2023 into 2024

Love, friends, school, intern

The second year in review! Honestly, I think the second one is the hardest, there's no streak to keep, and it would be oh so easy to just... not write anything.

I've been meaning to write this post for awhile now, but have kept putting it off with one excuse or another. It's now nearly the end of January, and a 2023 reflection in February really doesn't sit right with me, so I'm forcing myself to sit down and get these words out.

I have been fortunate enough to have had another great year. 2023 went by so fast, and yes, I can't help feeling like each year is truly passing by faster and faster and honestly, that really does kinda scare me.

I find it important to take some time to reflect on the year and take stock of life; for me to set aside time and be very deliberate in reflecting, to be more grateful of the life I'm fortunate enough to have.

If you're curious, you can read last year's post here.

looking back.png

*looking back* at 2023

As a developer

I am somewhat-satisfied with my growth as a developer this year. I definitely don't feel like I did enough, and am a bit disappointed that I didn't do any personal projects that I can showcase, but I did a fair bit of school-related projects and did learn quite a bit. I also had my first internship at a 'big company', which I'm very happy about.

I learnt quite a bit this year that I didn't get around to writing:



This honestly doesn't really mean much, but I was surprised to see that I had more commits in 2023 than 2022. I think it's mostly because of the group projects where I had to commit frequently to keep the repos up to date. It was also quite fun to be the pseudo 'tech-lead' in most of my school projects as I usually had more experience in project groups. Delegating work, setting up scaffolding, initialising the project, and software architecture were things that I had the privilege of doing this year.

GIC (my first 'big' internship!)

Honestly, I had no expectations of getting into GIC from the very start. I didn't feel capable enough to outshine the massive pool of candidates GIC receives, but Jermaine pushed me to 'just try', and I was lucky enough to get accepted into my first 'big' internship.

I still remember walking out of the MRT on the very first day, exiting out the escalator and being greeted with the massive and imposing Capital Towers, feeling like I've made it. Things were very very different from my previous experiences at startups. There was an onboarding process, I had to go to IT to get my laptop, I couldn't download stuff without requesting access from the tech portal and getting my manager's approval, I kept facing issues with permissions, and the product, it was part of something so much bigger, and I felt like I had to learn so much terminology and abbreviations in my first few weeks there.

My team was quite lean, with less than 10 people, and honestly I was extremely fortunate to have a really fun, friendly, and helpful team. Everyone was really patient in answering my questions and I had no issues reaching out. The tech stack was also something I was decently familiar with, so I didn't have to learn something entirely new from the get-go, and could focus on understanding the overall purpose of the project.


Farewell lunch at GIC



The biggest thing this year was getting to know Jermaine and falling in love. I met Jermaine at the very end of 2022, and briefly mentioned her in my 2022 post.

Tried dating apps after swearing I'd never - currently dating an amazing girl that makes me really happy.

It's been just over a year since we've been together officially, and I still find myself immensely lucky to have met and found her. We vibe with each other immensely well, and have very similar interests and outlooks on life. We've spent a lot of time together this year, and I still learn new things about her every day that makes me fall deeper in love. Everything is better with her, and she holds me accountable to be a better person and is my biggest supporter in all things — the first person who reads all my tidbits and posts.


School this year would have been absolutely miserable without a wonderful group of friends. I will never forget our 3 hour lunch breaks talking about anything and everything under the sun.


Took an interest in photography this year, for some strange reason, as I've never been one to take a lot of photos before. Still have a lot to learn, but am really enjoying it, and something about looking through a viewfinder and clicking a shutter is very satisfying to me.


My favourite photo from 2023, during the Canon Youth Photography Challenge. Taken in Ang Mo Kio.


My motha @ Nami Island

I've still got loads to discover and learn in the world of photography. My biggest hurdle: putting my work out there. Deciding if a photo is 'good' doesn't come easily to me, and I lean heavily on others' opinions. I might like a photo and then instantly second guess myself if I show it to someone and they don't react positively, which I know should definitely not be the case for an objectively-unobjective artform.

First ICT

Had my first In-Camp Training in Dec 2023. My first time as an OC and honestly something I dreaded for a fair bit of the year. Being in charge of 100+ men was kind of intimidating, especially at first. Fortunately, ICT 1 was pretty chill in terms of training program, and with the help of a very dedicated and amazing core team and CSM, ICT 1 went really smoothly.

Charlie Commanders

My fellow Charlie commanders

Going into 2024

Exchange to US and China

The defining feature of this year will definitely be the US exchange to UC Berkeley. It's been two and a half weeks hectic weeks since I've left for the states, and I'm currently writing this post on a thrifted table in a leased house fifteen thousand kilometres from home, 16 hours behind Singapore time.

I'm staying with 5 other friends from Singapore, so it's been pretty fun, and I'm not really lonely as I always have people around me, but I do of course miss home, especially the people I've left behind. We've spent the last 2 weeks settling in, as we got an unfurnished place and had to do a lot of shopping, thrifting, cooking, cleaning and general acclimatising, but things are more or less in good shape now and we've been getting more pockets of free time.


Muir Woods - our first national park.

I would like to immerse myself in the tech culture of the Bay Area, meet passionate and capable developers and learn from the best in the Bay, and I've been trying to get internships or interviews, but that hasn't been easy, as the industry is kind of in a slump right now. I'm still optimistic though, that everything will work out.

In the meantime, excited to explore what the States has to offer as well. Mostly interested in the wide expanse and variety of nature parks and reserves they have.

Birb & Alcatraz

Birb @ Pier 39. That's Alcatraz in the background!


I've been fortunate to have another great year in 2023, and I hope you did too. It should be an exciting year ahead, and I hope ya'll have a great year ahead as well.

Happy (very late) New Year!


lil farewell at da airport