Naturally, after yesterday’s 2018 reflection post, today I’m bringing you 10 things I’m excited about in the new year – brought to you by a fantastic hangover and my inability to do anything else today but type my headache away with a bag of popcorn by my side.
Despite saying that I’m usually a New Year’s resolutions/goals types of gal in yesterday’s post, I’ve decided not to specifically label them either this year. And what better way to not label something than to label it as a thing? There are so many new experiences, people and places headed my way, what fun would it be if I meticulously planned it all in advance? Plus, if I’m going in 2019 with not so specific goals, the risk of disappointment in 364 days is going to be significantly lower.
For once I’m letting life do its thing and not putting too much pressure on myself. What needs to happen, will.
I’m excited about graduation, because it signifies a new beginning.
One of the biggest things that’s going to happen in less than T minus 6 months is that I will have my last project hand in and officially be done with my bachelor’s degree forever (hopefully with a first). 2018 Maria was looking at MA courses, but soon realised that going in yet another very expensive certificate, courtesy of another very big loan, wasn’t exactly the best thing she could do. That being said, I will be closing that chapter of my life not forever, but at least until the time is right. It feels weird even thinking about it – I enjoyed university, but also kind of felt out of place at times. Nearly 50% of my time in uni I also had a job as an in house designer + was freelancing from time to time, so I kind of ended up feeling better in a working environment than at a uni lecture. And honestly, not having to ever bind another visual summary book does sound very, very good.
Getting a Product Design Job
I think I’m one of the few people that looks forward to a 9-5 and this is the year when I can finally focus 100% on my career – no university getting in the way. One thing I am changing this year is my outlook on the whole job search process – this time last year, while I was internship searching, I had this idea that I want to be at Google and Google only. Well it didn’t happen. What was worse was that I was so focused on waiting for Google to reply (and reject me lol) that I just didn’t apply to so many other companies.
This time round, I’m not being such a corporate snob and applying to anything that catches my eye, specially companies that develop digital products that I love and use in the daily.
With my interviews so far, I can say that some of the best teams and people I’ve talked to are from companies I wouldn’t have even considered applying to last year. I’m excited to see where I end up and I’m so proud of myself for getting so far – loads of exciting opportunities all around the world and loads of good products that I believe in and want to contribute to.
Creative coding was something I was really into the first year of university. I miraculously had the time to explore it too. Sadly, with my degree progressing, I ended putting it in a backlog. My hands were itching to open VS Code and just make something – mess around with some functions, play around with a library or two.
Creative coding makes me feel like some kind of design magician.
So I made a decision to get back into it in 2019. This year in uni I have the complete freedom to work on whatever I want to, so I’m making it a priority to focus on of my two final major projects around creative computing – generative design, IoT, loads of JS and hopefully some Python.
Travelling is obviously a lot of fun when you’re travelling with friends and some of my best trips have been spent laughing and exploring with some of my closet friends, but I’m excited about taking another solo trip in the new year. I’ve done this once back in 2016 (fun fact: in London) and absolutely loved it.
There’s something about travelling alone – the unlimited freedom and the flexibility to travel your own agenda.
As far as destinations, I have a massive Pinterest board with a lot of places which I would love to visit, but top of my list for 2019 (fingers crossed I manage to do at least 2 of those) are Iceland, Morocco, Banff (Canada), NYC, Thailand, Bali, Finland and Japan.
Rediscovering My Voice Online
I’m excited about rediscovering my voice online – I’ve talked about not being 100% happy with the content I was putting out on the Internet in the last year and I’m ready to make changes in 2019. I’ve been wanting to try new types of content, new platforms and new styles.
I’ve been trying to remind myself that It’s 100% okay to be a nerd about your work, something you love and are passionate about.
Apart from the travel content, I want to document my last semester at university – how I’m managing a dissertation and the process of coming up with my two final major projects. I want to document my experience with searching for jobs and interviewing as a soon to be new grad – the expectations, the hopes, the interviews and the rejections. I feel there’s not much representation online of entry-level professionals (not designers only) and it could be something that helps a lot of people out. Although I love experts teaching and showcasing their work, it sometimes sets the bar unrealistically high for us beginners. I’m working towards making tutorials, with all the struggles, mistakes and ‘uglies’. Reviews, random chit chats and reflections.
Getting Involved in The Design Community
I want to say I was decently involved in the IT/Design events back in Bulgaria, but when it comes to London I think I needed a push. Just scrolling on Twitter I would see all of these amazing people having great conversations, attending meet ups and conferences and I just stood there and thought “I want that, I want to be involved!” And I never really did anything about it lol. I am scared of events particularly, because I hate going to stuff alone, but that’s why I’m trying to engage more with peeps on twitter, so I can at least e-meet some of them haha (so social)
Something that I’m looking forward is also working with mentors – I’ve decided as a baby step to reach out to some amazing designers and ask for feedback on my work. I hope having some having fresh pair of eyes around and talking people through my designs will not only help me improve the quality of my work, but will also improve the way I talk about it and articulate my ideas.
Getting a Visa for the USA
Now a lot of you are thinking why in the world would I need a visa? And what type of visa – student, work, travel? I’m not denying that there is a slim chance for me to be working in the USA over the summer, but what I’m excited about is getting the damn travel visa. My Bulgarian passport sadly doesn’t entitle me to visa-free leisure trips to the States, so I have to go in and get myself a travel visa, so I can explore more of the country.
I didn’t do it before honestly for no particular reason, guess my mom scared me that I won’t get it approved before I have a full time job, because then I’m a potential illegal immigrant yada yada. Hopefully now I can get myself and make use of those cheap tickets to USA that keep popping up in my inbox.
Excited to just chill a bit and have fun honestly.
What are you excited for in 2019?