I love December for so many reasons – the magical Christmas spirit, the end of an academic term, amazing shopping deals, the list goes on. And as January, the month of fresh starts, nears, I think it’s important to reflect on the year that has passed. Inspired by the wise words of Ferris Bueller: “life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it,” this blog post is a personal reflection of 2013. Writing this post has not only given me the chance to remember all of the challenges I overcame in the past year, but it’s motivated me to continue to put myself out there and open myself up to new experiences in the New Year. Whether you post it on a blog, write it in a journal, or just think it in your head – I strongly encourage everyone to reflect on their year. It’s a cathartic experience.
School: School is tough no matter what you’re studying, but I don’t think I could have found a program that I love more than Communications at McMaster. Even the most tedious subject is still interesting in some way, so I’ve really lucked out. Not much has changed in terms of my studies over the past few years, I continue to strive to do as best as I can, but I’ve learned to accept that getting less than an A doesn’t make me a failure – this is huge for me! I used to take letter grades so seriously, and I’m glad I’ve learned to relax in this aspect. It’s removed a lot of stress from my life.
Extracurriculars: People will always tell you to get involved in school, and I did when I was younger, but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a tough thing to do in university. Coming to a brand new school with SO many options, is both overwhelming and intimidating. But my decision to join the Communication Studies & Multimedia Student Society (CSMMSS) Executive Team as the 3rd Year Student Rep this year was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself. Most importantly, I’ve made some amazing new friends; but in addition to that, it’s an amazing feeling to see the events and programs you’ve worked so hard on come to life! So for anyone who may be wanting to join an extracurricular or two at their school, but is feeling intimidated, close your eyes and JUMP out of your comfort zone. This is one of the best decisions you’ll make in your university career.
Career: 2013 began with a lot of uncertainty in terms of my career. Up until then I had worked basic customer service oriented jobs, and all I wanted was the chance to get my feet wet in the public relations industry. I finally got my wish when I was hired as the Marketing & PR Assistant at African Lion Safari – an amazing experience, but so tough at the same time. The quote “nothing worthwhile is every easy” really stuck with me during this time, and I’m so glad it did. This experience has been incredibly helpful in all of my recent career endeavours, and the skills I gained from this job are seriously invaluable. At the same time, my silly Parking Control Officer job (RE: I gave out parking tickets and directed traffic during special events at school) assisted me in connecting with my department’s director, who then created a job for me in the security department working on special projects. My boss always makes sure the projects I’m working on are going to help build my portfolio and skills, and I get to make my own schedule; seriously what could be better than that. So if you feel like you’re stuck in a dead-end job, just always do your best and try to meet as many people as possible, because you never know what those people may see in you.
Community: When I was in high school, I was really involved in my small-town community. But moving to a bigger city, where you’re unsure of all that goes on, it’s definately a little bit harder to to figure out where to dedicate your time. Just recently I figured this part of my life out, and found that volunteering at the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA was the perfect fit for me. The people I work with are absolutely amazing, and working on the development team (planning events and promoting our wonderful programs) doesn’t even feel like work! I don’t think I ever really realized how volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about can enrich your life, when I was younger I just volunteered because it was fun for me, or my friends were doing it, but it really does bring a type of joy to your life that I can’t really put into words.
And finally, what would 2013 be without my blog? I feel like I’ve had an incredible amount of success with this website so far, and I’m hoping to continue growing and expanding it in the coming year! I’d like to thank all of you for reading and catching up with me, and don’t forget that I love to read too! Leave a comment with your blog so we can connect and keep up with each other!