My November in Review

From U-M events to Taylor Swift’s new “Red” album, I walk you through my highlight reel from the month as I reflect on the end of this year.

By Madeleine Lee November 24, 2021
Blog post - My November in Review

With the end of this year flying by, it can be challenging for me to fully recognize or appreciate my everyday experiences. As mentioned in a blog post I wrote about one year ago, “Making Time for Self-Reflection,” I value the process of reflection to focus on what brings me joy and to make changes that can bring me closer to where I strive to be. For this reason, I thought it would be fun to follow up my blog post from 2020 and share my highlight reel for this month as I start to reflect on the end of the semester. Without further ado, here is my November in review.

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month (NAHM). The University of Michigan’s Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) is currently hosting events and programming to celebrate NAHM. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend one of their events about the history of violence against Indigenous communities, in particular against Indigenous women. While this was a difficult topic to unpack, the speaker did an excellent job at presenting the content and helping the audience understand the historical origins of present-day issues. To learn more about NAHM events through the University, check out the MESA website. You can also read the University of Michigan’s Land Acknowledgement statement, listed on the U-M Admissions homepage.

Native American Heritage Month website
From MESA’s Native American Heritage Month website. ​​​​​​

“Becoming”: Michelle Obama in Conversation 

On Nov. 9, the University of Michigan community was invited to tune in to a virtual livestream conversation with former first lady Michelle Obama. This exclusive event brought together students from 22 colleges and universities across the United States to discuss pressing issues for our generation. U-M student Joshua Mollison represented our campus at the event as a student speaker. On a regular Tuesday afternoon of classes, it was inspiring and reassuring to listen to my peers have meaningful conversations about change and social justice and to witness their ideas being valued.

A picture of my registration confirmation for the event
A picture of my registration confirmation for the event.

Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” 

I absolutely love this song. I vaguely remember hearing “All Too Well” on the radio several years back, but its recent rerelease on Taylor Swift’s album, “Red (Taylor’s Version),” has led me to playing this song on repeat and encoding the lyrics into memory. If you have not yet listened to this song or watched the accompanying short film, I highly recommend both.

The Red (Taylor’s Version) album cover
The Red (Taylor’s Version) album cover. 

Wrapping Up This Semester and Looking Ahead to the Next One 

I have to admit, I am a nerd when it comes to choosing courses for next semester. I just find it so exciting. There are so many interesting classes to pick from that I genuinely feel conflicted when I have to make a decision that often sacrifices one course for another.

At U-M, at the end of each semester, students are tasked with “backpacking,” which is essentially looking for next semester’s courses and adding them to a virtual backpack. Students then register based on an assigned registration time which corresponds with class standing. As a junior who has completed all of their prerequisites, I now have more flexibility in my schedule to choose courses that pique my curiosity and experience a wider range of course offerings within my major. I have already spotted a few that I am excited to register for. With that being said, make sure to check your registration appointment date and be on time to secure the classes you want.

Well Done sleeping Panda
My Canvas page starts to look like this now that we are wrapping up the fall semester.

Gratitude Journal 

In the spirit of celebrating reflection, I end this blog post with a tool that has immensely assisted me in being in tune with my experiences: a gratitude journal. In this journal, I write down what I am thankful for and take note of my wins. Whether it is something small like “had a good bagel for breakfast” or something bigger like “did well on a project I have been working on for the past several months,” a win is a win. Keeping a gratitude journal helps me remember how good I felt in a given moment and reminds me of the people and experiences who bring me joy. If you have a moment at the end of a long day, I encourage you to jot down three things that you are grateful for. It can take you a long way.

My gratitude journal, which I created on a platform called Notion. 
My gratitude journal, which I created on a platform called Notion​​​​​

It feels good to reflect on my November so far. As we head into this upcoming break, I already know that time will pass by even more quickly as we start to close out this year. As always, remember to take care of yourself and perhaps take some time to create your own highlight reel as a reminder of your values, progress, and continued success. Best of luck for the rest of the semester!

Madeleine Lee
Madeleine Lee

Madeleine Lee is a junior in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and plans to study at the intersection of health and social justice. Outside of the classroom, she conducts research at the Kellogg Eye Center and is a member of the Vice President for Student Life Advisory Board. She is an Ann Arbor native and in her free time, you can find her running, reading, or snapping photos.