By now, most of the world has said goodbye to the crazy year of 2013. In general, 2013 has been an up-and-down year, full with its moments of happiness and serendipity but also its spans of destruction and death. We've seen economies rise again, peaceful negotiations, and amazing new technological developments, but we've also watched as tragedies, such as the Boston Marathon Bombing and Typhoon Haiyan, devastate the world and as great individuals and leaders, including Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher, pass away. We've clearly had lots of things to feel happy about and celebrate, but we've also come across events and people to mourn and honor.
On a more personal level, 2013 has been a very influential year, to say the least. Earlier this year, I finished my first year of high school at a new school. I learned so much and made so many new friends during freshman year that I could probably consider 9th grade to be eventful enough. But there was more to come in 2013. Earlier this year, I was accepted by the Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program to study abroad for a year in Malaysia, a place I'd only dreamed about visiting and exploring. And sure enough, I've done so many things and learned so much here in Malaysia. I've experienced life immersed in both Malay and Malaysian Indian culture, and I've visited so many interesting locations, both touristy and local. I also recently visited India, where I visited several awe-inspiring temples and other landmarks (Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures from the trip, so I can't visually share how large and beautiful the temples were, but trust me when I say that they were incredible!). As you can see, my 2013 has been quite the adventure, and I'll always look back on this year and its memories fondly. Moreover, I know that the lessons that I learned and the hardships that I went through during this year will always be with me to teach and help me in the future.
One of the biggest lessons that I took away from 2013 was that adaptation can be hard. Getting acclimated to a new scenario can be quite difficult in certain situations, and I feel that in some cases, no matter how hard you try to eschew conflict, it will happen. I've learned that in these cases, one has to actively try to solve the conflict by talking it out and trying to explain yourself. Misunderstandings do happen, and the best way to make someone understand you is to slowly explain yourself to that person.
Also, I'm aware that my posts have decreased in frequency over the last month. One of my New Year's resolutions is to end that and start posting more regularly again. It's been a very busy December, and I expect January to be very busy as well, but I promise to try posting more often after that!
As the last day of 2013 ends across the world, I hope that everyone has had a great 2013 and that we all move on to a great 2014. I also hope that we fulfill our New Year's resolutions and accomplish our goals. From Malaysia, I wish everyone a very Happy New Year! Selamat tahun baru dan selamat datang ke 2014!