Though I did not know it then, this month has probably set the ground-stone for my career life. In this month I took one of the major decisions that I will ever make. During a period where all my friends were filling in medical school applications, begging for recommendations and stressing over their grades, I decided, and after three years of premedical studies, that I will not be applying to any medical school and forgo the idea of med-school. This decision has came after a lot of considerations and consultations with family and close friends. It was not an issue of grades nor the issue of time, but I had a more clear vision where I wanted my life to go.
And why is this a major achievement? Well, to say the least, this has eliminated the major confusion that was integrated into my daily routine, especially that I was hating most of the things related to biology and chemistry. Instead I decided to go for a dual degree in Business Administration. I was afraid that I would regret this decision later on, but now as more and more days pass, I am even more glad hat I did not go into medical school, especially after witnessing what my medical friends have been going through.
Also in January, I was still under the impact of "freezing my contributions" from Outlook, AUB's student newspaper, over issues of plagiarism and corruption that the administration did not want to deal with and just overlooked. My temporary resignation also led several other staff writers to quit after the majority of the board resigned a month before due to power mismanagement.
By far the worst month this year. I got pissed after certain people who have recently came into power at a certain position made a stupid decision regarding AUB's Annual Outdoors festival and it reflected very bad judgement and unprofessionalism. I'm just glad that her decision came back to bite her in the ass [big time].Also the stress of finals and Biology courses that I no longer cared about made this month very stressful.
Also in February, my blog "Mind Soup" turned one year old and was starting to get a lot of recognition among the AUB and Lebanese communities.
My friend recommended me to apply for staff writer in Align, Olayan School of Business's official Newsletter at AUB. I was instantly on the team and began writing immediately.
Also in March. I was spring-cleaning psychologically and mentally. I sat down with close friends and figured out may relationship-related stuff. Let's just say I plucked so many weeds out of my life.
In less than one month of joining Align, I get fired from Align because I was being honest on my personal blog. I will not go into details again but if you would like to know more, you can read this post. Many people might think that I was devastated or sad about this, but I really didn't lose a lot. Align was a brand new publication that wasn't adding any value to my career as I hoped and lacked internal organizational structure. But more importantly is that this shock about the Lebanese system has motivated me to be more honest and become a better journalist and blogger.
May was a busy month full of projects and receptions. Highlight of the month was the Outdoors festival which was a lot of fun. I spent a great time with the food team and yearbook team and had an over-dose of fruit yogurt.
In May, I was also preparing for the First Lebanese Bloggers Convention at AUB. This was mostly inspired by my incident with Align and my interest in blogging. The event was "under the cover" of Outlook (which I rejoined earlier for strategic purposes) and was unfortunately cancelled in what seemed like a conspiracy between the Outlook Editor in Chief at the time and the Coordinator of Student Activities at AUB. After struggling to organize the event in a very short time, it was cancelled two days before the event date under the alibi of the protests that were taking place in AUB due to the announced tuition increase.
I was not supporting the tuition increase protest for strategic reasons and I was faced by a massive campaign of arguments and hate-mail. I was also reported to the dean for my post, but he took my side and practically told me to ignore the haters. Also a consequence to my posts about the tuition increase, I was threatened indirectly by AUB staff that they will be trying to contact my host (blogger = google) to take down by blog because I reposted photos and videos of AUB's provost harassing students. Nothing really happened regarding that issue.
May ended with celebration receptions for Campus Yearbook and Outdoors that were a lot of fun after months of work on both teams.
In June I became legal in all 50 states (i.e. turned 21) and my friends threw me a great gathering that I will always remember.
Also in June I watched as my friends went up on stage in caps & gowns and received their diplomas during commencement. That was one of the toughest times for me because this meant that I won't be seeing some of my close friends on a daily basis anymore and that I was stuck in AUB for three more semesters to finish my dual degree.
July kicked of with an internship at Annahar's online portal Naharnet which was a great opportunity for me to experience journalism hands-on. Too bad I lost interest quickly since it quickly became a dead-end translating job. Yet, through this internship, I have learned a lot of aspects related to true journalism. This also encouraged me to permanently quit Outlook and preserving my dignity through diminishing drama.
In addition to that, one of the great gatherings took place during the night of the World Cup finale game. I spent the night with awesome friends and had a cheese cake over-dose that night.
Also in July, Campus Yearbook 2008-2009 came out after a year delay because of complications with designers. It turned out to be a great book though and we had a great reception party to celebrate it.
I really don't remember anything about this month, its like a blank slate. Spent it sleeping after a hectic year.
During this month, my family witnessed the first wedding of my generation. My oldest female cousin got married. Yet the highlight of this event was my other cousin coming from the States for the wedding. We spent some great times and reconnected.
Also during September, I attended my first tweet-up and met great people who I was interacting with online for the past year. I am glad to say that some of them are really close friends now. Using twitter, I have also met a great person who is one of my best friends now, and for that I am very glad.
In addition, one of great things in this month is that I moved in with one of my best friends after juggling 7 roommates in the past three years. You cannot imagine how happy I was to finally have a stable roommate who I'm friends with.
AUB's Online Collaborative came to light and I became president of a student club that promotes blogging and social media to the Lebanese society.
I was appointed editor in chief of Campus Yearbook at AUB after working on three previous editions. This year witnessed a record breaking number of applications for members for the team.
Cool events in November were: GeekFest Beirut and AUB Elections.
December was the most fun and busiest month this year by far. It kicked off by "Blogging Lebanon" which is a convention that I worked very hard to organize with the help of AUBOC (the one that got cancelled in May) to promote blogging in Lebanon and the region. I was very pleased by the success of the event. Its success entitled a celebration tweet-up which was very fun.
Another conference that took place in December was the Arab Thought Foundation's Fikr conference. I was invited to the conference as a live blogger. Although I was disappointed by the outcome of the conference and the overall overview of the Arab youth, I had a great time with good friends and met interesting people.
On the same day as Fikr, Campus Yearbook 2009-2010 was launched in a celebration reception at AUB. This was the first yearbook in many years to come out on time in less than one year of production. This marked the end of the best team ever. I am sure that there will never be a better team than this one.
But the highlight of the month, and perhaps the whole year, is the trip to Amman to attend the first Arab Social Media Forum which I was an ambassador for. From having Mansaf for dinner to shopping in a weird Japanese store, the whole trip was amazing, including the parts where I was investigated at the border and people forgetting their passports. The cherry on top was getting stuck in Zahle on the way back because of the snow. It was a great trip indeed, I met great people in Jordan and friendships were established.
The last memory of 2010 is the trip to Damascus with the Campus 2010-2011 team and one of my close friends. It was a good adventure where I got to discover new areas in Syria and had lots of good food (visiting 10 restaurants and food-related places in one day is probably a world record).
This basically sums up my year. With its ups and downs I still believe that it has been a great year, and I hope that next year will be as good. In 2011. I hope that I will be able to develop the friendships I made this year, meet new interesting people and be able to achieve my goals.
I also wish all my loved ones, friends and readers a great new year and I wish them all the success and happiness in the world.