I Don't Think 2018 Was An Easy Year For Anyone But Here Are The 10 Things I Have Learned From This Year

I Don't Think 2018 Was An Easy Year For Anyone But Here Are The 10 Things I Have Learned From This Year

Even though it was a crazy year, I gained some good lessons out of it.

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2018 has been a hard year for a lot of people. We have had a very intense year for politics and things going on in the world, and everyone has been spending the year fighting back against the hate. It's by far the fastest year I have ever lived and it feels like it was January just yesterday. Even though it has been a rough year for me personally, I have learned a lot and have grown as an individual. So, as I enter a new year in my 20's, this is what I have learned in 2018.

1. Moving Into My First Apartment

Photo Credit: Mia Dusek

This year, I finally moved out of my parent's house and into a two bedroom apartment with 3 close friends. Moving is a lot of work and thinking about how many times I'll have to move in the future exhausts me. It's different going from not having to pay rent to paying 2 weeks worth of wages to live somewhere.

2. Living With Friends

Photo Credit: Mia Dusek

This is the first time in my whole life I've had to share a room with someone, and it's not that bad. I have to crack the code on this one and say to everyone who has told me that living with friends won't go well and can be really hard, you must have not had friends who are as good as mine. Yeah, we have our tiffs once in a while, but nothing intense. We're close homies that we can always be honest when something is bothering us, and always stay close through our late night chats and dance parties. Living with friends can be a piece of cake if you do it with good intentions and the right way.

3. Breaking Up With Someone In Person

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I've had my share of relationships so far and have only been broken up with twice. Every time I've broken up with someone it has been through text, mostly when I was in school and no one really wanted to do it in person. This year, I experienced doing it in person and it was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I'm glad I was actually courageous enough to do it.

4. Being Single For A Full Year (Almost)

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I've been a single lady since the middle of January, so I've almost reached the year mark of singleness. I like to date in the winter and be single during the summer, so this year has been a little hard not dating anyone (I've dated someone every winter for probably the past 5 years or more). This year the longest I've gone being single since I was in 6th grade and its been an interesting time. All I can say is that sometimes it's nice to not get too attached and just have nice flings.

5. Budgeting

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Now that I pay rent every month and have other consistent bills, I've had to tweak my budgeting recipe to make it fit my lifestyle. I try as hard as I can to save up for things like travel and not spend money on those things that I don't really need. It's hard to save money when you're trying to not starve at the same time.

6. Throwing A Rager 

Photo Credit: Mia Dusek

My roommates and I will never forget the Halloween Party of 2018, including the iconic fact that my roommate and I, Fanta Diallo, dressed up as Jughead and Betty from Riverdale. There were too many people in our tiny apartment, Jello all over our carpet, and a guy completely trashed in our bathroom clogging our sink with macaroni vomit chunks. Shoutout to good friends who'll help you clean up afterward and change your sheets when you throw up in your bed. I will never be throwing a big party like this ever again.

7. Confessing Feelings For Someone

Photo Credit: Mia Dusek

I don't think I've ever confessed feelings for someone knowing that they probably don't like me back, but this year I did and it was in person. I have reached a point in life where I have realized that it's much better to tell someone how you feel because if you don't, you're just wasting time. People deserve to know how you feel about them and you deserve to express your feelings! Nothing is worse than bottling it all up until it's too late.

8. Summer Is Amazing And Never Gets Enough Attention

Photo Credit: Mia Dusek

Last winter as well as this one has finally made me declare that summer is the best season. Don't get me wrong, I love certain things about every season and the beginning of each season. This winter is really hitting me hard, and has made me think about how I never do enough in the summer. So in 2019, be outside as much as you possibly can! Especially in those few hot months we get in Minnesota.

9. Coffee Gets Really Expensive

Photo Credit: Mia Dusek

I work at a coffee shop but always find myself going to Starbucks for my usual mochas. This really adds up and can damage your budget. In the new year, I'm going to do the best I can to brew my own coffee at home and limit myself to how much I buy coffee elsewhere.

10. Life Moves Way Too Fast

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Like I mentioned at the beginning, this is the fastest year I've ever lived and I know it will only go faster. Some people think it's corny to say things like "You only live once" and "Life is short" but I think we all need to do a better job at living in the moment and taking advantage of every day. This doesn't mean filling up your schedule so full that you burn out, but make sure you're filling your life with things that truly bring you happiness and make you feel full.

