As my birthday nears I like to reflect on what I’ve done this year. The friends I’ve made, challenges I’ve overcome, and the adventures that led me to where I am today.
A lot happened this year. Junior year of college started, I went through my first formal recruitment, traveled, created new friendships and strengthened pre-existing ones, and above all I might have learned a little about myself along the way.
Junior year in high school is supposed to be the hardest year of them all. Looking into colleges, taking the ACT and SAT exams, and trying to fill your resume with extracurricular activities in order to make yourself stand out. Junior year in college however, it’s a different story. You’re able to take upper level classes, focus on your major requirements, and most of us turn 21. For me it was about finishing up my gen-eds, trying not to skip too many classes, and attempting to stay up past 10:00 (which I failed at).
The friends I made this year were a combination of people I already knew from high school and their friends, new members of my sorority, and classmates. My high school friends lived above me. The best thing that could have happened was having 4 awesome guys live above me that were inclusive, funny, and still talked to me even when I was in my pajamas. These guys became my best friends and will continue to be.
I had the opportunity to go across the pond to London with 2 of my closest friends to visit our pal who was studying abroad. This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. I can’t say that I’ll be back anytime soon, but I can say that it was a trip that I’ll remember forever. We saw the classic tourist things, but we also went to a brewery, a classic pub, and a club. We celebrated being with each other, experiencing new things together, and surviving Europe. We traveled by tube, train, taxi and bus. Walked in the wrong direction, saw the Queen, and ate peas and mash. Oh, and we got trapped in a strange town that had a population of 100 and only one taxi agency.
I lived with my best friend this past year and I’m happy to say we only fought once. The two of us became closer than before, we shared countless nights of eating take-out drunk, stealing paper towels from a party (it was necessary), and enjoyed the snow days watching Dr. Phil while eating Annie’s Mac & Cheese. I’m excited to see what stupid things we do this year.
I was #blessed to have met 2 individuals through my sorority. The first was my rush crush; a tom-boy that wasn’t afraid to tell you how she really felt. Waiting to see if she had selected our house was the most nerve wracking moment of the whole recruitment process. But when she came barreling towards me as I held a star that read her name, I felt like I had just won the lottery. I knew she would fit in and I knew that we would remain close long after the “new member honeymoon” phase had ended. The second person didn’t come into my life until a little later. She was a stranger to me. I had no idea if we would be close or if we would even be friends. I have embraced every second I get to spend with her. She doesn’t need me to be her role model or her therapist, she just needs me to be me. Calls, texts, FaceTime, I’ll always pick up when she calls and the other way around. I’m beyond excited to see what this year brings for me and my little, but I’m more excited to see how she will build a relationship with her future little one.
If you’ve stopped reading this because you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t really care about this girl’s life anymore” or “This seems superficial”, then byeeeee. It’s just starting to get good! I can say that I’ve learned a lot about myself since June 20th, 2015. I’ve learned that putting your 100% trust in a person you’ve known for a short while isn’t always the best idea. I realized that I put up a wall so that people won’t hurt me. And most importantly, I realized that once someone breaks my trust, it’s broken. I learned that repairing a broken friendship is hard and it takes time. People can get wrapped up in something and change, they might even forget about you along the way. I can accept that friendships are fragile and when they break there are a lot of pieces to pick up. It’s not up to one person to pick up all the pieces, each person has their own mess to clean up. When you’ve cleaned up your mess, but the other person’s mess still remains, that is a sign about the importance of your friendship. I learned to not take things so seriously, as dumb as YOLO sounds, it’s true. You only live once, so why stress over not getting invited to a party or seeing the boy you like kissing another girl. That’s dumb. At least I think it’s dumb.
To me being 21 means ultimate freedom and with that I plan to live my 21st year by saying ‘yes’ more. Yes, I will go out tonight– Yes, I will have that second piece of chocolate cake– Yes, I will stay up until midnight to watch the stars with you. While some think 21 is just another year, I think 21 is my year.