What, it’s been four months already?
As 2016 is coming to an end, I can’t help but start looking back at what I’ve done this past year. I’ve got quite a few memorable ones, like spending a week in Turks and Caicos, dancing to Dave Binder for the third time in a row, working my butt off on projects that I’m still very proud of, having late night conversations with my housemates; stressful ones, fortunately limited to mostly the classic college students’ problems: deadlines, exams, quarter-life existential crisis; few “first” ones, including cooking my first ever Thanksgiving turkey (we even named him, Brad) and skiing.
Out of everything I’ve done this year, however, summer hands down takes the crown as the highlight of the year. I’d even go ahead and say that it was definitely the best summer I’ve had so far!
I spent 10 weeks of my summer holiday in Hong Kong for an internship, during which I definitely learned a ton about working in the industry, as well as prepared myself to look and act more like a fully-functioning adult.
More importantly, however, during those 69 nights I spent in the city, I got the chance to meet wonderful people, many of whom I now dearly call friends and mentors of some sort. I was also able to catch up with old ones, albeit with their new outlooks and perspectives much different from high school.
I got to explore different sides of Hong Kong: its lavish skyscrapers, overwhelming amount of designer stores and people who work in finance, (surprisingly) quite a lot of Tesla cars, charming hidden bars, narrow alleys filled with Cantonese chatters, hiking trails and scenic beaches right outside the city; the inviting smell of freshly baked bolo bao and warm dim sum, the vibrant nightlife, the daily dose of international vibes
… I can go on and on.
I convinced myself to try out new things that I never thought I would do, because obviously (a) it was summer, and (b) I was abroad; pretty much the only excuse someone needs to convince any early 20-somethings to venture outside of their comfort zones.
As a result, I learned a lot about myself too.
I don’t want to sound too melodramatic, but it was definitely a good (and necessary) thing for me to acknowledge more of how I see–and feel about–a lot of things, to know what I like and dislike, to picture myself after graduation when I finally will no longer have any imposing structure to my life… basically all the things I usually swept under the rug during the academic year, with the lame-but-true excuse of having too little time and too many things to do.
All in all, Hong Kong was awesome.
Plus, as if the summer could not get any better, I got to spend the last two weeks of my vacation back home. I went to Bali with my family, finally got my open water diver certification after completing my first ever shipwreck dive, ate lots of Indonesian food, and basically had a hella good time.
Reminiscing about this past summer, I can’t help but telling myself how lucky I am.
Thanks 2016, and to all the places and people who have made it so special. It’s been a good year, and I’m beyond excited to see what the next year has to offer.