A bit of introspection for the year past, a bit late.
1. There is value in letting students see a bit of my life outside the classroom. It's hard to figure out where that line should be between me and my students, but this past year I let down my guard a little more, and it was fine. Students actually enjoy hearing about the paper deadlines I'm rushing to meet, the mishaps in the lab, what I'm listening to--things that make me more human in their eyes. I think they trust me more as a result.
2. Sometimes, the smallest of actions can have the most far-reaching consequences. This applies to both good deeds and unfortunate mistakes. And sometimes, once the damage is done, there's nothing to be done but wait it out.
3. My work is interesting and relevant. People in my field find value in my research and look forward to my results and insights.
4. I am the only one that has my best interests in mind. Until I get tenure, I will have to keep my guard up, measure my words, and sometimes keep my mouth shut, particularly in front of certain people. People often say one thing but do quite the opposite when push comes to shove. Luckily, this past year I also learned whom I can trust, and that I do have people in my life who will listen without judgement and help me navigate the sharky political waters of academia. I appreciate these people more than they will ever know.
5. Sometimes, the things I fear the most actually turn out just fine. Too much energy is spent worrying about things that never come to be or that are out of my control. (I hope that this is true about my review this year!)