Back in December, I began planning for 2014. I did this without giving more than a passing thought to 2013. I had this vague sense that 2013 hadn’t been anything special, just another year to check off, and moved on. However, two recent blog posts I’ve read, one by Twitter acquaintance Becca Obergefell and another by friend Taylor Quinn, have made me re-evaluate this judgement. These posts prompted me to jot down a few major things that had happened in my life in 2013.
Newsflash, Nicole. 2013 was an incredible year of growth, moving forward, growing up, new experiences, and amazing successes.
- 2013 was the year of the conference. I attended six different conferences, connecting with dozens of different student leaders. I had conversations about topics that I loved, learned new strategies and tactics, including one event planning strategy that I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with, and was repeatedly inspired, both by the students I met and the keynote speakers.
- I helped plan two of those conferences, and in the process learned a LOT, about conference programming, about marketing, about student leaders, and about myself.
- I facilitated three different types of conference sessions for about 150 student leaders, and was also a concurrent session presenter. Public speaking win, for sure.
- I travelled. One conference was in Kelowna, BC, and one was in Toronto. Toronto was the first time I’ve ever travelled on my own, and I got to visit one of my best friends and get an inside view of her life. Kelowna introduced me to my new love of mountains.
- I was a part of planning a number of events that I’m proud to have been involved with: TEDxNS at Dalhousie, the DSU elections, Shine Zumba, a Quidditch tounament and of course, the East Coast Student Leadership Conference.
- I ventured into the land of the adult. I finished my last course at Dalhousie, had my first (and 2nd-10th) ‘adult’ job interview, got an ‘adult’ job, and moved into my first non-furnished apartment.
- A feature story on women in student union politics, which I wrote as an assignment for my journalism class, was published on the blog of my journalism teacher, and then reblogged by the Halifax Media Co-op.
- I was involved with my sixth and final Dalhousie O-Week, which is actually kind of heart-breaking, but was amazing as always. As part of this experience, I helped pilot an online training program for all O-Week leaders, which was quite the adventure.
- I joined the #SLchat Leadership Team, where I’ve met even more amazing student leaders, had some pretty amazing conversations, and been encouraged to begin blogging for the Student Leader Collective.
2013 wasn’t all good, of course. I received plenty of rejection, interviewing for more than 10 jobs before receiving an offer. I struggled with more than one student leader relationship. Events and ideas didn’t always pan out as anticipated and hoped. I spent two weeks in bed watching five seasons of Castle, recovering from burn-out. I was in my first ever car accident (I wasn’t driving!), and we were extremely lucky no one was hurt. And I lost a friend to cancer, which was pretty hard-hitting at the age of 23. Luckily, the good heavily outweighs the bad.
Post-2013 review, that vague feeling that 2013 wasn’t anything special is gone. 2013 was actually a pretty spectacular year, and 2014 has a lot to live up to!
Have you done a review of your 2013? What were your successes, and what were your failures? Does 2014 have a lot to live up to for you? Share your story in the comments!