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My End-of-Year Reflection & Some Projections for the New Year

Dear Lily,

2020 has been a confusing year, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect and make some projections for 2021. 

Overall, 2020 has been a fruitful year, as I am fortunate to have my family and friends’ support through the challenges. Academically, I successfully transferred colleges and made progress in figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. While I am often buried under school work (and continuously complain about all the work I need to finish), I learned so much this year. It is hard to imagine just how much I have grown. Professionally, I finally created a résumé and connected with more people on LinkedIn. I also earned money for the first time, as a research assistant studying public transportation sustainability. Personally, I read more books and picked up some useful lessons. I completed some books I thought I would never read, but I am proud I did. I also picked up the piano and am slowly learning pieces. At the same time, I do have some regrets and goals left unaccomplished. I still need to work on balancing my time and being more efficient with my work. Overall, though, I am satisfied with the progress I made in 2020. 

Looking forward to 2021, there are several areas in which I hope to improve. First, I hope to become healthier and more fit. The ongoing quarantine made me reduce my exercising time, but I really want to invest time in healthy eating and workout strategies. I also hope to learn how to cook. I don’t need to make anything fancy, but I hope to shed my title as a “kitchen assassin.” Regarding my studies, I hope to learn more efficiently and become a better student, hopefully securing my dream internship. I also wish to pick up learning instruments, video editing, and Photoshop as hobbies. Lastly, I hope my family and friends will stay healthy and fulfilled in life. 

I know I have many wishes, but hopefully, I can accomplish them one by one. When I look back, I don’t want to have regrets. Best of luck! 



Lily Cai

Columbia Barnard '23

Lily is a sophomore at Barnard College, intending to double major in economics and computer science. Apart from school, she loves trying out new food and cuisines. She also enjoys listening to music, reading books, and watching Netflix. Lily would love to meet new people and feel free to reach out to her!
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