2020 Vision – A Letter To Myself

Reflecting upon my achievements last year and setting new goals for this year

Taking advantage of the New Year spirit is a great way to self-reflect and regain motivation for what you want in life. My goals last year were,

  1. Good work-life balance
  2. Spend more time with family
  3. Emotionally impartial when talking to people and completing daily tasks
  4. Cook more
  5. Eat healthily
  6. Be fluent in Python
  7. Be happy with what I do (biochemistry/AI)
  8. Attend social networking, conferences, follow science trends

so how do they tally up this year?

The good news is I’ve subconsciously managed to complete more than half of those goals despite my depression telling me otherwise, showing that we continue to grow as a person every day even when you don’t notice it. However, some of these goals were not realistic, so how could you get better at goal-setting and how does this relate to Imperial?

  1. Watch less anime. (Or just any TV show.) This one sticks out like a sore thumb. Whilst some good old’ escapism from the reality of never-ending work and personal problems like body image, sexual orientation and mental health matter because being at university is the time for self-discovery and learn to be independent, it should not prevent you from being productive. Otherwise, academic stress would keep piling up and become much, much worse. Go to all of your lectures, tutorials and lab sessions. (Of course, there are exceptions, not everyone learns most effectively by lectures but you should always catch up on notes.)

  1. This one is hard. I’m naturally a very emotional person, that most would find a bad thing. However, many celebrities live with disabilities physical or mental and they are more successful than most of us. I’m still trying to find my way around how to use my emotions to my advantage – a lot of celebrities are vocal about that like Halsey or Brendon Urie that get inspired or perform well with their condition instead of letting it bring them down. Perhaps my frustration can be the driving force of working harder. I thank my friends for sticking around as I learn how to communicate with people better whilst staying genuine.

  1. The Professor I met during my bioinformatics lab exchange in Hong Kong claimed that it takes at least 3 years to get fluent to a language, but thanks to the new and final year module Bioinformatics which I highly recommend I’m confident in basic Python. It consolidates a lot of what you’d have learnt in the previous years but with applications. You get a flavour of running practicals as you would in a computational biology lab because you run them in Linux.

  1. Follow union societies on social media. A highly-intensive research degree from Imperial gives you an edge, but what makes you stand out more is meeting with those employers and hearing about what companies are really like from their employees. I like planning two weeks because being in London means there are many opportunities for career and academic-related events within Imperial and beyond.

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