2018 was such an amazing year. I think that it was definitely one of the most formative years of my life so far. The year started off a little rough, but as it persisted I learned some of the most valuable lessons not just about myself, but about other people. I learned just exactly what I am passionate about, and what I want to do after college. It was the year that I turned 21, it was the year that I began living with my boyfriend, and the year that another puppy joined my life. It is also the year that I found out that I am going to be expecting yet another niece or nephew in the year to come!

Lets first start off with what I learned about myself. I learned that I am an extremely creative person. I read more books this year than I ever have in my entire life. I learned that I am so in love with writing and literature. I have always loved reading and writing, but I really never dabbled in anything more than journal writing. This year I not only started writing for the Odyssey (and also becoming Editor-In-Chief!) but also writing for my school paper, The Daily Wildcat. I also competed in my first writing contest and declared my minor, creative writing. I figured out this year that I want to be submerged in everything that has to do with reading and writing. I know that after college, I definitely want to continue this passion and find a company that aligns with my love for writing.

As for what I've learned about people...well that is a bit more complicated. This was the year that I lost my best friend. For months I was so hurt and upset by it. But after time went on, I realized that it was not my fault at all. People come and go, and sometimes people who you think are going to be there for you forever, won't be. Sometimes people don't realize how valuable and amazing you are, but that's okay. That only means that they don't deserve you. I became so close to so many of my other friends and made a ton of new ones. So at the end of the day, the cheesy expression that, "everything happens for a reason" is actually quite valid. I've also learned that you have to put yourself out there in the world to become immersed in new experiences and new people in order to help yourself grow.

Another lesson I learned, was what it means to live with my boyfriend. It can definitely be a struggle, but I love him so much and it makes every single day such a fun experience. It has taught me so much about myself also. I've learned how bad I am at doing dishes, and how short-tempered I can be. This has allowed me to grow so much because I have someone pointing out when I am not doing my best so that I can try harder.

Overall, this year has been so amazing. Thank you to all of my family who has loved me unconditionally as always. Thank you to my friends who have shown me that they are true friends who are honestly with me through anything. 2018 had its ups and downs but I've realized that this type of year is actually the most important in terms of personal growth. Here we go 2019, I'm ready for ya!