A look-back: This time last year vs. Now


This time last year: I was doing BA Media Studies with Film Studies, a Media major/minor degree. Last year’s second semester was quite chilled, which is partly why I’m missing it so much! I was enjoying this very interesting module called RE:Presenting Difference, in which we discussed how social differences, i.e. gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity and age, are constructed/represented in the media. Our lecturer, Andy, is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. This time I was also doing Blurred Boundaries: Fact and Fiction in Film, which focuses on documentaries, and I was preparing for a presentation with Ralitsa, one of my best mates here at uni. She was always my study companion (before I transferred my degree program), we made a great pair and killed that presentation.

Now: I’m now doing a BSc degree in Media, Culture and Society, which is a more media-based degree, although it’s somewhat a bit sociological. It’s definitely not a chilled time, probably because I’m in the second year of uni and everything counts. The course this term is 100% coursework-based, and I’m currently dealing with 3 assignment deadlines on the same day, followed by one last one the week after that, and… I know I’ll be fine, no matter what happens.



This time last year: I got elected into the committee of StagTV, the University of Surrey student television station, as the PR/Marketing Manager.

I was also working in the Marketing Team for SUBCULTURED Magazine, a student-led fashion, art, music and culture magazine on campus. At this point, SUBCULTURED, as a new society, had just launched our first digital issue, held a successful launch party, and been establishing our brand and reputation.

Me and my fellow SUBCULTURED staff members at the launch party: Elpida (Social Secretary) x Me x Ana-Maria (Events Director)

I’d also been working as the Course Representative of Media Studies Major/Minor Programs (I still am at the moment), where my role is to represent my cohort, defend their interests and concerns and report their feedback to the university in order to ensure they are happy with their university experience. With several achievements as a Course Rep, I eventually won the Best New Course Rep award at the 2016 Rep Awards at my university.


Now: Since I got promoted to be the Online Director at SUBCULTURED, I’m proud that I’ve been working hard and made my own contributions to the magazine. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been nominated for Best Online Coordinator at the 2017 Student and Society Awards at my university. Whether or not I’m going to win this award, I’m delighted that I’m able to have this invaluable opportunity and learning experience at SUBCULTURED, that my work at the magazine has been recognized and that my fellow colleagues put a lot of trust in me. SUBCULTURED’s 3rd issue – (For the sake of) LOVE – will be released on 11th May via https://issuu.com/subculturedmag to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of our launch issue and to thank our audience for their love and support. It’s only been one year since the launch yet it feels like forever because of all of the things we’ve done together. There’s still a long journey ahead of us, and the best is yet to come.



This time last year: During the Easter break last year, I went back to Vietnam to visit my family. Me and my Mom traveled to Dalat, a city in the Central Highlands region of the country and had the best time there.






Now: I had one of the best trips I could ask for, to Amsterdam, Keukenhof tulip gardens and Paris with my friends.



  • Family: My family’s forever and always amazing.
  • Friendships: If from kindergarten until high school, I always had a best friend or best friends who would do pretty much everything with me, from studying, going shopping to gossiping about clothes and boys, that stopped when I went to university. My point is not that I have no one I get along with, I have a lot of friends at uni actually, but not the type that is always around me. Why? Because it’s uni, everyone has their own schedule, everyone becomes a lot more independent and the amount of time they spend with themselves naturally increases.  I have friends that I hang out (eat/drink out, go to the movies and gigs, travel, etc.) with, others that I confide in, then others that I work with, etc. But most of the time, I do things by myself, like traveling, going to the gym, wandering around town, and that’s awesome. I like having full control of my time and being able to do whatever I want at anytime I want. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I won’t let anyone in (although I admit I can come off a bit unapproachable – I’ve been told this a million times – thanks to my precious resting bitch face), because I still surround myself with people that I love, who inspire me everyday. I love them.
  • Lovelife

This time last year: A lot of stuff was going on.  I was quite “out-there” and having many opportunities to meet lots of people, some of whom became inspirations of my songs. I’m sure I went through every stage of emotion when having feelings for someone at that time. Quite an interesting period.

Now: I don’t know since when I’ve become a lot more introverted. In the past, I was more “explicit” and open, which I sometimes ended up overthinking about my behavior and whether it could intimidate people. Then I decided that I’d be more subtle and keep it lowkey, which probably explains why now I’m a lot less engaged in talking to new people than I was last year. Friendly-hangouts are like a norm to me, but I can’t remember the last time I went on a proper date with someone. Sometimes I would even wonder if I’ve been too reserved that I’ve become an awkward nugget, or I’m just not interested in some people. As honest as I can be, sending a sweet message to someone and waiting for their response can give me a mini heart attack.


Social media presence (Instagram and blogging)

This time last year: I started to look at my Instagram as a platform where I can build my online personae in the world of travel photography. I began to go to London quite frequently for photography purposes and had about 500 followers (?) at the time.

Now: I’ve been following the travel photography direction with my Instagram account and actively engaging in the platform on a regular basis. There’re currently about 1k2 people following me on Instagram. Whether or not I will become a professional travel blogger/Instagrammer remains a question at the moment, but for now Instagram and blogging are my interests, where I create the original content that I love, and at the same time keep searching for networking and advertising opportunities on both channels. There’s no doubt that I’ve been benefiting a lot from both my blog and Instagram, and that a strong social media presence will be very useful for me in pursuing a career in digital marketing and media.



This time last year:

  • A first class final result: ✔️
  • Summer Euro trip: ✔️
  • Summer internship: ✔️
  • Opening my website: ✔️


  • Slaying all 4 assignments: ✔️
  • Summer internship: ✔️
  • Traveling during summer: ✔️
  • Being more active in writing for UK in my Eyes – the British Council’s online media platform for Vietnamese students in the UK: ✔️


Till next time,


1 thought on “A look-back: This time last year vs. Now”

  1. I love reading your blog, girl, thanks for sharing your inspirational stories along with such gorgeous travel photos – feels as if I get to watch a movie really! Amazing to see how much you’ve done (and achieved and developed) both personally and professionally over just a year. Can I be u??! No doubt you’ll succeed in whatever you want to pursue! (Haven’t seen your “precious resting bith face” though 😜) Xx


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