I started writing these posts last year, and I’m excited to keep up this tradition of writing out all the highlights of my year. It’s a good way to get me thinking about my goals for the upcoming year while reminding myself how much I’ve accomplished so far!
Coming out of 2016, I was pretty defeated after a year of stress over school, searching for an internship, and just feeling like I wasn’t quite doing what I wanted to be doing with my life. I wanted to travel more, spend more time with friends, and overall just do more. I didn’t quite put all the pieces together at the time of what needed to change, but everything thankfully fell into place on its own and in 2017, I did more.
Here are some highlights of my 2017:
- Spent my first vacation of the year skiing in New Mexico with friends and family. Pretty excited that a year from now I won’t have to drive 16 hours just to get to a mountain anymore!
- Started dating my best friend + travel partner + future Seattle bud! This sparked that “do more” attitude more than anything else, and I’ve loved doing the most with him all year! He also introduced me to some amazing people that I spend most of my weekends/vacations with now, and will hopefully continue to adventure with post-graduation.
- Camped on the beach for a couple nights with my family. It wasn’t anything like the beautiful, silky sand under giant blankets kind of experience I’d imagined (Texas beaches aren’t really known for their quality), and it was really just two days of getting sprayed by sand at 20mph, but it was still something I’d never done before!
- Ended my junior year with the highest semester GPA I’d ever (and probably will have ever) received! A 4.0 is honestly out of the question for most of the students in my major, including myself, but a high 3 is something to get excited about. Sending out all the good vibes to my Probability professor for bumping my 66 to a B+!!
- Took a two-week, zero hotel road trip through the national parks of the Southwest with my family. We visited Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Arches National Park. My sister and I slept in a tent on top of our car, and I definitely pushed my definition of feeling “clean” (baby wipe showers?). I learned that I’m not too afraid of heights, but being near other people next to a cliff is the worst. I’m also terrified of bears. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had, and maybe one day I’ll do it again with just a few logistical changes!
- Booked a last-minute trip to California and Seattle. The Seattle part was slightly planned, but once I realized how much flights cost, I figured I’d add on a stop in LAX to visit family and make the most of the trip. I spent the first week in California hopping between family members, chilling at the pool, taking a Warner Bros. studio tour, and eating lots of good food. Then I flew to Seattle where my boyfriend was interning at Amazon and packed as much as I could into 4 days! We spent too much money on sushi, visited the public library and Olympic Sculpture Park, drove down to Cape Disappointment, took the ferry to Bainbridge Island, bought fresh berries at a farmer’s market, and took a million pictures.
- Started my senior year of college with one of the most stressful semesters I’ve had. I retook that Algorithms class I dropped last year, and took up Operating Systems, which is one of the hardest classes in my already stressful major. There was definitely a tipping point when I thought I might actually fail OS and went into non-stop study mode for finals week. It apparently paid off because I passed! I should’ve realized earlier on that curves exist and professors don’t actively want to fail seniors, but at least I kind of understand file system implementation and concurrency now?
- Watched Texas sadly lose to OU in Dallas, but I’m not the biggest football fan, so the experience was still something I’ll never forget. Honestly, the State Fair was the best part of the trip for me! I ate fried cheesecake, fried frito pie, and fried butter (which just tastes like a sopapilla and I would absolutely eat it again).
- Attended a hackathon and studied for an interview the entire 24 hours while my friends hacked.
- Drove to New Orleans with friends for a weekend and learned that weekend trips are going to be a lot more fun when we can all afford plane tickets. We stayed in a cute Airbnb just a few minutes outside of the French Quarter and spent our one full day there walking around the area, eating great food, and discovering that fish bowls are really just overhyped punch.
- Accepted an offer to work at Google in Seattle as an Engineering Resident next year. It still hasn’t fully set in that this dream of mine is happening, but it’s so relieving knowing that I can spend my last semester of college not worrying about finding a job. I’m beyond excited to move to Seattle, and my boyfriend accepted an offer to work at Amazon there too, so it’s a little less nerve-racking knowing I’ll have a friendly face out there!
And here are a few other pictures of some of my favorite moments this year!
Things I Want To Do In 2018
- Work on developing my skills outside of class. I’ve always had a passion for frontend work, but my classes never cover that. I purchased some fun courses on Udemy this semester that I haven’t found the time to take, so this year I really want to dive into them.
- Become more financially literate. I joined Robinhood a few months ago (if you join you should totally use my referral link so I get free shares), which is an app that lets you learn to invest in the stock market for free with zero commission trading, and so far it’s been kind of fun?? But I still know close to nothing about what I’m doing, and I want to be smarter about what I invest in.
- Learn about adulting. By this time next year, I’ll be settled into a new apartment in Seattle, and I’m sure being on my own will be a challenge for a while. I have a lot to learn about creating a budget, taking care of my health, cooking proper meals, and whatever else adulting involves, but I have about seven months to figure that out!
- Work out consistently. This did not happen at all in 2017, and I’m feeling the consequences. My schedule next semester isn’t too intensive, so I have no excuse to put this off any longer!
- Keep up my new habit of actually cooking meals. For the last month or so I’ve been doing weekly grocery trips and cooking a ton at the beginning of the week, but I started feeling bored with the meals I was cooking. I want to find some favorite meal ideas that can be my go-to’s on lazy weeks, and explore some others to keep things interesting.
- Make more high quality sponsored posts. I’m fortunate to have worked with some great companies over the past few years, but sometimes I feel like I could be doing better work for them. I love seeing how other influencers craft stories and images around a brand, and it’s a huge reflection of their own personal brand. I made an Instagram collection of my favorite sponsored images for some inspiration (Katy Bellotte is an absolute pro at this), and this year I want to challenge myself to just create better content.
- Take more spontaneous trips. I loved taking a quick break to drive to New Orleans this semester, and it really didn’t take too much work to make that happen. I want to do more trips like that this year, and I guess I’m starting this goal off right with my trip to Cancun next week!
Here’s to starting a new year of change and growth! Happy New Year!