota. Wouldn’t have want to spend it any other way.
Looking forward to great things to come in 2019. Here’s to new chances, new adventures, and to trust in the magic of new beginnings. Happy New Year! X.