Monday, December 31, 2012

Wrapping up the year - 2012!

Omg so procrastinating this! Bila takde masa, semua ilham menulis mencurah-curah masuk otak. Bila dah ada time, ha mulalah tak tau nak tulis ape. Takpa, biar kita cuba. Some things cannot be left unsaid. Yes, this is one of the usual year-end wrap-up blog entry! (;▽;) Now why do I so insist on doing this? Because I have to, because this year was so many things and this year was the best year of my life till date. Sure there were the down times but I've never felt as blessed as I have throughout this entire year. Now I'm not just talking about my dream trip to Japan (ahem!) okay, there were lots of highlights in my entire 2012!

First up was of course
ADWAVE 2012 : STRIP! STRIP is the brainchild of ADWAVE 2012. ADWAVE 2012 is made up of third year students from different backgrounds majoring in Persuasive Communications, at the School of Communication in Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. ADWAVE serves as a student-run marketing communication team that develops and implements solutions to real-world communication problems in a three-month communication campaign. STRIP is a call for youths to strip the layers that hide their inner self to reveal their true potential.

STRIP is a call for youths to strip the layers that hide their inner self to reveal their true potential. An empowered youth is one who knows that he or she has a special skill, talent or abilities that can be used to make an impact on her or his own career development, family, society and country. This campaign provides the avenue for youths to understand themselves well so that they can play a better role in the society. Darn right I copied and pasted those lines, copywriting so awesome takkan tak nak guna hahaha through STRIP (which, by the way, stands for Self-Transformation in Progress) , it was the ultimate honour to be voted as Marketing Comm Director for the entire ADWAVE 2012 team! Better yet, I had the best team ever formed and maybe it's just me, but I really believe that we managed to work pretty well together and everyone (well, almost haha) was supportive of each other. At least, nobody threatened to boycott so what the hell, I'm happy hahaha!

It was the first time I held such a huge leadership position and juggling the many responsibilities plus managing probably the biggest team in ADWAVE 2012 was really an eye-opening experience! Did some silly thing, and then there were also those crisis moments that nearly drove us crazy then but funny how it doesn't seem like a huge matter now anymore. Crazy roller coaster ride that made that semester one of the best ever! Also did some proper charity work with children, which is something new for me seeing as I'm not overly fond of children haha (that's me being politically correct) taught them how to wash hands the proper way, tied shoelaces and many more which I hope they did enjoyed as much as I did, even if it's just for that one day. Wah can still remember the lunch they provided for us, so good hahahaha!

Basically our entire year of blood sweat and tears came down to these two heavy-ass books that is our final report. I do regret that I didn't document all our events here in this blog, but then again we barely slept the entire semester and the C10 building was practically our second home so. It was (an awesome) hell, I think many of us grew a lot from the experience and many got to know each other a lot better as well. In both the good and bad ways. POC lol! *inside joke

Never got to say it properly, but thank you ADWAVE 2012! (◕‿◕✿) 
Lots of love to the Mar Comm Team - Events, Publicity and Media! 

Awarded Best Campaign, Best Teamwork and the Vice Chancellor's Award for 2012!

Despite all the epic busy times and workload though, somehow we seemed to have partied even harder that semester perhaps just to make it up for all the stress. Nothing takes away stress like some alcohol good music and dance haha and somehow too in the midst of it all, I got the blessings from everyone to escape to Japan! It was such a rushed thing, my Japanese teacher called me up on fine day and within a week it was settled that I was about to join a ten-days long program in March called
Japan Study Program - fully sponsored by the Japanese Government! Even until the day of departure itself the reality of it all didn't hit me! On the first night, the Malaysians ventured to Tokyo Tower at night and well, together with Xue Shuang, we got separated from the group and couldn't find our way back to the hotel wtf

Being in Japan was a dream come true, I don't think anyone else there could have appreciated it as much as I did, really. Imagine going thirsty after a whole day out in the hot sun and having to wait hours until you could get a bottle of water and when you do, you gulp the entire bottle down and water never tasted that good. Well, odd metaphor but yes, I've been wanting this for years since I was a child and being there, I just couldn't help but to drink it all up and fully appreciate every single drop. The whole time I was there I kept thinking "OMG this is Japan OMG this is Japan!"

To top it all off, it snowed! In March, it snowed! O(≧▽≦)O

That was my first time experiencing snow and I was so excited! Luckily there were many South East Asians' participants who is experiencing this for the first time too so at least I wasn't the only one hahaha more painfully detailed blog post about Japan later! So after the two wonderful weeks I was back in Penang again and life continued on as usual with all the work waiting haha! Next thing I know, ADWAVE 2012: STRIP is finally done with and the examination period came. Luckily, I had only one paper to take which is the Japanese paper. When a friend posted in Facebook an open opportunity to another partially-sponsored study trip to Japan scheduled just two-weeks before my Japanese finals, I took the chance to apply for it anyhow never expecting to be chosen. Unbelievably, as luck would have it, I was approved! All expenses in Japan was to be paid by Fukushima University so all I've got to pay for is the return air tickets. With some advice and help from the most awesome lecturers ever, Dr Shu and Dr Din, they assisted in my application for a scholarship with my university's Student Affairs Dept and it was rushed as hell but in the end I got it! I was going to Japan again for the second time for
the Student Power: Connecting the World Project!

