Lessons Learned in 2016

An eventful year of both good and bad, 2016 has shown us everything from You vs The Guy She Tells You Not to Worry About memes to the emotions-high US election and everything in between being about Harambe. From my last semester of high school to my first of college, different life events have inspired me to always be on the lookout for learning something new.

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Senior me at Honeymee! p/c Maile Fok

January 2016
Lesson Learned: Slow down, take a breath and relish this last moment
Final high school semester; finally finished with college apps and received my first college acceptance (so exciting!) Held my final American Red Cross homeless shelter event. Getting more into makeup, and changing my overall style. Social life blossoming! 🌺

February 2016
Lesson Learned: Working hard and socializing go hand in hand
Placed in FBLA regional and journalism state competitions! Tying up loose ends with my journalism family that I love so much. Getting my groove on with friends at Key Club dances and events! 💃

March 2016
Lesson Learned: Hard decision? Flip a coin – make the decision you’re hoping the coin makes before it lands
Passed on Key Club responsibilities to the next generation of underclassmen – so proud! Placed at journalism state competition. Putting out journalism apps for new staffers…I’m not reapplying this time. Assigning new cabinet roles to other clubs. Met up with my bestie 5ever (we rarely get to hang out) College decisions are out – UCLA or Cal? 🐻

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Hope Oski isn’t jealous of me and the UCLA bear

April 2016
Lesson Learned: Sometimes you learn a lot more from having fun than from competing with others
Attended my first and last Key Club District Convention and FBLA state competition back-to-back! Stress is semi-high for AP testing. Asked to four proms – just one is enough for a lifetime 👑

May 2016
Lesson Learned: Separation shows you who real friends are
AP Testing all day for three days straight. Finished with all high school work forever! Let the fun begin – oh wait still gotta wrap up cabinet decisions with more clubs! Won Miss Fourth of July. I’m finally 18 – and senior awards night on my birthday too 🏆 Best high school friends got me a ukulele! A long awaited graduation…I’ll forever remember this day 🎓

June 2016
Lesson Learned: I want a future job that actively challenges me and gets me moving; I need fun and open company culture to grow
WHOO cruise to Alaska; good food all around. Lost a snapstreak of 257🔥 First real-world paid internship in an actual office and cubicle! Bonding with friends over Pokémon Go. Preparing to publicize Mel&Yu. Visited Berkeley for the first time in four years for Cal Student Orientation. Loving myself, loving my new school, and loving the summer 😎

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Beginning Pageantry blog here

July 2016
Lesson Learned: Hidden talents aren’t always hidden
Sat in a fancy white car and waved at people in Fourth of July parade! Really feeling myself right now. Discovered my love for writing after journalism – started publicizing Mel&Yu weekly blogs! Still obsessed with Pokémon Go (wrote a blog on that too) 🐇

August 2016
Lesson Learned: It’s easier to move on if you just go with the flow
Attended #UCSOS and was overwhelmed by college politics. Very emotional changing experience. Wrapped things up with my office job in LA and got another one at Berkeley! Drove up seven hours north with my family to move into a new home – awkward goodbyes. Walking more than five miles a day just to explore and go on random adventures! Loving the freedom and free weight loss routine walking around. Yay cute boys! Gotta get my life together right now – interviews for clubs and activities begin and end 🎤

September 2016
Lesson Learned: Don’t be reckless when having fun (but if you do, hope you have really good friends)
Emotions are on the ups and downs as I’m rejected and accepted to different groups on campus. Like college app season again, except more career-secure. Doing laundry for the first time and failing badly. Realizing that some of what my parents told me are a little true – oops! Found some new lifelong friendships. Went ice skating! But I fell and I’m injured…hope it heals soon. Can’t go anywhere now; crutches are annoying 😓

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Sister holding onto Javelin the alligator lizard, who was added to the family 9/14/16 💕

October 2016
Lesson Learned: Don’t pay too much attention to criticism; just know what you’re doing and improve on yourself
Giving out flyers to annoyed people passing by – good thing I had training back in high school. Held a networking event! Super exciting and made it a success. Competitions, competitions; I think I like marketing! Haunted House event in our dorm…glad to say I must have scared a good portion of the Cal community. Yay Halloween celebrations! 🎃

November 2016
Lesson Learned: Sacrifices often need to be made for greater return
First ever football game: Cal v. Stanford! Super rainy, but super worth it. I think I’m in love 😍🏈 Getting to be even closer with everyone in my dorm! Spent $12 on Uber to go vote in the elections; I feel more like a grown-up now. Chilling again after midterms…feeling better every day. Club banquets! Home for Thanksgiving for the first time in forever 🍗

December 2016
Lesson Learned: Long distance relationships with friends and family can be so, so hard
A private Yule Ball held in my dorm – one of my best memories! Barely survived the college semester but I can walk normally again. Back home to LA! New phone and new clothes; preparing for a great year ahead 🎉

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That library Doe p/c Jacqueline Xu

As cacophonous fireworks and celebrations commence, don’t forget to also create those New Year’s Resolutions! Not having a resolution is totally fine too; any day is a time for change, improvement, and empowerment 💪

Looking forward to 2017!

-Melanie

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