I've written about reflecting on your past year before. I always believe in self-growth and striving for making each year a better one. I firmly believe this. It's mind-boggling to me to think about where I was this time last year. At this moment, I was preparing to start my second semester of college. I had a meeting with a study abroad advisor looking into my future. I had a job that was still new to me, and I was comfortable. I knew I was at a standstill place waiting for things to happen for me.

The beginning of 2017 was really tough for me. It was the toughest semester in a long time. I got through it. I ended that semester with a legendary road trip with some of the best people in my life. Those memories will stay with me for the rest of my life. I cannot thank those people enough for the immense amount of love they have brought me.

I gained a few best friends. They are the ones I have been waiting for for a long time. They are worth the wait. I thought I'd never find people who instantly got me, and I finally did. There is nothing more magical than seeing how far a friendship can grow.

I told myself 2017 was the year of "I can do this."

I did.

I will continue to do so with my same confidence in each step I take. This year, I am beginning to take strides in self-care and experiencing the world. I am about to move to a different country and leave everything I know behind. Leaving has given me a whole new perspective on the people I have chosen to surround myself with.

These people are the ones I made the choice to keep around. Being out of high school was the best thing to ever happen to me. I was able to make my own expectations and get rid of the negative friendships holding me back. I learned my work ethic and who I was as a person.

2017 may have been a bad year politically, but it was the best year of my life. I thank my lucky stars and myself each night for making it possible. I am incredibly optimistic and excited for this year. There is so much more to come.