That annual thing I do in January


I've been running away from my responsibilities a lot lately, whether it be not replying to emails for a long time when I really should, or not really thinking about what I want to do and therefore spending my time inefficiently. I actually put off writing this for almost the whole day now, even though I knew I should probably do it, if only as a vehicle to force myself to think about how to realign myself and my goals for the next year. So here's my 2015 New Years Resolutions recap and proposal.

I couldn't find a google image of a sheep watching fireworks, so I had to make this myself.

These were my NYRs from 2014:
1) Be a hard worker and don't get lazy 
2) Learn more about the world eg. take a few history classes! 
3) This belly flab has got to go }:( 
4) Learn how to web one way or another 
5) Take more time to do art 
6) Watch your spending and exercise self control. A few good things is better than a lot of crap... 
7) Commit to bettering the communities you're a part of. Don't take on too much so you can focus on concentrated impact. 
8) :) > :( have a great year!

So instead of going through and talking about each one explicitly, I just wanna do a general recap because I think it relates quite well to all those resolutions. 2014 was probably one of, if not the hardest year I had to go through so far in life. It was the longest I have ever been away from home and the longest I have gone without seeing my family. It was also the most I have ever struggled with anything (CS124) and the feeling of helplessness was very real through my sophomore spring and weekly all nighters. The trauma from sleeping every Thursday morning at 5am and then getting up at 7am to finish the pset to submit at 10.59am is still painful to think about.

However, despite all that, I think 2014 was also a year of a lot of learning opportunities and I definitely matured a lot over the scope of the last 12 months. I was able to lottery into USW35, a class about the public education system in America, and it really made me think critically about society and begin to think more about politics, economics and race. I feel really lucky to have been one of the few who were able to take it that semester, since I learned a lot and really got to practice looking at issues from different perspectives and weighing the pros and cons of each point of view.

I was also able to spend my second summer at Facebook, this time getting to work on the real deal and ship code to users. Since it was my first experience working at the bleeding edge of the industry, it was a really exciting time and I definitely learned a lot, not only about the Facebook code stack specifically but also about the psyche of Silicon Valley, how to better approach problems, the mechanics of a successful and happy workplace. It was also just kind of a reality check, being able to handle real innovation and see it in action was super cool and also super scary! *_* Also I guess I learned web here hahahaha (kinda).

Oh, during this time I also went to the gym every morning for an hour, so that was great for my fitness. Unfortunately the routine crumbled after the summer due to the erraticness of college, but I actually think the rigid routine I made myself stick to during the summer made me a little more disciplined during the fall semester to at least control my sleeping times a bit better.

This last semester, enrolling in SW14 has broadened my understanding of general history and the effect of big events on the world. Of course, this is not saying much since I haven't really ever taken a history class before, but I think it's been beneficial at least to my goal of becoming a more well-rounded, informed person. I know people bag on geneds a lot but actually all my favorite classes so far have been gen eds :)

Ah, and my resolution to not spend as much money translated itself to not buying any new clothes. I actually donated 2 big bags of clothes to the clothing swap in the spring that the women's center was holding, and I didn't buy any clothes this year except when I was traveling in Asia, because hey if you're traveling it doesn't count. :P I think my net amount of clothing has still decreased, but I still have a lot to do! I have way too many clothes in my wardrobe still that I never wear haha. Maybe I should do a sale this semester to get rid of them before I regret it during packing for summer storage. In terms of money saved... I'd say it mostly translated to buying other things, electronic-wise. Go figure, I substitute clothing for electronics. #sidewaysmicroeconomics

In terms of doing more art... Oh! ... hahahah I was going to make this one of my resolutions for this year. Guess I forgot about it. Well I still did some stuff, but I think I should exercise this better this year. I actually want to get a small notebook in it just for doodling. I'm also sad because my sketchpad was lost in the mail when I tried to ship it from California back to Boston after the summer :( but alas these things happen.

I decided to cut down my extracurriculars too, so my main ones turned into TFing and AAA. I found it really valuable to have the time to commit to these few things, since the quality of work produced was a lot better and I also wasn't stretched out so I could focus more and make sure everything that needed to get done was getting done well, instead of half-assedly.

I definitely took a lot more photos this year, as part of CS50's photography staff. I think I've improved a lot, and having someone prodding you to produce good work is definitely at times stressful but also worth it. My photo got published in the Wall Street Journal! :) And is the header for the new CS50 edX course for this coming year. I also have a photo in the new Harvard Shop Coffeebook I hear, which is really neat because it means I get a free copy. :P it's kinda cool to see a hobby turn into something more :)

Hmm so in terms of goals for this year...

1) Buy a notebook and put creative things in it -- whether it be doodles or writings
2) For money expenditure: be conservative with goods, but don't sacrifice experiences.
3) Exercise with AP! Or make him exercise with you. Because we r both blobs :D
4) Make sure future Winnie is not gonna hate you for all the things you left her to deal with
5) Be more open, accessible and generous. This includes replying to emails.
6) Be more optimistic! I think after learning more about the world I became a little defeatist. It's bad to be too jaded of a senior, so I should try to look on the bright side more.
7) Continue to floss daily :D