Two months in: Checking in on my ins and outs of 2024

March 3, 2024, 7:31 p.m.

With the blink of an eye, we’re two months into 2024. This year, one big goal of mine is to live more intentionally. I find that in my day-to-day life, everything is moving too quickly. By the end of the day, I feel slightly unsatisfied with how predictable my day was. After talking with some friends about this sentiment, I learned that I’m not the only one feeling this way; we wake up, go to class, work on problem sets, rinse and repeat.

I don’t want to just be going through the motions of my daily life, so I hope that I can live more intentionally with these ins and outs. Having set these ins and outs at the beginning of 2024, I’ve decided to reflect on my progress.


Complimenting strangers (and friends): My day is instantly made whenever someone compliments me, so I want to spread this same energy to others. I remember learning from my sister that when complimenting someone, you should compliment them for something they were in control of, rather than something they already have. For instance, instead of saying you like someone’s shirt, you can say that you really like their style. Two months into 2024, I’ve complimented friends several times and have started to compliment strangers. I find that my day is instantly made when people compliment me, so I want to do the same!

Styling outfits with jewelry: Going down the TikTok rabbit hole, I’ve realized that jewelry can instantly make someone appear exponentially more put together. I think a simple outfit is immediately elevated with some intentional jewelry. So far, I’ve mostly just been wearing my favorite necklace every day, but I’m hoping to bring some more jewelry from home to start wearing at school.

Using Do Not Disturb (DND) mode more: In 2023, I almost never used DND on my phone or laptop. Whenever I’d hear my phone vibrate due to a notification, I’d instantly pick up my phone and somehow, I’d always end up unintentionally scrolling through Instagram (at this point, it’s muscle memory). In all of January, I was almost always using DND and have found that I’ve been more focused when I am doing work and more present when spending time with friends and family.

Saying “no” to things: I don’t know how to say “no.” If I say “no”, I feel that I’m turning someone down. If I say “no”, I feel that I’m missing out on an event or opportunity. It’s simply easier to say “yes.” However, I’ve found that throughout my whole life, when I constantly say “yes,” I sometimes find myself in opportunities that I am not as interested in compared to other opportunities. Our time as Stanford students goes by so quickly, so I want to make sure that everything that I say “yes” to is something that would be a meaningful experience. This year, I’ve been learning to turn opportunities down and quit involvements that are not fulfilling to me, which has led to my improved sleep schedule and dedicated journaling time.

Calling family once a week: I remember the fall of my frosh year, I would call my family every night (absolutely not because of homesickness). After my first quarter, I found myself calling my family at most once every two to three weeks, having acclimated to life as a college student. Having a little brother in high school in addition to parents who are getting older, I feel like I’m missing out on a lot of their big life moments. My goal is to call my family every weekend; however, as of the past few weeks, I have not been on top of this since I’ve been able to see them in person a few times this quarter! The next time I’ll be home will likely be mid-summer, so starting spring quarter, I plan on time blocking my calendar to call them every weekend.

Supporting underclassmen in their Stanford journey: I remember receiving so much guidance and mentorship from upperclassmen when I was an underclassman, so it’s my turn to pay it back. So far, I’ve been helping underclassmen with designing their own major at Stanford and navigating career paths in tech.

Meeting interesting people in the Bay Area: Something that especially drew me to Stanford was the idea of being in Silicon Valley because I wanted to interact with individuals eager to create something new, all while learning things that I can translate directly to my organization. Reflecting on my past few years here, I do not think that I’ve made the most of the Silicon Valley network that we have as Stanford students. Especially next quarter, I want to be more proactive in attending talks featuring prominent Silicon Valley leaders to learn more about the founders’ journey.


Running on Stanford time: I am late to (nearly) everything. This is something I’ve talked about with a friend, and I’ve now realized that my lateness affects people besides me. It feels bad when I make people wait for me due to my lateness, and I want to correct this. So far, I’ve been better with arriving on time to classes and other events, but I’m sometimes still trickling in a few minutes late.

Being overly apologetic: Apologizing has basically become ingrained in my vocabulary; I find that I am often apologizing even if it’s not even a situation where an apology is relevant. So far, I haven’t found myself in a situation where I’ve felt overly apologetic.

Snoozing my morning alarms: I cannot recall the last time I got out of bed without first snoozing my alarm a few times. I think that snoozing my alarm makes it exponentially more difficult to start my day, so I’m trying to get better with getting out of bed as soon as my alarm goes off. I will admit that this is not going as planned so far, but I think this is also correlated with my later bedtimes that I need to adjust.

Scrolling before bed: Instead of scrolling on TikTok before going to sleep, I’d like to pick up reading. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a book for leisure reading. I’m especially interested in books that can better me as a person, whether it be books like Atomic Habits or The 4-Hour Workweek.

Using hair heating appliances less frequently: In 2023, I loved using my hair straightener because I have naturally wavy hair. Instead of constantly using heating appliances, I have been trying to style my naturally wavy hair and rely less on my hair straightener. I initially held back from this, but I’m now enjoying my natural, light waves (along with the extra 15 minutes that I now get back each morning).

Having hundreds of tabs open on my laptop: I’m guilty of having tabs upon tabs open on my laptop. I have found that having all of these tabs open makes my life feel cluttered, so I’m striving towards a minimalist tab lifestyle (emphasis on striving).

Listening to the same few artists: I’ll admit: my music taste is not diverse. I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan, but I also listen to a few other artists. There’s a lot of amazing music out there besides Taylor Swift, and I want to diversify my taste. So far, I’ve been getting into more genres besides pop, hip pop, and rap, and have been starting to appreciate indie and folk music such as Noah Kahan.

We’re two months into 2024, and I still have a lot of room to grow and lead a mindful lifestyle. Here’s to a year of learning, growing, and living intentionally!

Vivian Wang ’25 is a staff writer at The Daily. She is from Orange County, California and is currently studying Symbolic Systems. Contact her at imvivian ‘at’ to talk about tech, journalism, Disneyland or anything else.

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