This year been insane. When I think back to the beginning of the year it completely baffles me that I would have never been able to see the year ending the way it is. A lot happened this year and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my personal positives. Despite the lows of this year, I thought it’d be nice to bring out the good and focus on little moments of joy and growth.
1. Clinical Medicine
You all know how much I’ve been loving clinical medicine over pre-clinical. Though it feels like a lifetime away, 2020 began with me finishing of the final couple of months of my 3rd year. I’ve honestly loved 3rd year so much! I’ve felt like I’ve learnt more medicine this year than ever before.
Though I’m loving my intercalation, I am missing clinical medicine quite a bit and the good company and friends it brought along with it. Intercalation means sitting at your laptop engaging in online seminars which doesn’t feel quite the same as talking to patients on the ward, going with friends to practise examinations or laughing about your grilling on the ward round. Can you tell, I’m missing it a lot?!
2. Getting the opportunity to intercalate
Going right back to April/June, I made a snap decision to intercalate after originally deciding against it. Stayed up for hours at night to get my application ready, then submitted it just ahead of the deadline and was accepted to spend a year studying Healthcare Ethics and Law! Months later, I’m so glad I made that decision and it was definitely the right time for me to take a break from medicine. Hopefully I’ll be able to go back to it feeling refreshed!
3. Social media growth
Since lockdown I’ve been spending quite a significant amount of time creating social media content, so of course, efforts translating to results is always a nice, warm fuzzy feeling. My content has changed a fair bit over this year so it’s nice to see the change being taken in a positive light. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with a host of different brands again: Quizlet, Paperchase, Ryman have to be some of the top names from this year!
4. I wrote my most popular blog post
This blog has also grown a lot in lockdown, making 2020 my blog’s best year ! I never thought I’d top the number of reads I managed in 2018, but 2020 did pull through:
I also wrote my most popular blog post of 2020 in lockdown, which as been read over 15k times and featured on so many other webites, including a page by the University of Cambridge!
5. Launching of the Virtual Medicine open day
This was a project idea I had a couple of years back, but at the time I decided not to do it because I thought I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. But…this Summer I told myself I had no excuses with all the time in the world that I had to do it. I’m so glad I did, I was able to get 83 medical students across the country involved, and have the series read over 50,000 times (as it stands now). I still receive messages from students about how helpful they’ve found it which honestly makes my day. Here’s a link to the series if you’re interested in finding more about the realities of studying at each of the UK medical schools.
I also created a poster about this series for the International Medical Conference!
5. Time for more me time
Over the summer I think we all got a lot more me time than we expected. I tried to spend time enjoying things that I don’t normally have the time for: reading, embroidery, baking. Embroidery is something I never have the time to do during term time, so I did seize the opportunity to spend more time on it over the long Summer we had. This year I tried embroidering on items for the first time (i.e. tote bags) and it’s been nice to see people using those I made for them.
6. The whole Summer
I think the long summer hit home some of the things that really matter and are really important to us. Spending a lot more time with family and being able to appreciate nature (as cliche as it may sound) was such a highlight. Part of me wants to go back to the sense of freedom that we experienced in the Summer. I’ve found myself already reminiscing those hot Summer months where we had no responsibilities and became practically nocturnal with our sleep routines.
This short highlight reel of the lockdown nature trails we experienced makes me so nostalgic.
7. Continuing with my Arabic learning
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that I love the Arabic language and have had various attempts at learning throughout my school years. This year I decided to enrol on to an online Arabic course to further my learning which is an opportunity I’m so grateful for. I thought it’d balance nicely with intercalation since I’d have more time available to me this year. It’s going well so far, even though exams and assignment deadlines are looming over me right now!
8. Adding 22 new products to my shop
Designing new products for my online stationery business was a huge feature of 2020. I launched new products 3 times throughout the year, coming to a total of 22 brand new products this year, still keeping everything eco-friendly as always. I now have a total of 7 planner collections as well as a range of sustainable pencils. It makes me so happy to see people loving using my products!
9. Starting a part-time teaching job
This September an opportunity arose for me to get involved in teaching Science to a class of year 7 children at a local high school and my “yes” habit meant I took this on too. It’s been an experience, learning how to plan and deliver lessons. I’ve always loved teaching and have done it on a much smaller scale in the past, but taking responsibility for a whole group of children has been amazing!
10. Finding little moments of joy
I think this year has taught us a lot about appreciating all that we have and realising the fragility of life. There’s a lot we have to be grateful for this year and I do think our collective world experiences have shaped a new perspective for a lot of us – it is such a blessing in our existence, in being healthy and being able to even say we’ve made it to the 31st of December 2020. We’ve got so much to be grateful for even in the simplest things if you just take the time to notice it.
And here I plug my monstera plant that I got this year – the simple act of watching new leaves unfurl filled me with so much joy! It is a lot bigger now that it appears in this old photo.
And that’s 2020 wrapped. What are some of the positives your experienced this year?