It’s become more and more apparent to me the effects of each year. When I was little the years used to just fly by. Of course, there were exciting parts about each such as the holidays, birthdays, graduations, etc., but as I have grown up I have started to notice more rewarding parts about each new year.

With every 365 days comes a new lesson. Looking back on this past year there have been many lessons I have learned whether the hard or easy way, but I am grateful for them all. I take my mistakes as opportunities to grow and my successes as humbling experiences to keep me motivated. All the ins and outs of this past year have made me a better human.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned this past year is that it is entirely okay to be on your own. I don't mean isolating yourself in a cold black room. I mean its okay to not be in a relationship, to not be surrounded by people 24/7, to not desire constant human attention. In fact, it can make you learn more about yourself and become a more independent individual. You will be able to survive if you are left alone for a few hours. You don't need a significant other to assure you that you are loved and worth something in this world. You don't need your friends to be constantly granting you social acceptance. You are enough.

I also learned that people change. The people around you, the people closest to you, and yourself. It is part of human nature to be constantly changing, to survive, and to adapt. All of which happens many times throughout a person’s life. You may have been into the Snooki poof in 8th grade but now you enjoy more tousled curls. You may have agreed with someone about politics before this election, but you no longer speak now. You may have outgrown people you used to place on a pedestal. No matter who or what changes around you, it is part of a greater plan and will be used to better you in a way unknown to you.

Speaking of plans, I’ve learned this past year that God has a much larger one than we may create for ourselves. It’s hard to trust that the trials and tribulations you experience are supposed to be a part of your journey, but with time you will learn that our lives aren’t ours. We live in accordance to a being who has a lot more in store for us than we could ever even dream of.

Thank you 2017 for schooling me in life. I can genuinely say you will be missed, but I am excited to see what 2018 has in store for me.