How 2012 Was

For me, 2012 was a year of change, a lot of change.

It was the year I picked up a lot of new hobbies and skills. I learnt how to windsurf, managed to get up to a two-star in kayaking, learnt how to dive, and learnt how to play canoe polo for IFG (for which my faculty, USP, got third!). I picked up a DSLR  – a gift from dad – to pursue photography for the first time, and thanks to photographer friends around me – as well as my dad – have learnt enough about it to take decent photos.

With that new 600D, I was also able to pursue my interest in making films. I helped James to cut an orientation video with Shaun, and after that worked with James and Rachel on a video for a competition where thanks to the large amount of support from our friends and families, helped us to clinch 3rd place. I also filmed another video for a school project, about the importance of not wasting food, notably rice.


In 2012, I found myself taking part in two 10km runs in subsequent weekends. I had never run 10km in Vibrams before those runs. For the first, I achieved my aim of 1 hour, but for the second, I oddly took half-an-hour longer despite the first one having a more difficult trail – probably due to the army crowd, I guess. However, with the new year, I decided that I will take part in less official runs because of the exorbitant costs, but still run more. I also managed to take part in the Cinnamon College Vertical Marathon (which I missed last year), and aiming for below 5min, managed to hit 4min10s on race day. Pretty happy about that. Before 2012, I had never voluntarily taken part in running competitions.

2012 was also the year my friends witnessed me making the bewildering decision to switch course a second time, from FASS to the Bachelor of Environmental Studies programme. But I am glad I made that decision – unlike the two previous courses I was in, I felt right at home. It might seem like an unnecessary extension of my university studies, but I am still glad for the chance to learn so many varied topics in my first year of university – as though I was having my own liberal arts education!

I also probably travelled the most in 2012. I went to Cambodia on a class trip with my dear friend Wei Chiang, where we really enjoyed ourselves and learnt a lot with our fellow USP classmates. The diving trip to Tioman also allowed me to get to know some friends from USP I was acquainted with but don’t normally hang out with. I travelled to Laos with Beverly and Ashley for an independent mission trip that I had felt God had called me to do the year before, and it was a major milestone in my Christian journey. And two family trips: one to Sunway Lagoon, brother absent, another to Krabi, sister absent. I will probably have to cut down on travelling, though, until I figure out a way to fund my travels without relying on my parents’ money.

Not all of it is good change. Some of it was turbulent. After much wrestling within, I decided to leave the church I had been attending for ten years. It was not an easy decision, one that I have been trying to make for a few years, but I finally decided I had to do it. Currently, I am still trying to find a church I can call home.

Over the past year, here are the people I have been thankful for:

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Varun (fourth from right), for introducing me to kayaking and being my adventuring friend, and talking with me about all sorts of stuff.

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Thanks you James. You’ve been a buddy, in all sorts of ways.

The Suite Mates!

Thank you, roommates of the past year: Rastus, Joshua, Shaun, John, and Wei Chiang. And Jonathan (not pictured), who joined our suite in the latter half of the year when Rastus left. You guys have each been supportive friends in your own ways. Really appreciate all of our friendships.

@ Banana University ;p

Thank you, Ashley and Beverly, for being a part of the Laos trip. I couldn’t have done it without you guys.

© James Hii 2012 (9)

Thank you, canoe polo teammates. It was a load of fun.

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And the people I made the video with: Kim, Cheyenne, and Dawn. You guys were the best groupmates anyone could ask for :)

Southeast Asian friends

And of course, the Peranakan Prerogative, where we ate, discussed, and wrote our way to the best group essay ever written.

SF- (184)And of course, family.

There are so many others, who have been a small part of my life in some way, who I have not mentioned here, but who still mean something to me and have been my friend in the past year. Thank you.

These are my resolutions and goals for 2013. I hope my friends can support me for them :)

1. I will be phasing beef out of my diet, and eating less pork and chicken.

Since I’d met my first ethical vegetarian friend, Janelle, I’d always considered if I would ever stop eating meat for the environment and for the animals. After one year of thinking and meeting more ethical vegetarians, I’d decided to try to stop eating beef come 2013. Watching Earthlings also sealed the decision for me.

2. I will try to write a book, or a collection of short stories.

This is something I have always wanted to do my whole life, but have always delayed. But now, with whatever spare time I have, I want to be writing. I hope my friends will understand if they find me holed up in my room more often than usual.

3. To measurably hone the skills I have picked up in the past year, and learn a few more.

Photography, kayaking, making films – I hope to get better at them. And maybe, if possible, learn one language.

4. Improve my fitness.

Goes without saying :)

That’s all the resolutions I can think of for now. I wish all of you the best for the coming year ahead :)

And I’ll be seeing you in 2013, Nicholas Chua.

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