“You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea.”

Time is an idea. Time is a human construction. Time is measured not by the seconds or minutes, it is measured in memories, moments and events. Looking back, my time in 2015 was an exciting and memorable one.

I want to take this moment, the first day in 2016 not as a time for starting over, but as a time for self reflection.

When I think about 2015, a few memories definitely stood out the most.

1. Winning most inspirational student

2. Winning Prom Queen

3. Salutatorian (reading a speech in front of 500 people)

4. Being Accepted to Berkeley ( a completely surreal moment now that I think about it)

5. Captain of the Badminton Team (despite not making it to CCS, I tried my best. The sore legs from lunges and footwork, the tears from doing too many push ups, the tough losses were all worth it)

6. Get a black belt (the scarred elbows, and the struggles to cram 5 years of taekwondo in 2 weeks was a real challenge, but really glad it’s over)

Until this day, I still remember the nerves before all of these events happened. To be completely honest, I did not expect to achieve any of these things named above. I was never the leader, I was the person behind the scenes, the one who had too much to say, but never had the courage to say it, the one who never knows how to put her thoughts into one coherent sentence.

I never thought I was extraordinary, and I am not, but it was still a blessing feeling to be recognized.

While the first half of 2015 was a complete rollercoaster ride, and summer was a blast, the second half of 2015 was a life changing experience. Starting college at UC Berkeley was something I could never imagine. Sometimes, when I walk down the hill from Pimentel to GBC, as the wind brushed against my face, and both of my arms intertwined across my chess, bracing myself against the cold, I still feel utterly blessed and happy to be where I am at right now. Despite the constant stress, I was happy. I was happy to learn about Schrodinger’s Equation, the Laws of Thermodynamic, Gas Law, and Kinetics. Though I never completely understand any of it, I could say I tried my best. I felt happy every time I get to make a new friend or talk to someone I see every day. It was always exciting to play Mafia, Uno, Rock Paper Scissors, or Coup.

I think that it is important to think about how far you have come, but it is more important to think about what lies ahead and how much harder you really have to work for it. If 2015 was a time for happy moments that were entirely handed to you, I feel like 2016 should be about the hard work you should put in, the strength you need to get out of bed in the morning, the courage to laugh when you want to burst into tears, the determination to reach out of your comfort zone and accept that chance, and finally embracing the fact that you are lucky enough to be where you are now. Remember to not give up, and always work harder for that idea of a better future and a better you.

Goals for 2016:

1. Be kinder to people, think before you say anything negative about someone. Make sure to focus more about yourself and not what other people are doing. Understand the weight of your word, a nice comment can make someone’s day. Use your word to better this world.

2. Spend at least 2 hours every day review the day’s materials.

3. Draw at least 5 more drawings in 2016. (If met, draw once a month)

4. Join a new club (Taekwondo)

5. Learn Photography. Take at least one picture a day.

6. Learn Japanese, Korean, or Chinese using an app

7. Maintain this blog

8. Read at least 5 books this year for your own entertainment

9. Spend more time taking care of yourself, but beauty is not your priority.

10. Keep an agenda and follow through with it.

11. Wake up and go to bed earlier and exercise if you can. Remember that you learn better if you are healthier and aren’t distract from your phone or computer. Speaking of healthy, make sure to stay hydrated.

12. This past year you kept thinking that you aren’t good enough for anyone around you. You aren’t smart enough, you aren’t pretty enough, you’re not well spoken enough. Destroy this idea and make yourself prouder this year. Try your best on everything that you do. manage time better and impress yourself by trying out new things, small and big things. Believe that you are enough.

Be idealistic and make your time worth while!

Happy New Year!