Can you believe we are already halfway through the year? Just writing that sentence out feels so incredible to me. As we are in the month of June, I thought that this would be an excellent time to reflect on how I'm progressing on the goals I've set for this year and voila: This post was born.
Without further ado, I'll address each of my goals point by point and talk about my progress.

Pass N2


I took the JLPT N2 exam in December 2019 and felt super wishy-washy about the way the test went. In some ways, I thought the test was easier than I expected. At other times, I sat there wondering WTF I was reading. I fluctuated between the two emotions for the duration of the test and I left the testing center with hopeful but mixed feelings. Well, the results are in! 

I failed. I can't say I was really surprised by the results. But I'm not upset in any way! In fact, I'm really proud of myself for taking the exam and trying my best. I now have a baseline of my skills for when I want to take the test again, with some concrete evidence of both my strong and weak points. What surprised me about my test results was that my listening score was the highest out of all of the sections! The listening section is where I thought I understood the least (the audio quality was awful in the classroom) so that really surprised me, but I think it makes sense since I find myself listening to so much Japanese media.

I don't plan on taking the test again this year because I've devoted 2020 wholeheartedly to learning French, but I definitely think I'll try again someday in the future. Now that I've taken the test once I really feel like I understand how to study for it and how to get a better score.

Pay off all my loans


I did it! Through savings, graduation party money, and the help of my parents, all my loans are officially paid off. I am now 22 years old and debt-free, and that's a blessing.

Become conversational in French


I want to make a separate post about this goal specifically but to summarize: I have been studying French since coming back from France. 

As stated in a previous post of mine, I was dabbling in Duolingo with limited results despite doing it every day, so I'm not counting this time as serious study. As of the end of March, I've been diving into French full force and spending 1-4 hours a day studying.  I went from knowing almost nothing at all and doing mindless drills on Duolingo to being able to understand episodes of French kids' shows and Youtube videos. I'm able to write messages to friends in French and understand kid's books. I even read a chapter of Harry Potter! My speaking still leaves a bit to be desired but I still have plenty of time to improve so I'm very happy about it.

Maintain my weight loss

 

I'm no longer at 107 but about 109lbs, and I'm totally okay with that. This year, I shifted my focus away from just dieting and calorie restriction and more towards exercise. I'm still eating delicious food (see the cheesecake I made above), but I'm trying out healthier versions of them. I continue to keep track of my calories via apps and eat a healthy and balanced vegetarian diet, but now I'm exercising for about 30 minutes every day on average. I used to exercise occasionally but really disliked it. I can't say I love starting to exercise, but once I get in the groove of it I notice that my mood elevates and I feel much better post-workout.

This has really changed my routine and I think it's helping my body. I've been doing daily morning exercises for about 2 and a half weeks and I can already see some results. I might make a post later about what Youtube videos I use to work out, and give some updates on how I think my body has changed.  

Get a full-time job I love

I can happily say I have accomplished this goal after so much debating and struggling to find the perfect place for me. The direction I'm going in right now is so different than what I used to imagine for myself back in college, and that was a scary thing to address post-grad. I felt like I made a massive mistake and didn't know where I would fit in. 

However, I am currently working full time (from home!) and having a wonderful time with my new team and company. Working in a Japanese company is a brilliant first step towards my future, and I feel so proud to be where I am today. I'm still very much learning the ropes of the corporate world but I am so excited to step my foot fully into working life. 

I want to briefly touch upon the situation at hand in the world and the senseless deaths of black individuals. My blog is not a political space but I feel it would be amiss to not mention this. I truly hope that positive change can be enacted and we can attain justice for those who have been hurt and continue to hurt. I stand in solidarity with you. As always, thank you for reading.