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2018: Thank you, next.

Assalamualaikum,

As always, as we welcome the New Year, it’s always a good thing to do a little recap on how the previous year has gone. I feel like doing this helps give me a sense of closure of some sort. It would also help me in thinking about some of the things I need to do or can look forward to in the new year.

Now, let’s see. What actually happened in 2018?

[solo] trip to the UK

Started off the new year with a (solo) trip to the UK. I said (solo) because technically, I flew to the UK to send my lil brother back to college. It wasn’t a ‘solo’ trip in the sense that I flew with someone. But after sending him to college, I went off on my own for a little while. I took that chance to go graduate-school hunting and meet up with some friends.

It was a good trip, but tiring, obviously. And it was definitely a good break away from work before things got busy in February/March.

Heading off to Hogwarts.

Chevening, a Lost Dream

This was technically a 2017/2018 kind-of project, since I submitted the application back in November 2017. I didn’t hear back until February 14th, 2018 when I was invited for the scholarship interview. Went to the interview in mid-March, but unfortunately, my Chevening dream ended there when I got the rejection email in early June.

Mind you – it was still a pretty bold choice that I made by applying for the scholarship. I kind of knew that it was a little far-fetched, considering how I am still young and still figuring out where I want to go in life. But I took that chance and applied for it anyway.

So future-me, if you’re reading this again: whatever it is that you are planning on doing, just do it. Ignore the voice at the back of your mind that says you can’t do it – you can. Grab the opportunity and just try. Nothing will ever happen if you hold yourself back from every single opportunity out there.

Dead month in March 2018

March 2018 was a busy, busy month for me. With bridal fittings and education fairs and attending kursus kahwin and some other stuff, it was a miracle that I survived it. Now that I look back to it – one thing I need to remember is to always prioritize what’s most important in my life – my family and my self-development.

With a new friend during the ASEAN-Chevening Youth Forum

It was the time I chose to attend the ASEAN-Chevening Youth Forum in UNITEN. It was purely because I wanted to push myself to do something outside of what I usually do. I didn’t know anyone there (oh, wait, actually, one person I knew did actually attend, but that’s different lol), so I went on my own. Met a couple of new friends, gained some new knowledge and insights.

But it was also the very same day that I decided that at some point in life, family was more important. I left the event early (did not join the dinner), went back home to my family, and it was the night I officially became an aunt to a beautiful baby boy. Definitely no regrets in leaving the program early.

Being a proud Malaysian

2018 also marked the first time I was eligible to vote in the general elections. I’m proud and thankful to be a part of such a historic moment in Malaysia’s history. Now, whether it’s a good or bad thing, that’s a different story. Either way, I’m just glad that I got to play a very tiny minuscule role, and that I had the opportunity to exercise my rights to vote.

#SyazDani , always and forevermore.

The biggest highlight of 2018 happened, coincidentally, right smack in the middle of the year. 23rd June 2018, one of the biggest days of my life. It was a big moment, not only for us, but also for our families (as I was the only daughter, and he was the first son). It was also memorable because a lot of our friends came to celebrate our big day with us, and we truly appreciate their presence.

During Aiman’s reception on 30th June, 2018.

For more pictures and videos, you can check out my Youtube playlist or on my Facebook Albums.

Taking a step towards adulthood

This is just something small and minor, but I still feel like it’s a step towards being a real adult. Aiman and I (more like I did it for the both of us) made our first investment through the Private Retirement Scheme (PRS). It was (1) an additional investment / savings for the (way way way in the future) retirement, but also (2) to make use of the PRS Youth Incentive in 2017/2018. I mean, who didn’t want the free RM1,000 to use for future retirement funds, no? 

Going back to school

September 2018 marks the start of my life as a postgraduate student. This time, I flew to the United Kingdom, and enrolled in the MA Education (Youth and Community) program at the University of Huddersfield. It’s a big step for me, and I can’t say that it’s been a smooth-sailing journey, but, hey, I’m surviving. And that’s good.

My first term / semester of graduate school has been… challenging, to say the least. But I’ve survived, Alhamdulillah, and doing okay, so I guess that’s okay?

Overall – 2018 was lit, I guess?

I didn’t really set any official ‘resolutions’ for 2018, I think. The closest thing to a New Year Resolution that I made for 2018 was just this tweet on December 31, 2017.

Now, let’s see. I don’t think I read 20 new books – but I didn’t really keep track of what I actually read, sooo yeah. I got my Rank 60 on COD Advanced Warfare back in Jan 2018 itself, so kudos to that. 

As for writing more, I think I’m pretty content with how the blog turned out this year. Not including this one final wrap-up post, I’ve written 35 posts throughout the year, which is so much better than the year before 

I mean, it’s not just the amount of posts I’ve posted – but I’m also pretty happy with what I actually posted on the blog. I started a few series on this blog, including my Fresh Grad 101 and my Grad School 101, and I think they’ve done pretty well.

Looking forward to 2019…

Honestly speaking, I have no idea what 2019 will bring for me. I have some big challenges coming up – like doing my dissertation over the summer months and going through the job-search period again to get a job after my MA is done. 

But – I also have some exciting things to look forward to. One of the biggest highlights of 2019 would be going to a Backstreet Boys concert in Manchester in June (and possibly a Westlife concert in Leeds the day after as well, though I have not bought the Westlife tickets yet). Other than that – I’m just looking forward to finishing graduate school and figuring out my next step in life?

Other than that, I have some personal projects planned for 2019 – so let’s see if these projects actually come true or not. I know for a fact that I want to still continue my blog series, so that’s for sure happening insyaAllah. I am also starting a bi-weekly newsletter project in 2019, insyaAllah. This will hopefully start on January 12th (after I am done with all my assignments). If you’re interested to read up on some sample newsletters and/or subscribe to it, you may do so here.

Well, whatever it is, here’s to a great year ahead. 2018, thank you for being a truly amazing year, but I got to bid you farewell now. Here’s to another year of challenging ourselves and doing the things we love the most!

Until next time, Happy New Year, and stay awesome everyone! <3 

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