I debated at the end of 2015 whether or not I should share my year in reflection. I actually have a saved draft on Medium from last year when I began writing my reflections, but felt I never really found the right words. However, this year, the roller coaster ride that is 2016, I feel compelled than to share my thoughts.
As I sit at home in San Francisco on my favorite couch, I can’t help but be amazed by how much has changed in one year. From all the events happening around the world to the changes I saw in myself, it has been astounding to me how fast time flies and how things are suddenly so different. I believe that among all the chaos and craziness, what is critical is finding a moment to breathe, reflect, and learn. Because without it, you’ll continue moving on in life making the same mistakes, never developing, or achieving your true potential.
So here are some things I learned this year:
- Don’t be afraid to say “No”
I have to be honest, this wasn’t something that I figured out until the end of this year. But it’s 100% one the greatest life lessons I’ve learned. I’m very guilty of saying yes to almost all the opportunities I get presented with. I always worry that I’m missing out on the best chance for xyz and refuse to let it go. But often times, it comes at the expense of myself taking on way too much, staying up too late, and the whole truck load of issues that over-committing leads to.
I can’t tell you to not over-commit because everyone will make that mistake and I think it’s important to because only then will you know your limit. But when you reach that limit, please start saying no, because only you can look out for yourself.
- It’s hard to make bad decisions
I’ve spent many hours dreading and worrying about making a decision, fearing that I’m going to make the wrong choice, much like I’m sure all of us have. But I realized this year that it’s actually really hard to make bad decisions. If you’re deciding between two internships, I’m sure both have pros and cons, but what will really define your experience is you and the attitude you bring. This applies to most decisions you have to make–the outcome of most decisions will be based on how you react, so just take things positively and see where life takes you.
- It’s okay to not know what you are doing or what you want to do
I’m guilty of spending too much time worrying about what I want to do post graduation as I find that there are a lot of things I really enjoy doing. Over the past year, I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of incredible people, many much older than me, who oftentimes didn’t know what to do or who they wanted to be at my age. But the common thread with all of them is that they kept looking for something that made them feel like they were making an impact. So, it’s okay to not know what you’re doing because most people don’t. Just follow your gut, do something that makes you happy, and if you find yourself unhappy, change your situation. Nothing is permanent.
Special shout out to my partner in crime, Derek Tu, for encouraging me to write this post.
Here’s to 2017!