2017 in Reflection

Jake Parrish
4 min readJan 4, 2018
Photo by Ishan Gupta on Unsplash

A reflection of the year that has passed.

For the past few days Medium has been filled with several reflections, ways to jumpstart 2018, and guides on how to finally live the life you have always wanted.

Since our time is divided into neat little chunks it is often interesting to reflect after one year has passed.

With a proper reflection I will see where I can improve or change directions. This provides me more purpose when planning for 2018.

So to reflect…

2017 was a rollercoaster for me. I stepped out of my comfort zone in multiple occasions leading to new opportunities, I had many low moments, and I learned a ton.

Here are some of the things that happened in 2017 and what I will take away from these experiences:

1. I was denied not once but twice from business school.

Devastated and upset are two words that come to mind when I remember reading that rejection letter. I will use this as motivation. It will make reaching my dreams all the sweeter.

2. I interned at two software startups.

These were both great experiences. I learned a lot about how startups operate and specifically how sales in a startup operates. If you can not sell the product/service then you do not have a business, simple as that. I am glad I was able to learn the ins and outs first hand from some amazing people.

3. I expanded my network.

I met many new people in class, in my internships, and by reaching out to people. I reached out to people on LinkedIn, at local Meetups, and on Medium. I realized that reaching out to people is nowhere near as scary as I imagined. Most people are more than happy to talk. I am still working on optimizing the time in these interactions.

4. I struggled with being alone but also worked on enjoying it.

This semester I roomed alone. Now I have always sort of been fine with being alone. In fact as a kid I found peace in being alone with my thoughts. But as the semester wore on I realized how tough it can truly be to simply live alone with your thoughts. I had many looks in the mirror. I certainly am still figuring myself out but I think by taking the uncomfortable leap to living alone for a semester I was able to really confront myself. I could not hide every moment by simply hanging out with my buddies.

5. I traveled somewhere new.

I went to the Dominican Republic for spring break on a service trip. Immersing myself in a foreign culture for a week was something I was not used to. I had such a great time that I am actually going back this spring break. I hope 2018 has even more travel excursions.

Certainly there are many more things that happened to me in 2017 but these are a few I wanted to highlight.

To some this list may not seem that impressive or inspiring at all. But I also learned in 2017 to focus on myself and refrain from comparing my journey to others. I hope to maintain this mindset in 2018. In order to do so I may need to cut back on social media.

I do not fully believe in the idea of resolutions because the changing of a calendar year is not going to suddenly make anyone more motivated or committed. That is why I hesitate to say here are my resolutions that I will 100% commit to…knowing that it is probably false.

However after reflecting here are a few things I hope to change or continue in 2018 and possible ways to make those changes:

1. Take more risks.

Start a podcast. Now this one I know I am going to do. Also I know some people scoff at this, sure it may just be the current trend, but it does not matter to me. I want to do it for the joy and to meet new people.

I also hope to take more risks in the form of pursuing some crazy project. I mean we all have those crazy project ideas right? And now, in college, is the time to take that risk.

Lastly I could take more risks by traveling to new places. Losing fear of unknown places with unknown people.

2. Develop consistency.

There are a few new habits that I formed in 2017 but there are many more that I gave up on. I hope to create more consistency in 2018 for the habits I wish to keep.

I will start by developing morning and nightly routines. I believe if I can stick to these routines other forms of consistency will come easier.

3. Expand network even further.

Hands down one of my favorite parts of 2017 was the neat people I met. I hope 2018 is filled with even more new relationships.

Here is a simple way I could do this:

  • Attend one Meetup a month.
  • Become friends(introduce and begin talking to) one new person on campus a week.
  • Reach out to one person(someone I admire) a week on a platform or through email.

This would certainly lead me to meet new people but at the same time it may began to feel too “checklisty”(so to speak). I want to develop real relationships. I will strive to find this balance.

As I sit here reflecting on 2017 I realize that I am not where I want to be. Or even thought I would be in January of 2018. But I do not think much good would come from beating myself up. I took steps in the right direction in 2017. Now 2018 is going to be the grind. We will see where this gets me by 2019.


Thanks for reading!

Feel free to connect with me on any of the following platforms:

LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter