It's one of those new year posts! I'm not big on new year resolutions; I'm a pretty firm believer that if you want to make change in your life, it can start at any point in the year, week, or day. This will be more a reflection of what's happened this year, and what the next year will bring.
I started off 2016 at my friend's house in South Pasadena, watching the delayed ball drop and drinking apple cider. Since then, I've moved to Irvine, and no longer have the luxury of being minutes away from my high school friends. I spent my January term interning at a software company in San Francisco as a user experience designer, and learned a bit about web design. Living in SF was an interesting experience, although I definitely cannot imagine living there for an extended amount of time. My spring semester of junior was a wreck both academically and emotionally. I felt suffocated by it all, but managed to land an internship in design consulting, which had been my dream since early sophomore year. I dragged myself through the semester, ending the year with sickness and a brutal cough. I made drastic changes in the beginning of summer, feeling alive again for the first time in months, and gaining further insight to what mattered to me in life - the most important being health. As a result, I spent the summer in Somerville enjoying life immensely. I learned how to play guitar, read often, cooked new foods, watched a lot of Planet Earth, and regained motivation as a photographer. I visited NYC a few times, and spent a lot of time with people that I truly value. I was involved in a crazy car accident and suffered a concussion, although luckily nothing worse than that. Fall semester of senior year was unexpectedly rewarding - I learned much about leadership, user research, writing, and medical anthropology. I made time for the relationships I valued, and felt consistently happy and healthy in my personal life, with some exceptions. The process and results of the presidential election (the first I was able to vote in) was incredibly draining, but I feel like I have a much better grasp of this country I live in. I have excitement and fear that will follow me into 2017, and confusion about how to deal with them. Despite these fears, I also carry a deeper appreciation for those in my life (which if you're reading this, is you). So thank you for being part of my 2016 journey!
Looking back, I've realized that a year is an incredibly long time, and I have no idea where I will be a year from now. As I stand in the face of graduation, there have never been so many unknowns. Where will I be living? Where will I be working? What will this country look like? What will I be doing to help? I cannot predict any of these things, but I know that I'll be making an active effort to improve what I can around me. Despite the chaos, 2016 has been a year of simplification for me, and I hope to continue distilling as we move into the new year.