(Preface – If you are reading this right after I published it, I apologize for any typos. I have to study for an exam now and don’t have time to reread and edit an almost 3,000 word post. I’ll edit it within 24 hours of publishing it. Sorry!)
I realize that I am publishing at the absolute last minute. Posting a year in review on January 31st is definitely pushing it, but it took me awhile to write this. Better late than never.
Related – 2016 In Review
//Overall Thoughts on 2017//
If I could use one word to describe the first half of 2017, I would say “underwhelming.” You see, my word for 2017 was “hustle.” I wanted to work hard and get things done. I had a list of goals I wanted to go through and a lot of drive to do it.
But that didn’t come to fruition until the Fall. Honestly, I was lazy. I was lacking motivation and didn’t get as much done as I wanted to. I was also lacking inspiration, so I didn’t have the urge to write anymore. That was not a great time for me. I felt so underwhelmed and couldn’t bring myself to “hustle” the way I wanted to. I worked out a lot during that time because those were some of the only moments I felt truly productive.
That summer, I made a goal to write three posts every week, which seemed like a huge feat considering the fact that I would only publish twice a month near the beginning of the year. But I actually managed to do it. My page views were a record high that summer and I revived my love of writing again.
Once the Fall semester started, my schedule became very full, but I thrived on that. I stayed organized, kept my grades up, posted twice a week, and expanded my business. I also managed to plan three trips for the last two months of the year.
Until I started writing this post, I kept focusing on the “meh” parts of 2017. The time when I wasn’t doing as much as I wanted to do, but in hindsight, I’m okay with that. Those few months where I wasn’t trying to “hustle harder” gave me time to rest. I’ve always been good at self-care and balancing my time, but having some time to rest allowed me to conquer all my to-dos at the end of the year. I only wish that I hadn’t felt so guilty for not doing enough.
My point here is that things don’t have to start perfectly to end perfectly. I spent New Year’s Eve Dancing with my cousins in Bangladesh. If you told me that my year would end like that last Spring, I would’ve wondered “How?” because I felt so useless.
Motivation can strike at any moment. You may have already given up on your goals one month into 2018, but I encourage you to keep trying. I didn’t get everything on my list done last year, but I still managed to do a lot.
Related – My 2017 Goals + Word For The Year
I thought I’d start on a high note. Health is definitely the winning category this year. I think that this is my healthiest year yet. I worked out consistently all year. I even got an LA Fitness membership during summer break to continue working out 3-5 times per week. I feel so much more energetic now. I truly understand the benefits of exercise.
The biggest health change this year was my diet. During my health checkup at the beginning of the year, my cholesterol was borderline high for my age group. My doctor said that it wasn’t too much to worry about yet, but I was to change my diet and come back in three months to check my cholesterol again.
So that’s what I did.
I did a bunch of research on ways to lower cholesterol. I started drinking smoothies for breakfast, chose healthier options when eating out, and started lifted weights instead of doing cardio because gaining more muscle would help me burn more fat.
By the end of the three month period, my cholesterol level went from 71 to 59, which is really good. I was so proud of myself.
Normally, people would start eating unhealthy again, but that wasn’t the case for me. I definitely wasn’t as strict about my diet as before (I still eat waffles for breakfast once and awhile or get pasta with white sauce from restaurants), but I managed to incorporate being healthy into my lifestyle.
This is why I didn’t write any health goals for 2018. These healthy habits have become, well… habit. So I currently don’t have any new fitness goals. I might do some new ones next year, but it’s not as much of a priority as it was in 2017. I’m prioritizing other things while maintaining my regular fitness routine.
My Spring Semester of 2017 could’ve gone better. I did well school-wise, but I was pretty lazy and wasn’t as productive. I definitely got my act together in the Fall Semester. I spent more time studying and kept my grades up. I managed my time really well in that busy semester, which felt great.
Like I said before, I wasn’t super productive at the beginning of the year. I posted maybe once a week in the first few months. The only really exciting blog related things was a blogger focus group in Atlanta in March. It was really cool. I also published my first sponsored post in February, so I did end up doing some paid blogging things even though I wasn’t posting as much.
Once the semester ended, I decided to get my act together and made a decision to post three times a week during the summer.
And that’s what I did.
My page views were a record high that summer and I’m pretty sure it’s because I was posting so consistently. This post also went viral in July and has provided a lot of traffic in the last six months. It’s now my most popular post.
I also took the course Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing. I didn’t have time to carry out all the lessons I learned from that course, but I plan on implementing everything in the next two months.
2017 was kind of a reclusive year on the friend front. Lonely is the wrong word because I never felt lonely. I just spent a lot of time either working productively or being a lazy procrastinator. It’s mostly the work part. I am much more focused when I’m alone, which is why I can’t study in study groups. When I’m with my friends, I want to focus my attention on them and enjoy spending time with them. Not school work.
This is a good thing because I’m able to separate productive time from recreational time, but I didn’t put enough time into doing things with my friends because I was so occupied with other things.
First Ever Women’s March – I went to the first-ever women’s march at the beginning of 2017. It was one of the most amazing things I had ever been to and it ended up being the biggest march in U.S. history. I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it and I’ll be able to tell my children and grandchildren that I was there. I wrote a post about it here.
