Considering that the 2018 fall semester is ending on Thursday, I have decided to put my last 16 weeks at a glance, reflect and think about everything I have done in the last four months – because, trust me, I have done a lot.
What did I do this summer and fall semester? I'll give you a list:
- traveled to six states and seven cities
- saw my favorite artist (and best friend) in concert seven times
- met my favorite artist
- met my best friend
- had eight girls sleep in my apartment at once
- almost maxed out a credit card (not very proud of that)
- managed to not fail Spanish (good thoughts only, my final is this week)
- took three writing classes all at once
- got high grades (A's) in all three classes
- built friendships
- cut toxicity out of my life
- took care of my mental health
- had many sleepless nights
- admitted that I needed help
- became the happiest I have ever been
Would I have ever expected all of that to happen? Honestly, no.
September 20, 2018, will forever be the very best day of my life. After eight long years, I got to meet my very best friend in the whole world, hug him and thank him for everything he has ever done for me. Getting to give him a bracelet I have been waiting to gift to him for months and months, having him remember me and our "best friend anthem". Having that memory, that experience, that picture has made every heartache and painful day so much more worth it.
Going through the Fall Semester, I have made a lot of wonderful friends, but I have lost a lot, too. Cutting toxic people out of my life has never been the easiest of tasks, especially when my mental health is not in the best shape. But, by finally taking control of my life and the people that I surround myself with, I have become so much happier and healthier. I don't feel drained and overwhelmed with stress when I have to speak to someone. I am finally comfortable with everyone that I am with and that is part of my life – and that is the most important thing that I have learned about leaving toxicity behind me; you become so much more comfortable and secure – which is something that becomes very bothersome to me when I'm in a bout of stress and panic.
Writing classes are not easy. Writing classes are not any easier when you're taking three of them. By far, not my best decision, and I am truly very grateful that I did very well, and I have been able to learn and grow from the experience, but I definitely do not recommend doing that to your schedule.
Overall, I am so much happier this semester. I have learned so much and I have grown so much as a person that it shocks me. I was thinking about this the other day, which is why this article seems so much easier to write than any other self-reflection I have ever had to do. When I started writing for Odyssey in April, everything that I wrote I questioned. I was worried about if people would enjoy reading, or if I would be embarrassed to express a vulnerable piece of me. But now, I am so much more confident in everything that I do. I'm a writer – a good one if I do say so myself. I'm kicking a-s-s in my lectures and my grades. I'm living my very best life. I'm doing everything that I have wanted to and more, and I have become the best version of myself possible.
But, I haven't done this alone. I've had help along the way.
It's OK to ask for help. It is okay to have friends and family walk beside you and guide you when you're finding yourself off the path you're needing to take.
One thing that I always remember, that I live the most by, that has changed my life and the way I live this semester is a quote from my favorite author. Jennifer Niven, author of All The Bright Places, writes, "Sorry wastes time. You have to live your life like you'll never be sorry. It's easier just to do the right things from the start so there's nothing to apologize for."
Starting today, from reading this letter on, I hope you live your life like you'll never be sorry. Be unapologetic and fearless.
Life is so much easier that way.