Now that 2017 has come to a close, I thought I’d do some reflecting. Last New Year’s Eve I was wearing a classy black dress, nervous as anything and meeting the family and friends of my boyfriend at the time. I welcomed the new year with open arms knowing what was ahead: Senior prom, graduation, summer adventures, and finally, college move in day. My life genuinely excited me because so many of the things I had looked forward to for years and years were finally happening.

In 2017, I turned 18. 18 is that weird age when you’re considered an adult but you can’t actually do much "adulting." I also chose a college and changed my major about three times (I’m the most indecisive person, I know).

In 2017, I learned a lot about relationships.

This is mostly due to the fact that I had my first real relationship and honestly, I got pretty lucky. Jordan asked my parents to date me, brought me my favorite roses all the time for no reason at all, took care of me when I was feeling under the weather, and was a best friend to me through it all.

Well, almost. We broke up in August just two weeks before I left for college. My heart has never felt so much hurt, confusion and anger. I couldn’t understand why someone I loved didn’t want to be with me just because my college was far away.

College is something I’ve dreamed of and looked forward to for years. The independence, meeting new people, and learning new things has always excited me. When it was finally happening, I felt like college was taking away a person I loved. My emotions were a mixture of excitement and sadness.

I packed my life up and moved down to Florida at the end of August and I quickly learned that first semester is harder than I thought it would be. I love my school and my friends, but being away from home was hard and some of the people I’d had by my side senior year were too busy to answer my texts and calls now. I loved my life at school, but some days I felt so lonely and far from the places and people I call home.

To sum it all up, I’d say 2017 was a year of learning.

As 2017 and my first semester of college are closing out, I can say I am still learning how to have a joyful heart even in the seasons that feel a little more lonely. Some days it’s kind of sad, especially during the holidays, or when all your best friends at school have boyfriends back home, but learning how to be alone is so important.

I’m learning how to find joy in Jesus and His promises for my life because I know that in every season God is truly blessing me like crazy! That doesn’t mean that I’ll always feel happy and content with my situation, but it means I can take joy in every blessing God has given me and look forward to the future He has for me.

I’m learning that if you give the hard times to God, He will bless you even in your most difficult seasons.

2017: A year of learning, moving to a new place and growing in my faith immensely.

Cheers to a new year full of love and laughter.