Monday, 4 September 2017

Goals August 2017-July 2018

Last year, I wrote a list of goals to achieve between August 2016 and July 2017. You can read the list here, and my blog post about how far I got here

Overall, my priorities are: 

  1. College
  2. Lablinn
  3. Blog
  4. Reading

1. Get a First in College

This year, college is my #1 priority because I'm moving into Biology, which I love so am motivated to study but am behind on because I didn't do it for Leaving Cert or first year of college. I want to do really well so I can get into a good degree because we have to compete for places at the end of second year, and also to do justice to my passion for the subject. I am also considering sitting schols (Trinity's Foundation Scholarship exams) -- even if I don't get them, they'll be extra motivation to study. 

I have nine biology modules and three maths modules, so broadly I need to do well in: 

  • molecular biology/micro (Cell Structure and Function, Metabolism, Microbiology, Genetics, Immunity)
  • macrobiology (Vertebrate Form and Function, Evolution, Ecosystems, Behaviour)
  • maths (Multivariable Calculus, Fourier Analysis, Numerical Data Analysis)
I might write a separate blog post about my plans for doing well in college and what I'm going to improve on from last year e.g. being present at lectures in both mind and body, not immediately giving up when I fall behind but rather making use of resources like the maths help room, and making sure to stay on top of writing up notes. 

It's a month into the goal period, so Progress so far: Got a copy of the recommended 1st and 2nd year Bio textbook out of the library and over summer have written detailed notes on 11/25 chapters and halfway through 2 more chapters.

2. Run Lablinn workshops with 2500 students in multiple countries

I held workshops with somewhere over 400 students last year with the antibiotic resistance project, but now we have a team across the UK, Ireland and Slovenia who are super cool. We also have a collaboration with the Stemettes to get Lablinn material to girls in school science clubs across the UK. 

From last year, I've learned that two really important things are starting early and pacing, as in maintaining a reasonably steady schedule of workshops rather than cramming them all in to certain times. 

Progress so far: Lablinn-Stemettes collab set up in August, lesson plans developed.

3. Run Lablinn public health competition in the UK and Ireland

We're currently looking for sponsorship for our public health awareness competition based around antibiotics, vaccination and pollution for 10-18 year olds in the UK and Ireland, so how long that takes is the main variable for when the public health competition happens. But it should be pretty cool. 

4. Get 20 articles and 10 interviews published on

Progress so far: Team members Ella, Nastja and Jo have each written a blog post for the site, so that's 3/20, and I've carried out 2 interviews (2/10) and secured a further one for later in the year. 

5. Write 52 blog posts

Again this year I want to average out at one blog post a week. I've done 10/52 so far so I'm definitely ahead of schedule there -- in fairness, August held a lot to write about. 

Progress so far: 10/52

6. Read 24 books

I want to up my reading a bit this year from about 18 last year to 24 this year, so two a month. This year, they don't have to be any particular genre, but so far I'm doing about half-and-half science and fiction.

Progress so far: Have read 3/24 (Sapiens, Brave New World, Superbug). Next up are The Handmaid's Tale and Beating Back the Devil: on the front lines with the disease detectives of the epidemic intelligence service.

7. Do Harvard Business X course in Economics, Statistics and Accounting

This took place over June, July and August, and I sat the exam on September 1st, so that one's done. Just remains to write the blog post about it and see how I got on results-wise.

Progress so far: Complete. 

What I've Changed This Year:

Last year, I chose 14 goals. This year, I have 7. That's partly because I'm not putting down any busywork (like the Nobel project), stuff just there to give me work to do, and partly because I'm focusing on my biggest priorities. I'll also be doing work for the Youth Platform, and I'm sure I'll be doing some speaking gigs, but even though I love public speaking I'm not going to seek it out as much this year because I want to focus on getting shit done and just see what comes to me. Doing the work rather than talking about it feels good -- not that I didn't do work last year, but to just focus on it now is great. 

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