A completely different vibe from my first trip, this second trip was an eye opener. Lower in budget, and so much more cosier. I was one of the three foreign students there and the only one who couldn't speak Japanese, FML. But we all got along together just great and I have a blast with the Japanese students who really touched me with their sincerity, intelligence and awareness in the community's plight. This trip, I got so much more closer to the issues at hand since the great disaster last year and I also got very very very near too to the border of the 20 kilometres radius evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

I'll go more into more details on this in another post! After this Fukushima trip, I arrived back in KL and flew back to Penang immediately for my Japanese exams the very next morning. Thanks to YK, I didn't have to take a bus ♥ Next thing I know, it was time to say goodbye to university life and the carefree times with university mates. In September, we were called in for the last time to take the one scroll that's worth a whole three years of our lives spent here in Penang, and a whole lot of PTPTN debt waiting to be paid wtf.  IT'S CONVOCATION Y'ALL!

Boy that was crazy. The weather, the arrangements, the rush, the weatherrrrr. It was such a great opportunity to meet everyone again though, I don't think there will be another time where all of us are able to meet again like that. We took tons and tons of pictures! At least, everyone else's parents did haha I got lazy holding so many things I didn't even manage to take my camera out. I must say though, I absolutely love my bouquet - they're sunflowers and lilies ♥ Costs a little more than the usual roses but whatever, it's my big day I deserve my favourite flowers hehe was going to pay for it myself (what else is new) but mom asked my brother to take the bill instead yeay!

During that semester itself too I was encouraged by Dr Shu to join the Astro Challenge just for a quick experience, no strings attached and I decided to give it a go. It was a pretty fun experience but little did I expect that it would bring about to greater things in the coming months. Basically, Astro called me back to join their three-months long internship program and that was a difficult decision for me as I've already graduated and am in the market for a proper full-time full-paying job that will hopefully mark my first step in my career. Thought about it over and over again, and in the end I gave up thinking about it and just went for it. Glad to say that I didn't regret the decision though, as the experience itself was great plus the internship allowance was relatively higher than the standard market price haha!

I was placed at the Publicity Department where we manage the publicity and media relations for all the radio channels under Astro Radio. It was great exposure for me as I got to know all the different radio channels better and met the different people working there as well as their many listeners. Helped out in quite a bit of events too especially during the fasting month so kind of saved a lot on meals. So realistic kan aku. Even went to Johor for the first time thanks for an event there! Point is, it was incredible for me because I got to meet people that I wouldn't usually have the chance to meet and I love the fact that I got to learn a lot of things in an industry that I had absolutely no clue about in the first place. Dude I don't even listen to radio man, all I know is that I listen to way too much Arashi. Yeah sorry to disappoint, no pictures of me with the people there because I don't roll like that wtf hahahah no lah, shy.

Before I agreed to take the internship program, I told them beforehand that I'd have to take two weeks off because I HAD A(NOTHER) TRIP TO JAPAN! Damn right man bet you're getting confused, but yes I had three trips to Japan in total! Remember this post earlier this year? I bought return tickets to Japan last December 2011, fully anticipating it to be my first trip to Japan but I guess God works in mysterious ways because I was blessed instead with two sponsored trips before this trip came about! However, this time I got to explore Tokyo (and its surroundings) in my own time and I did some real extensive research bringing with me to Tokyo more than ten pages of notes on where to shop, see, eat and of course, how to get there and how much. Blogged on day one here and day two here, more to come okay!

It was my Make Dreams Happen trip because I got to visit so many awesome places that I used to only dream of - Tokyo Disneyland, Ghibli Museum and on the top of the list, the Cosmo Clock 21 in Yokohama!! I've talked about this ferris wheel so many times in this blog it's borderline obsessive so you know just how much this means to me! o(≧∇≦o)  Wah damn terharu, to just be there and look at it, and think of how much I've wanted this to happen and there it is, as amazing as I had expected it to be. 

Coming back to Malaysia was a total reality check man hahahaha nothing takes you straight home than arriving in LCCT and taking a filthy bus to KL Sentral. So it was back to work again and after a couple months, it was time to look for a real job. I was terribly excited, and scared at the same time. Like, what if I was only seemingly awesome in university because my friends tell me so and I actually suck in real life? Turns out what I feared was true after all hahahahah but fuck it la, I'm still young still got chance to improve! 

Anyway yes started applying for jobs here and there but nothing too hardcore, and in the end I got one offer from a company that I liked, the employer was absolutely great and the position was half of what I've always wanted to do - write. The job prospect was pretty promising too. I don't know why but I asked first for some time to decide and then, I got called for an interview with another company. I went for it, and soon was offered a position which was certainly a step out of my comfort zone into something I really didn't expect I'd venture into at all. The vibe was great, and something just pulled, so I took this offer despite the crazy location. In fact, I took it without thinking much at all. On my first day, the HR Exec Mimi told me that I'd soon be having fun here, whether I want to or not hahaha and she was absolutely right! Everyday's a great day when you work with people like these! 

Though on my first day I did tripped out the electricity of half the office but er I hope they don't remember it now wtf anyhow, I was also given the opportunity to visit Kota Kinabalu for the first time, for a talk! That was an amazing experience and I got to meet so many awesome people there. I must say, I fell in love with Kota Kinabalu and damn right I'll be going again soon just to get some of the crazy good food and to meet the friends I've made there! (⌒▽⌒) Spending an evening at Sunset Bar and trying out the red durian udang galah were experiences I sure won't forget! A whole blogpost about that later! 

And that's it for 2012. There were many more memorable events and happenings, but there's only so much I can talk about hahaha don't I wish I'm a full-time blogger so I can blog about everything! Like I said, 2012 was a blessed year and I am absolutely grateful for where I am right now. There were bad times, but why think about that. The worse thing that can happen is that they kill me. But hey what do you know, I'm still here breathing and living! Pessimist in nature, but optimist by choice/effort haha. Many good things have come my way this year, and so many dreams were made reality. That, in itself is a miracle to me and I'm going to hold on to that. Thank you to all of you that have made this year so damn good for me. Having said that, here's to an even more awesome year in 2013! My only resolution is to buy return tickets to Japan again hahaha! ♥