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17 Things I Wish I Knew At 17

Last year, best year.
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Seventeen. The year you begin senior year of high school. The year you begin to look at colleges and decide where you're going to spend the next four years of your life. The year you will probably have your heart broken at least once.

Your 17th year is huge. And, in hopes to help all of you 17-year-olds during your last year of high school, I've decided to share with you some insight into making this year the best year yet:

1. Every day of senior year should not be a fashion show

You've spent literally every other year of high school trying to impress your friends/the boys at your school. However, this is your last year. The fashion show is over. Forget the eyeliner every once in a while and know that wearing a T-shirt to school is actually the best thing ever.

2. The Lord is going to shut doors for a reason

... especially when it comes to college. You might not get into your dream school or you might not do so well on the SAT. Learn from it. He has a plan.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Had A Plan

3. This is your last year with your best friends as your best friends

It's the hard truth, but once you get to college, you're going to make a ton of new best friends. It's totally a good thing, trust me! But this is your last year doing life with your best friends -- make it count.

4. Eat as much as you want

Yeah, enjoy the pizza for lunch/soccer practice after school routine while it lasts. College is going to kick your metabolism's butt (and not in a pretty way).

5. Don't date unless you absolutely can't help it

You have no idea where you're going to school in the fall. You have no idea where your crush is going to go. And unless you're absolutely, 100 percent convinced y'all are going to get married, don't open up the possibility of dating during your senior year. Because I promise, a relationship with one of y'all in California and one of y'all in Tennessee is never going to be a walk in the park.

6. Show off on the basketball court

... or the soccer field, or the baseball diamond, or wherever your heart desires. It's your last year to prove yourself to your teammates, opponents, and coaches. Show off a little bit -- you deserve it.

7. Be intentional

Whether it's with your best girlfriends or the rising freshmen, be a presence in their school year. It makes coming home from college to them a whole lot sweeter.

8. Don't be a punk

Despite what you think, your parents and teachers are much more wiser and smarter than you are. Don't talk back, don't fight them, and don't disobey. It will make your year a whole lot smoother.

9. What you see in the mirror is beautiful

So often my senior year I found myself wishing I saw something else in the mirror, and it caused a lot of frustration and selfishness to occur during the school year. Don't let your appearance consume you; your heart is all that matters.

10. Have school spirit

You're going to be sitting in your dorm room on the night of your high school's first home game wishing you were there. Believe me, it's going to happen. Soak up the obnoxious football chants and dress up themes while you can -- you're going to miss it.

11. Love on your parents

They're going to miss you a whole lot when you leave for college, I promise. Despite whatever fighting and frustration takes place in your home, know that they love you and are low-key dreading you leaving for school. Love on them, stay home on a Friday night to watch a movie with them, and show them as much grace as you can. This is the last year they can make you soup when you're not feeling good and give you back scratches on the hard days -- don't forget it.

12. Drama needs to be done

This is literally your last year with your entire class all together. Do you really want to spend it bickering with or gossiping about these people? Do you really want to graduate with hate in your heart for any of them? Because I know it's not worth it. Be kind, be compassionate, and be understanding.

13. Don't slack in school

Contrary to popular belief, colleges indeed look at your senior year grades. Don't slack -- it's not worth losing a scholarship or college acceptance because you "forgot" to turn in your paper or "accidentally" plagiarized the whole thing.

14. Spend time with your siblings

I know the person I missed the most when I got to school was my little sister. After this year, you're done living in the same home with your siblings 365 days a year, and I promise you're going to miss it. Don't forget about them while you're too busy doing senior things.

15. Go on spring break with your friends

It may get crazy, it may be dramatic, and it may be expensive, but the highlight of my senior year was spending a week at the beach with my best friends. We made the best memories and laughed until we cried -- so do it.

16. Take lots of pictures

No matter how annoyed your friends get with you making every hangout a "photo sesh," you're going to be so thankful you documented all of your memories when you're looking back your freshman year of college.

