Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 Rewind + 2015 Looking Ahead

At the end of every year I look back at the previous 12 months and think I've had the craziest year yet and that the next one couldn't possibly top it. Yet I looked at my 2013 rewind post right before writing this one, and though there were a number of memorable occasions that year, 2014 crushed it in terms of the sheer number of things that happened. I traveled to several cities that I had never been to before, including SavannahBaltimore, and Asheville. I went on several spontaneous trips to local national parks and beaches with friends. I traveled down to Atlanta with three friends for my first ever weekend-long music festival experience. I got a job in the Housing office at my university and between that and my job at Target, worked full time over the summer. I had my toughest semester yet in college and got some of the lowest final grades I've ever gotten in my entire life.

I also accomplished all of the "resolutions" I set for myself for 2014. I didn't read as many books in 2014 as I did in 2013, but they were better quality -- much wittier and more thought-provoking. I discovered a few new authors -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie being my favourite of them -- who are unlike writers I usually read and who introduced me to topics I wasn't previously interested in or aware of before this year. I didn't figure out exactly what I want to do with my life, but I took more courses in my major and explored more post-grad options with my academic advisor, and I have a better idea of the type of work I'd like to be involved in after college. I didn't apply for any internships for the past summer, but I did get a second part time job where I learned a number of skills and gained experience in areas that I can apply to jobs in the future. I also used the extra money from my two jobs to save up for my travels coming up this year. And though I did lose count of how many new movies I'd watched after about 32, I think I managed to watch 50 that were quality and that I hadn't seen before. 

In less than 2 days I'm setting off on a six month study abroad adventure in Germany. I'm completely terrified and I start panicking any time I think about it, but I'm also so excited to go and I've been looking forward to it for months. Because of this and my absolute uncertainty about anything awaiting me while I'm in Europe, I'm not setting any new resolutions for myself this year. Instead, I'm going to do all the cliche travel promises -- live like a local, take every opportunity to try something new, step outside of my comfort zone, yada yada. My only goals for my trip are that I become fluent in German and I return with at least a little money left. I'm not setting any expectations for the year so that I free myself to discover all that Europe (and later America again) has to offer me.

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