5 New Things I Did in the First 5 Days of 2023

Taken at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh

I bid farewell to 2022 in the most unforgettable way. I was in New York City, visiting the best of the places with the most amazing, energetic people and enjoying the holidays in the most vibrant way — be it a walk down Times Square, going for a Broadway Show of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, shopping amongst New Yorkers in the Bryant Park Holiday Market and seeing the city that never sleeps from the 100th floor.

Coming back to my city, Pittsburgh, in the first week of 2023, gave me a chance to spend time and start things that I have always wanted to do. With the semester yet to start, and most friends away at home, I had the perfect opportunity to start this year right!

These are the 5 new things I did in 5 days of 2023 [Links attached for those interested!] :

  • Learning US History
    Spending the Winter break in New York was enlightening — so much art, history, and monuments of massive international significance and impact. I also had a chance to visit Philadelphia — a dream for the 10-year-old me, who had grown extremely fascinated by US History, primarily because of the movie I would end up repeatedly watching in the following years — National Treasure! Seeing the Liberty Bell was the highlight of my trip. It sparked a deeper interest in me in learning more about the rich history of these cities and the United States —
    Did you know, New York was first called New Amsterdam?
    The more I learn, the more I realize there is still so much to discover. Check out this book I found: “Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation”
  • Learning French — Learning a new language has always been a dream of mine, and this year, I’m diving into the world of French. The best way to connect with people and their culture is to learn their language. Apart from eventually having a chance to visit France and enjoy its many scenic beauties, the major motivations to learn French comes from it being widely spoken (about 220M people across 5 continents speak French) and an international language of fashion, theatre and art!
  • Chores & Podcasting — I have always been a music + chores person. But if there is an option for me to listen more about Gucci and Louis Vuitton, why wouldn’t I? I have been drawn to podcasts, especially the idea of learning more about things we already know, but do we really? I have been hooked on this podcast for the past month, , focussing on big business and its battles.
  • 10000 Steps — I took to one of the most common challenges for beginners (or that’s what I thought!). It definitely was not easy, especially not every day. My legs would hurt and I barely had any energy, but the plus point was I got some really amazing night's sleep. However, by the 3rd time, I started really enjoying it, it made me feel fitter, and lighter and gave me a good reason to step out for some fresh air!
  • A Day Out — I missed home a lot this holiday season and before the semester started, I wanted to visit a place that would help me connect with family and bring me comfort and positivity — . Being particularly fascinated by orchids, my next stop was at the , which had a winter display and covered gardens on different themes — orchids, spices and fruits, deserts, tropical gardens, the North Pole, and uptown 23 distinct gardens. I then visited the and was in constant awe of the gigantic exhibitions of dinosaur skeletons. I ended the day with a stroll on Walnut Street sipping my favourite coffee from Coffee Tree Roasters!

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Shruti Mittal

Carnegie Mellon University | Getting Candid with Influential Leaders | IIT Guwahati