The year 2016 is definitely one to go down in the history books. Here are some things that affected me in positive and negative ways throughout this...interesting year.
10. I graduated from high school.
High school seemed endless especially when you start in the 7th grade because your school was so small there was no room for a middle school. Endless days of waking up at 5:30 every morning finally paid off when I was able to sleep in past that time in college.
9. I became an adult (at least legally.)
In the lovely and freezing month of February I had my 18th birthday and became a "certified adult." I was finally able to buy my own lottery tickets and pay taxes(yay?!)
8. I went to college.
In the end of August, I arrived at Washington and Jefferson college as a college freshman. Everything happened so fast since I was going from a highly regarded senior to a newby freshman once again in my life.
7. I made friends that changed my life.
I adore my best friends from high school, but they're not the ones I spend every day with anymore like in high school. I've made different kinds of new life experiences with the best friends I've made in college that I couldn't have back in high school. I have the best of both worlds. My best friends at home have helped me grow from childhood and my best friends in college have helped me figure out who I am as an adult in this crazy world. With our shared music tastes in The Doors, Lana Del Ray, and plenty of other alternative, rap and even country artists, plus our same political and social views, my college friends have only helped me prosper from where I left off with my hometown friends.
6. I discovered veggie food.
I never thought about being a vegetarian until I came to college. With the small amount of time I have to catch a meal, it wasn't hard for me to want to convert to someone who doesn't eat beef or pork. Thanks to my pescatarian friend, I found a whole range of amazing food that is also healthy and delicious.
5. I mourned... a lot.
To begin with, the horrific terrorist attacks that happened around the world were absolutely devastating to see on the news more than once. The hatred towards refugees and foreigners was enough to make any compassionate person feel guilty about the attitudes they've grown up to know of this nation. Next, the death of the beloved Harambe was a sad and tragic incident that just didn't need to happen. And finally, a reality TV star was elected to presidency A REALITY TV STAR with no political background who purposely ran for a party(Republican) that he switched to. He knew and ultimately proved that he could trick more people into voting for him that way while a good number of his actual views remain true to ideas of what a liberal believes should be done with the US economy. (Maybe this orange-tinted man isn't such a moron after all?
4. I was on my own for the first time.
Being someone with bad anxiety, I never thought I'd be able to make it by myself. In the first couple of months at college, I was able to adjust so well that I became used to being independent and that is truly an amazing feeling. I was finally okay to walk by myself to class and study sessions. I was so afraid to be without my parents at first, but now I'm pretty alright.
3. I now feel more comfortable in my own skin.
I no longer feel so anxiety and stress ridden as I did when I left high school. I no longer have moments of panic and I've become more accepting of situations I cannot change.
2. I found a greater appreciation for wildlife.
Spending so much time stuck in classroom made me yearn to just go outside in high school, but going outside only ever meant gym class. In college, I'm outside for a good amount of the day waking from building to building to my different classes. I'm happy to see plenty of little squirrel friends all around that are running around the campus. I'm able to sit outside if I want to just admire the nature around me and not worry about finishing running a mile before I need to go back inside.
1. My whole life changed in a matter of months.
From being the shy kid who was often mute in class to being a person able to answer a professor's question willingly on my own, I am beyond grateful due to all of the changes I was afraid to endure. I forced myself to deal with issues that I was used to running away from and I don't regret that. I grew not only in a mature sense, but my mental state reached a healthy level.
In conclusion, take risks, don't be afraid to leave home, make new friends, and know that you have the willpower to express whatever it is that you are vehement about in this life.