January in Review

As one of my 2014 resolutions, I promised myself that I would reflect on both positive and negative experiences at the end of every month, in hopes that I might learn something for future reference. January 2014 was hella busy, which is why this post is being written almost a week into February (better late than never is what I always say!), but I had some major revelations that I need to share. Can you relate? I’d love to hear what January taught you!

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Stand Up for Yourself: So maybe it’s my fault for taking on more projects than I can handle, but I think adults (not 20 year old adults, but legit adults) really underestimate the complexity of students’ lives. I don’t think I have to explain why I’m “not just a student”, but I’ve realized that many people don’t know that about me. There came a point in January when I was meeting all of my deadlines, but a person I was working with kept pushing them back, which essentially only hurt me and my schedule in the end. It took a lot of courage (I’m really not as outspoken as I seem), but I eventually spoke my mind and voiced my concerns about the project that has gone on for much too long. As a young professional, I think it is so important that I learned this lesson, because I’m sure there will be plenty more opportunities for speaking my mind in order to avoid getting taken advantage of. So take it from me – if it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not. Don’t let people run your world because they think you’re just a student.

Don’t Put Your Name on Anything Less than Great: This is a motto I’ve learned to live by, it’s like my excuse for being a perfectionist – it pretty much speaks for itself. However this motto saved me this month when I was about to bite off way more than I could chew. You see,  I have this problem where I feel the need to do everything, right away, which can lead to over exhaustion, stress, and an extremely tight schedule. But it took the daily repetition of this motto to remind myself that some opportunities can wait, because I’d rather do a few projects really well, than a lot of projects mediocre-ly. Seeing as I love the thrill of a new project, event, assignment, or anything else I can write in my planner – I know I’ll be keeping this lesson with me for a very long time.

Things Don’t Need to Happen Right Away: I do everything with a sense of urgency – if I find a job I want to apply to, I have to apply right away. If I see a cute pair of shoes I love, I have to buy them right away. My future? I better start planning that right away! This is a serious problem that leads to far more stress than necessary. But who knows, maybe it was the relaxed Punta Cana vibe I experienced over winter break, or maybe the wise words of Bikram finally got to me, but something made me realize that well, everything does not need to be done at this moment. If you’re constantly reaching for your phone or computer to reply to that latest email or tie up loose ends on that project, you’re never going to be able to enjoy the moment. I’ve always been a sucker for a To-Do list, but now I think it’s better to create To-Think lists – if it doesn’t need to be taken care of ASAP (and really, most things don’t), then it can be dealt with later.

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