Super-Techie’s New Year’s resolutions for 2017

  1. Paavo VannasI promise to complete my master’s degree. This promise encompasses the following steps to be completed by the end of June: a) having 270 study credits under my belt and b) finding a suitable topic for my thesis and a place for carrying out the thesis project.
  2. I promise to use the western metro extension. Originally, the West Metro was slated for completion in fall 2014. When the first delays were announced, I wondered whether I’d earn my bachelor’s degree before the new line was up and running. I made it with time to spare. Now it seems that my master’s studies are on track for speedier completion than the West Metro. Even though it would be an ego boost to reach my target before the West Metro, I’d love to use the new line at least once before moving away from Otaniemi. Please, builders of the West Metro, get the line ready for use by the end of April 2017, as planned. Pretty please.
  3. I promise to take my sister to a lecture by philosopher Esa Saarinen. In the course of my studies, I have been part of several courses taught by Saarinen. They have given me a lot, and I would like to share these positive experiences with my nearest and dearest. However, both my brother and my girlfriend have declined all my invitations to attend any open lectures by the eminent philosopher, on account of their busy schedules. I’m fortunate that, after finishing high school, my sister, who is still wet behind the ears, made the mistake of promising to accompany me to one of these lectures, provided that she was accepted to study at the University of Helsinki. She got accepted, and I will hold her to her promise in the early part of this year.
  4. I promise to participate in Aalto University’s Forest Products Guild’s domestic excursion one more time. The most legendary trips I have taken while pursuing my studies are definitely the Forests Product Guild’s annual domestic excursions. In my last year at college, I want to experience one of those bus tours across Finland that take students on visits to 4–10 companies involved in forest-industry or bioindustry operations over 4–5 days.
  5. I promise to de-Otaniemify myself. “Otaniemification” refers to a phenomenon in which a student relocating to Otaniemi becomes oblivious to the outside world because this haven for students has everything one could wish for. Study locations, social relationships, supermarkets – whatever you need, Otaniemi has it.I’m embarking on my last year of higher education, and it’s high time I looked toward the outside world. Staying in Otaniemi after graduation is not an option. Let’s just say that while the student culture in my technical field is constructive and educational for a twenty-something engineering student, it’s hard to see how it could be combined with more adult-oriented pursuits and possibly family life in the distant future.
  1. I promise to keep my phone in my pocket and to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front when driving. Since New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made with the aim of altering an undesired trait or behavior, I’d better make one resolution that really involves a change for me. So in 2017, I’ll pay more attention to the need to remain a safe distance behind the car ahead of me when on the road. In many typical engineering jobs, you end up clocking up a large number of driving miles. If I get into the habit of taking risks behind the wheel now – by fiddling with my phone and neglecting safe following distances – it’s probably inevitable that I will end up crashing my car before retirement. And that’s something I’d like to avoid, so I promise to become a safer driver. P.S. Constant pressure from my girlfriend might have had a tiny impact on this resolution.