So let's start at the beginning. 2016 was the year I started and finished college abroad. I've got a more detailed post about my first time studying overseas in the link. But basically, college gave me a newfound independence that I'm so grateful for. Even the little things, like traveling alone, planning and organising an entire trip was something new. I figured out how to properly use public transport systems and not be so terrified of getting lost while using the bus, tube or even plane. I never needed to really use public transport back home but I'm glad I'm comfortable travelling on my own now. College also gifted me with a whole bunch of new-found friends from around the world as well as from Malaysia. It was interesting learning about everyone and where they came from and enlightening myself on things I previously never knew about the world. Most importantly for me is that college definitely helped me figure out what I want to pursue in Uni and it gave me an idea of the path I want to embark on in the future.
Then came university, I decided to stay on at St Andrews because while it may not be to everyone's taste, I didn't mind (even preferred) studying in a more traditional, historically rich university compared to big modern ones, so while I do miss the city life sometimes, I'm quite content in St Andrews. The seaside town is beautiful and makes me adore Scotland and the Scottish culture more and more each day. I also have the best flat, where we're all good friends and get along really well with each other. That was such a blessing, I hear so many people complain about their flat and I was glad because I could never relate. It was one of those scary things about university, moving in with a bunch of complete strangers but it worked out so well for me in the end and I'm excited for another great semester with them. I've made plenty of other new friends as well, from my courses and from my hall, local as well as international. It makes living in a small town (or "the bubble" as we call it) more bearable when you've got amazing company by your side. I'm also enjoying my Psychology course very much, I've no complains about any of it and it's the only subject I take where I don't dread attending lectures. Biology's been a little bit more tough on me, but I'm trying to make the best of it.
I think a few of the highlights of 2016 has also got to include the concerts I attended as well. Firstly, coldplay was beyond anything I ever imagined. Seeing them live always seemed to be one of those unattainable things to me however much I enjoyed their music. They were a band I grew up with it, whose songs I could recognise anywhere and burst into a sing-a-long. I loved them and their music and seeing them live was absolutely surreal. I caught them in Wembley Stadium no less and it made the entire experience that much more amazing. The atmosphere, performance, the production, the throwback memories, it was insane and one of my all time favourite concerts. Next time, is my girl Riri. Another early 2000s R&B-Pop artist I loved. Rihanna was one of my earlier girl crushes and I just always admired how badass she came across. I caught her ANTI world tour show in Glasgow and it was pretty incredible. She is such a beautiful and strong soul and seeing her live, it just made her stunning voice all that more incredible.
I was also extremely lucky enough to go on 3 holidays this year; a family road trip from south England all the way to Scotland when my parents and brother came to visit me in Spring, a week in beautiful Barcelona in the summer and a beach holiday in Phuket with my family during winter break. I enjoyed Spain the most I think. Mostly because it was my first time in the country and I enjoyed every second of it. The food, the people, the culture...it was absolutely brilliant. I really do hope to visit again sometime soon and I definitely want to go back when the Sagrada Familia is officially completed. I'm so glad I got to visit so many wonderful places this year. Travelling has always been a passion of mine and something I hope to do more of in the coming year. I'm also especially grateful to my parents for making all these wonderful trips happen, honestly so blessed to have them.
I'm thankful for being constantly surrounded with brilliant people, many of whom accompanied me on all of these new exciting journeys and I sure hope that they stick around for 2017. This year has been a whirlwind of new experiences and adventures and for better or for worse, I wouldn't change a thing.
Dear 2016, you've been a ball.
Talk soon xx