2021 – In Review

Continuing the tradition, my December post will summarize my year and review the goals I set.

Presenting virtually to ASCE’s Committee on Younger Members in May 2021

Much of 2021 was similar to most of 2020 as I continued to work from home. After being vaccinated, I was able to do some traveling throughout the United States and even got to visit a dear ASCE friend who now lives in Hawaii.

In terms of my 2021 goals, here is where I stand:

1) Write a blog post at least once a month.

I went over and beyond with this goal and was so happy to bring my blog back as a higher priority in 2021! Below are the blog posts that I authored and posted each month this past year:

MonthPost Link
January https://stemchangemaker.org/2021/01/27/4-ways-asce-has-made-me-a-better-civil-engineer/
Februaryhttps://stemchangemaker.org/2021/02/17/danis-first-declassified-guide-scholarship-success-and-resources/
Marchhttps://stemchangemaker.org/2021/03/17/designing-from-a-distance-365-days-of-work-from-home/
Aprilhttps://stemchangemaker.org/2021/04/30/danis-declassified-guide-to-crafting-your-resume/
May https://stemchangemaker.org/2021/05/30/danis-declassified-guide-to-personal-finance/
June https://stemchangemaker.org/2021/06/30/bye-bye-basils-remembering-ever-the-white-and-gold/
Julyhttps://stemchangemaker.org/2021/07/27/danis-declassified-guide-4-tips-to-turn-an-internship-into-a-full-time-job/
August https://stemchangemaker.org/2021/08/31/danis-declassified-guide-to-credit-scores/
September https://stemchangemaker.org/2021/09/30/four-places-to-find-a-mentor/
October https://stemchangemaker.org/2021/10/20/international-pronouns-day/
November https://stemchangemaker.org/2021/11/23/danis-declassified-guide-to-stem-career-fairs/
December This post!

I loved all these topics, but I especially enjoyed writing the ones about career development to past on the knowledge I wish I had as a student!

Furthermore, I started allowing folks to submit guest blog posts for consideration. Here are the two that were approved and published in 2021:

If you are interested in submitting a guest blog post for consideration, please email us at hello@stemchangemaker.org.

2) Intentionally workout twice a month.

This goal outcome was pretty poor as it can be summarized with the following: what gets scheduled, gets done and I did not schedule working out at all. This one definitely was harder than I thought as this also included other factors like will I be able to shower after I workout and do I have the right equipment on hand. I did complete the Hamilton HIIT Dance Workout on YouTube in early 2021 which required no equipment, but not much beyond this. My partner and I did go snowboarding a few days in the colder weather and went to play tennis about 6 times, which does technically count towards achieving this goal though less frequent than twice a month.

While I do walk our dog at least twice a day, I do think working out intentionally beyond this would be a great goal for me again in the future!

3) Focus more on my relationships.

Similar to most of 2020, I did get to virtually meet with my high school friends which was wonderful! Two of them are getting married in 2022, so it was nice to chat with them to see how wedding planning is going.

I did also use this goal to work on building my relations with the online STEM community, especially my fellow STEM Content Creators. Through my relationships online, I was honored to be one of princesses for Reinvented Magazine’s 2022 Princesses with Powertools Calendar as shown in the photo below.

2022 Princesses with Powertools Calendar – https://www.reinventedmagazine.com/princesses-with-powertools-calendar

To further build relationships in the online STEM Community, I attended Stemedia’s 3rd Annual virtual STEM Success Summit from Nov 17 – 20th. As relationships are what drive us and motivate us, I really enjoyed this opportunity to meet with awesome STEM students and professionals around the world through attending this conference and look forward to continue to building this community in 2022!

4) Learn and incorporate a new sustainable practice or product into my routine once a month.

I was able to complete this goal and definitely think the monthly cadence was a good idea. Here are the different products from each month:

MonthProduct(s)
January Reduce personal paper consumption
FebruaryUpcycling Ideas – Dog food travel container made from empty
coffee creamer container; Reheating pickle juice to make my
own pickles at home
MarchBathroom Products – reusable makeup remover pads and
bamboo toilet paper
AprilHaircare Products – shampoo and conditioner bars
May Sweedish dishcloth (for the kitchen)
June Reusable sandwich bags
JulyLaundry Products – laundry detergent sheets and wool
dryer balls (with essential oils to add a pleasant scent)
August Dish soap
September Face serum
October Annual planner made with recycled stone paper
November Dishwasher tabs
December Greeting Cards

This was a fun and easy to track goal that aligns with one of my passions, so I plan to continue this goal in 2022 as I continue to find ways to make my daily life more sustainable. I have posted each of these as Reels on my Instagram if you want to learn more about the sustainable products that I now use.

5) Over 30K in Investments

This one I was also able to complete as I now have over 60k in total throughout my 401k, ESOP, Roth IRA, and brokerage accounts (i.e. stocks). To further my financial knowledge in 2021, I intentionally followed many content creators like @HerFirst100k who post educational content about personal finance which also has helped me greatly. I plan to keep this going as one of my multi-year goals is to have 100k in investments before I turn 30.

There are many things that I didn’t even fathom I would be doing in 2021 that I accomplished including:

  • Speaking to over 300+ SWE Members at WE21 about Personal Finance in Indianapolis, IN
  • Being a podcast guest on some awesome podcasts including Engineering Our Future Podcast and Civil Engineering Academy Podcast.
  • Becoming lifetime member of Girl Scouts.
  • Getting vaccinated which allowed me to travel safely to Hawaii with my partner and a few other places throughout 2021.
  • Dedicating over 140 hours to student outreach impact, mainly in a virtual setting and reaching over 1460 students through my efforts in 2021!

Here is to celebrating accomplishments (no matter how small) and to a wonderful 2022!

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