17. This is your last year of being a kid

This is your last year of your mom making your dinner and doing your laundry. This is your last year of studying the morning of for a test. This is your last year of being dependent on other people. Soak it up. Let your parents baby you some, and let your need for help be evident. Freshman year is going to be so sweet but so different, so be present in the season you're in.

College is so, so wonderful, but so is senior year. Take it head on and be present. Don't straighten your hair every day, don't lie to your parents, and love on your friends and siblings even when they drive you crazy. I promise, this is going to be the best year yet.

Cover Image Credit: me

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I Grew Up As An Only Child And No, I Don't Wish I Had A Bunch Of Siblings

Because I didn't have siblings, my house became the gathering spot for me and my best friends. I always had a plus one. And that's how they became family.

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Being an only child almost always sparks an interesting conversation. Oftentimes people who are only children simply can't imagine having siblings and those with siblings can't imagine living in a pit of loneliness. What they don't know is that pit of loneliness isn't actually that lonely and involves a lot of quiet, self-exploration, and being the star of the family unit. Sounds like a party to me! I feel like whenever I tell people I'm an only child they give me a look of pity as if they are imagining me pacing a dark hallway during the Victorian era with a china doll as my only friend.

First of all, the hallway would have been very well lit because my mother is an interior decorator, but I digress. Whenever I tell people I'm an only child they automatically assume I am spoiled and think too highly of myself. I'm not saying they're totally wrong since I'm currently writing a self-indulgent article and expecting people to read it because they are sure to be intrigued by the fabulousness I've been radiating since day one.

Yes, my pink pastel childhood bedroom did house a canopy bed with faux roses strung about the top and a dollhouse my dad built for me (and installed electricity into). Yes, I had the super sweet 16 complete with a ballgown, tiara and matching pink Hummer Limo. But, I don't think being an only child made me spoiled. I got a lot of things but I never expected them. I worked hard in school even though there were no siblings to compete with. I think I am a pretty good sharer.

Now that I've introduced my only childless to you, I am going to tell you just how ~unique~ MY experience was. You're probably rolling your eyes, but I promise you might understand my life a little better after reading this (I am such an only child, why do I care if you understand my life?). I grew up in a one square mile town, walking school district, no stop light kinda deal. And I loved it. My friends became my family. They are still the family I choose today. I always had playmates because of the small size of my town. I especially needed them because I didn't have that childhood companionship with cousins either GASP

Yep, that's right folks. Not only was I an only child but I was also the only grandchild on both sides of my family. Which means I was also the only niece to all six of my aunts and uncles. I was always kind of bummed out that I didn't get that cousins-opening-presents-together-on-Christmas experience, but because of that, I am so close with my aunts, uncles, and grandparents, just like how not sharing my parents with siblings created my profound relationship with them.

As I got older, I realized I wouldn't be a real aunt until I got married. I am so close with my hometown friends that I am sure I will get to be a fake aunt to their kids, but it isn't the same as blood. I started to be curious about what my relationship would be like with my future younger cousins as every year ticked by without them.

As much as I dreamed about what it would be like when I finally had cousins, I never could have conceived of how much my relationships with them would shape me during my young adult years. When I was 14, my aunts who are twins were due one month apart and I went from having zero cousins to two in a blink of an eye. I couldn't contain my excitement. I felt all the feelings people tell you that you're supposed to feel, but even deeper. I didn't know how much I could instantly love someone or how overwhelmed with selflessness I could be. I didn't know how many things that I'd loved and experienced until I thought about sharing all those things with my Aedan and Daisy.

Three years later when I was 17, our family was blessed with another little girl, the sister to Daisy, Miss Lily. Since I am so much older than them, I feel like more of an aunt or mentor. They inspire me to give them something to look up to. It has been the most beautiful experience for me.

I think who you surround yourself with has a great influence on who you become. For me, I surround myself with my family and friends who are like family. As an aspiring writer, I am crafting an identity and I just don't see how I can express that if I don't give you a little taste of where I came from and the people who make me, me. They've taught me how to love and be loved so well. They're still teaching me things every single day.

When I think of all the people closest to me in my head, I picture every one of their faces meshing into a completed puzzle in my heart. That's really cheesy but I'm being real right now. And I guess my final point is this: I'm an only child but my heart holds a whole lot more than just me.

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