This year has been quite a challenge for me. There were a lot of “firsts,” and many trial-and-error adventures. I can say that it wasn’t the best year, but I am thankful for everything I am walking away with. I know I am growing into an independent, creative, and happy young woman — with help from loved ones on the way. Here are some of my highlights from 2017:
I lived on my own for the first time. This summer I stayed near campus in Athens. I had decided to sublease an apartment on Court Street. The location was perfect, right in the heart of the town. I had to learn — very quickly — how to cook for myself, keep my space clean, and how to budget to pay bills. It was the hardest thing I had ever done, but I made it. I learned a lot about myself this summer. I spent an incredible amount of time alone. As much as I wanted to go home, and have it easy surrounded by family and friends, I knew that this would make me stronger and more responsible.
I took trips with my family. My grandparents and a couple they have been friends with forever (we’re talking decades) invited me to spend a weekend with them in Hocking Hills. In a secluded corner of Ohio with no reception, I made special memories with my grandparents that I will surely hold dear forever. We drank wine and played board games and just enjoyed the quiet.
My parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and my little cousin went to Kings Island for Winter Fest. Not only did we hop on some of our favorite rides, the whole park was decorated with lights for the holiday. It definitely got me in the Christmas spirit, and we took a family photo which perfectly describes us.
My friends visited. While in Athens this summer, my dear friend Melai, from Maryland, came to visit. Melai and I met while at a summer workshop at Ohio University the summer before my senior year of high school. We’ve stayed in contact all of this time, and it felt like we picked up right where we left off. It was awesome to spend the days by the pool and hear about her college experience.
My roommate from my freshman year became the best friend I had and is now more like a sister than a friend. She ended up transferring to another university, but we still talk every day. She came to visit over the summer, and again on my birthday. I’m so blessed that she’s willing to travel to see me and our friendship hasn’t changed at all.
I persisted. After an incredibly rough couple months, I was very discouraged toward the end of the semester. I didn’t think I would be able to finish the last couple weeks of school and nearly left the university. But, my grandpa reminded me that I’m not the type to give up, and I ended up sticking out the last few weeks. My grades ended up much better than I thought they would, much to my surprise.
These are some of the good things that happened this year. I was blessed with opportunities to grow and learn and practice and try again. I spent time with my family and friends that I will always remember and value. 2017 wasn’t my best year. I went through a rough patch and didn’t always do the best I could. But life is like that — things get worse before they get better, and I know brighter days are coming my way.