2020. Boy what a year.
Back in March, I had no idea that come December, I would be typing ‘content creator’ into the bio of my LinkedIn and trying to think of the next YouTube video to film. I remember, it was a Tuesday morning in dental school on the paediatric clinic, and there were whispers that we wouldn’t be coming back on to clinic the next day. I hardly thought anything of it, but sure enough, an email landed in my inbox the next day, instructing us not to come in again and to await further information.
Just like that, everyone packed up and left their life at university behind. I found myself living back at home, unsure of what was happening next and wondered how my summer exams would go down. With all the extra time, a voice in my head kept toying with the idea of social media. In a time when everyone was feeling disconnected, I considered putting myself out there and seeing what would happen.
Through Instagram and YouTube, perfect serendipity vehicles, I have met some amazing people, helped dental school applicants and found a new fulfilment in creating content online about dental school, productivity and studying. There’s a new slice of confidence that comes with carrying a camera around dental school and filming yourself in front of people, knowing it’s an invitation for judgement.
Check out this blog post by David Perell “How to Maximise Your Serendipity” – it has some really interesting thoughts about maximising random opportunities https://perell.com/essay/serendipity/
In September 2020, I hit 1000 subscribers on YouTube. In December I hit 2000 subscribers, released my dental school interview guide and created my mock interview service for the new year. I’m genuinely excited at the thought of more projects in 2021, and I haven’t had this feeling in a long time. My life now is very different to the one back in March and I’m grateful for the personal growth.
This year, there were people that I have got closer to that I didn’t expect to. There were people I have drifted from that I didn’t expect to. Here’s to 2021 filled with better relationships with friends and family.
Some realisations this year:
- I should have put myself out there sooner, but better late than never.
- Turns out, I am a huge fan of online learning and will genuinely be sad to return to normal lectures at some point in the future. I like the freedom and ability to schedule my own time, and not to mention being able to watch lectures at double speed.
- I want to invest more time into reading. I’ve underestimated the power of learning through books and didn’t get through as many as I’d hoped.
- Sleep and mental health are important. Make these a priority.
- Everyone who knows you, only knows a version of you.
- I’m very comfortable in my own company, but it’s okay to reach out when needed.
- Don’t say yes to absolutely everything.
- Maybe I need a Twitter?
And now to you, I’d like to take this opportunity to say, that you have done yourself proud this year. It’s not been easy, but you’re here. If this year has been difficult for you and it hasn’t gone the way you wanted, then I hope 2021 is better.
I also want to thank you for the continued support this year, it’s been a real journey.
I’d like to leave you with some questions I came across in Ali Abdaal’s recent newsletter that are prompts for 2020 reflections. I found these incredibly useful when thinking about my year and I hope you do too.
- When have you felt proud of yourself in 2020? what were you doing?
- If you had to teach one thing you learnt this year (that would improve one’s quality of life) what would that be?
- What kept you up at night with excitement this year? Was it worth it? Would you want to do more of it?
- What 3 people are you the most grateful to in 2020 and why? How can you thank them? How can you find more people like this in your life?
- What things did you stop caring about in 2020?
Thank you for everything! Here’s to a year of happiness, fulfilment and health.