Broadway Shows – I watched a bunch of Broadway shows and managed to cross a few off my bucket list. I’ve been using Seat Geek to find cheap tickets for when Broadway Shows come to Atlanta. The app has saved me a lot of money.
Atlanta Pride – I had never gone to Pride before. It was a fun to experience with my friends and I definitely plan on going again.
Concert – I went to my first concert this year. I’ve been to Bangla concerts many times growing up, but this was my first real concert. My friend Kat got Shawn Mendes Tickets for Christmas and took me with her to go watch the show. It was so fun! I love his music and Charlie Puth opened for him. The thing is, I was surrounded by girls who had memorized his album and I hadn’t even listened to his second album, so everyone was singing except me.
I had a lot of fun at the @shawnmendes concert last night @rina_keegan. Thanks for talking me. It was a blast! . . I didn't know the words to most of the songs because I've never heard the album, but I noticed I paid more attention to the words when we weren't singing at the top of our lungs. It was nice. . . Also, I don't like to encourage South Asian stereotypes, but $35-$40 for a t-shirt is ridiculous! Good business because people will buy them, but ridiculous. . . Ok. I'm done.
Rocky Horror Picture Show – I also saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show last October. The first time I had heard of it was in The Perks of Being A Wallflower. It sounded interesting, but I never had a real desire to go until my friend Stellah told me how awesome it is. My friend Cindy and I went to visit her at her college and saw the show. Both of us were Rocky Horror “Virgins,” so the letter “V” was drawn on our foreheads with red lipstick upon entry. It was a lot of fun.
Random Meetups With Friends & Family – There were definitely a bunch of other get-togethers with friends and family throughout the year, whether it was at a party or going out to a restaurant. I enjoyed it.
Family Visited Us – It’s normally the other way around. Growing up, we’d always go on road trips to visit our extended family, but this year a lot of them came to us. It was nice having visitors in Atlanta.
Volunteer Work – I did more volunteer work than I did last year. I earned 400 community service hours in high school but stopped doing it once I started college, so it was nice to get back into it again. I would like to start volunteering more often.
New Orleans – This was a famous U.S. city I had never been to before. I had gone to Louisiana before, but it was usually only to pass through on our way to Texas. I had high expectations for the city, but unfortunately, New Orleans didn’t meat my expectations. I think it’s because we stayed there a whole week, but were able to do all the touristy stuff in three days, so we spent quite a lot of time a bit bored. The food was delicious though and we got to go on a Swamp tour (definitely my favorite part of the trip).
Dauphin Island Alabama – Most of the beaches I’ve been to have been on the East Coast, usually in South Carolina or Florida. I had never been to the Gulf Coast before, so I was excited to see it. We stopped there on our Road Trip to New Orleans. I did not enjoy the water there at all. The water wasn’t blue and you could see the oil rigs from far away, so we spent most of our time in the sand. The sand was so nice. I can’t even describe it to you. It was smooth and slipped through our fingers. Even Mysoon, who hates getting dirty, played in it. It was fun, but I wish I could’ve spent more time in the ocean.
First Road Trip With My Friends – I wrote a whole post about our trip to Charleston, South Carolina. My friends and I went to YALL Fest which is a young adult book festival. We had so much fun! This was my first ever road trip with my friends and I enjoyed it so much. We danced at 2 AM in 24-hour diners, ate Chik-Fil-A three times in one day (one of the times I broke my healthy eating rule this year), and completely nerded out seeing our favorite authors. It was awesome. Read more here.
Rode A Plane For The First Time – Technically, my first time on a plane was when I was one, but I don’t remember that. After Mysoon was diagnosed with autism, traveling by plane wasn’t an option for us, so my family is an expert when it comes to road trips.
So at the ripe old age of 19, I rode a plane for the first time (that I can remember). It was only an hour flight from Atlanta to Orlando, so it was a good way to ease into the whole flying thing.
I’ve ridden 9 planes in the last month and a half, so I got quite used to flying in the last months of 2017.
Disney World – This trip was literally a dream. My friend Kat and I have been talking about going to Disney together since High School and we made it happen. My next three posts are related to this trip, so I won’t get into it all now. Expect something on Friday.
Bangladesh! – I don’t even know how to talk about this. How do you describe going to the place you are from for the first time? Whenever anybody asked me, I would say that it felt surreal because it really did. I honestly couldn’t believe that I was actually there.
My Bangladesh posts will come after my Disney posts because I’m trying to do all of this somewhat chronologically.
Also, I saw my childhood best friend for the first time in 10 years. Here’s a video of the reunion below.
2017 was definitely one for the books, but all the really exciting things came at the end of the year. The beginning of the year consisted of a lot of lack of motivation and drive.
Like I said, it was underwhelming.
But this goes to show you that there’s nothing magical about January 1st. I only really started following my “hustle” word for the year in the Fall. So even though I am writing this post at the absolute last minute, I hope you know that a year can turn around at any point. Not just in the new year.
What was your most exciting memory of 2017? How are your new years resolutions going so far? It’s not too late to change.