Voices: On 2018
I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I first thought up this series and texted my best girlfriends to see if they would contribute (and received a resounding ‘yes’). And the response to these posts has been only positive. One thing I didn’t anticipate was how much I myself would learn through this monthly project—through their responses, yes, but also through the questions they asked, the feedback they wanted, the feedback they gave, the topics they were excited about and the ones they found challenging, their professionalism, their timeliness, their work ethic and attention to detail, and their unique individual perspectives and voices. (How often do we get to read something our friends have written?) I am truly lucky, and proud, to have found my soulmate-friends ten years ago, who, despite how far apart we are in the world and despite all that has otherwise been going on in their personal and professional lives, agreed, without pause, to write for this little space this year.
Thank you, and thank you to those who have been following along and reading. We hope you enjoyed it.
In case you missed it, here are the posts for each month:
January | On Advice for New Professionals
February | On Fitness, Health, and Wellness
March | On Beauty
April | On Female Relationships
May | On Mental Health
June | On Periods
July | On Travel
August | On Greek Life
September | On Marriage
October | On Personality Tests
November | Money Diary, One Week on an $X Income
December’s post, our final post of the series, is a short reflection on 2018. See you in the new year!
what are you thankful for this year?
G: I’m thankful for the support of my friends and family with transitioning back from my world travels. While I don’t always show it, internally it’s been very emotional for me completing my dream to travel the world and then having to start looking for a job. The job search has been a huge rollercoaster, but persistence always prevailed. I landed my dream job today!!! I’m thankful for how the year is ending on a good note and I’m excited for next year.
L: I’m thankful for my health and my family. This year, I re-sprained my ankle and it was annoying and pretty debilitating. Now this is very minor compared to what could have happened, but it made me realize that I am getting older and cannot heal as quickly as I could when I was younger. 2018 was a year to appreciate because everyone continued to be healthy with no new illnesses or cancers.
In previous years, I had to lean on my family for moral support when I hit a rough patch with my job. This year, the tables had turned and my sister needed me with two relocations and new jobs, a new boyfriend, dealing with an ex-boyfriend, and managing a long distance relationship. It gives you a bit of perspective and a deeper connection with the other person when you’ve gone through a rough patch before and needed your family to pull you through it and then become the person your family leans on.
B: I am so thankful for my friends. Honestly it’s been such a rollercoaster of a year and it’s really reminded me of the amazing support system I have here. Even though I may be far from family and have only been living in my current city/state for a couple years, I’ve realized that I’m lucky to have found such loving people in my life. Maybe I didn’t even realize when it happened, but my circle definitely grew this year. And by circle, I mean my lifelong friends. And my old friends who live hundreds or even thousands of miles away are still always there to lend an ear or some advice. It really shows you who is and always will be there for you. It’s also shown me that you’re never too old to make new lifelong friends and bond with new souls.
K: 2018 was sort of a tough, lackluster year. It wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t the worst either. It gave me a lot of lessons, opportunities for self-reflection, and realizations about my friends, and overall, I’ve learned how to tackle life better. Nothing was spectacular in my professional life, and I had some heartbreak in my personal life, which have equally contributed to my growth as an individual this year. Thankful for that (and always thankful for my family and friends).
what are you happy to say goodbye to?
G: I’m happy to say goodbye to unemployment and interviewing. It was mind-numbing to go through the motions and I was getting so bored at home. It forced me to get back into my hobbies (gardening, cooking, drawing, sewing, building shit). Overall, this year has been a good friend to me and we will be parting with smiles.
L: This is a really hard one. I think I am happy to say goodbye to my family still thinking I’m “just a baby” and not thinking I’m an adult. I’ve tackled a couple of life milestones in 2018 and up until now, I felt like my family, particularly my mom, didn’t take me seriously. I don't know if my choice of words is accurate. This year, I was able to make a major career decision on my own, act on it and succeed, move closer to NYC, and show that I can care for another being when I adopted a puppy. I make it seem like I’m an irresponsible person, but it’s really just me being the youngest in my generation.
B: I am more than ready to leave graduate school. I can honestly say it’s one experience I will not miss. I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot, and I’m ready to never go back to school again. The constant stress of working and studying and writing and teaching 60+ hours a week is so overrated. I’m glad I survived and I know it’s made me an expert in my field and a stronger person both mentally and emotionally. But after 10 years of higher education, I can’t wait to move on. I’m excited and nervous to see what this new year will bring. I know it’s going to be a huge change for me, transitioning from grad school to my big-kid career. Not to mention moving to a new state (still not even sure where yet!), but I’m finally feeling ready for it.
K: Heartbreak, haha, whether that was with friends or a significant other. Also, the challenges—I know life has turbulence, but it would be nice to have some smooth sailing next year.
what are your goals for the new year?
G: I don’t do new year’s resolutions. I feel like I’m setting myself up for failure if I label something as a resolution. I give myself themes to focus on for the year. For example, next year’s theme will probably be getting a footing on my new job and spending more time with friends. A lot of my friends are going through major life events like weddings and pregnancy and I’m so excited to be there for them. I can’t wait to be the drunkest bridesmaid and the best bad influence aunt ever.
B: My next task is finding a job. Not just any job, but a job that I can feel passionate about and the type of job I’ve been working towards. I can’t wait to actually be working in my dream career. To start using all these skills I’ve been learning and working on. It’s strange going from school to jumping into a super grown up job, but I keep reminding myself that this is what I’ve been preparing for. Starting and getting comfortable in my new career path is my number one goal for the year.
K: I’d like to make some changes professionally; I’m not sure if it will be changing jobs or finally picking up my GMAT book, but SOMETHING that gets me to a better mental place. I’d also like to continue working on becoming more fit...hoping to not break my gym routine, which took a while to develop this year. One last thing I want to work on is meeting new people and being a little more social, to get out of my comfort zone and put in effort.
what are you looking forward to in the new year?
G: I’m so excited for all the traveling I’m going to do next year with friends. I have a destination bachelorette, a destination wedding, and lots of travel for work. It’s going to be a great year of friends and travel. I’ll also have my friends from my year of solo travel visiting me next year. I can’t wait to see them again and show them around my amazing city.
B: Travel! I have been lucky enough, and prioritized enough, to achieve my travel goals even during graduate school. But I’m ready for real travel plans where I can actually afford to eat the food and see the sites. I have such a long list, so now I have to narrow down where I’m actually going to go first. And catching up with the friends that I haven’t been able to spend as much time with during my crazy last year of grad school. I really miss socializing and catching up with all the amazing people that have filled my life the past 10+ years. I know it sounds silly since I know they are still there, but I miss them a lot. I miss knowing what’s going on in their lives, catching up more regularly, being able to visit them. I can’t wait to have a social life again.
K: Trips! My planned destinations are Colombia and Italy and I’m ecstatic! I also want to add a new domestic destination, so that will be a work in progress. I’m looking forward to making those above changes and seeing where it gets me. I’m looking forward to more adventures as well as strengthening my relationships.