The Life Changing Year
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Student Life

The Life Changing Year

A lot can happen in a year.

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The Life Changing Year
Kristen DePalma

Dear one-year younger me,

So much has happened in one year and it will be like that for the rest of our life without us really recognizing when it occurs. It has always been that way. Although giving the age we were, one year never seemed like a huge deal until recently.

One year ago, we were a couple weeks away from moving into college.

We were excited, nervous and feeling so many emotions we didn’t even know existed. One year ago, we were saying goodbye to friends that had seen us with our awkward hairstyles, knew all our unsettling phases and somehow still managed to be our friends in the end. One year ago, we were saying goodbye to the home we knew like the back of our hand, the trees that surrounded our property and the quirks of our hometown we never appreciated until now. One year ago, we were saying hello to new, wild experiences. Nothing could prepare us for the journey we were about to encounter, not even all of the stories our older siblings, friends or family members told us.

In the past year, we have been through so much. We dealt with the difficulties of a break up that never seemed to be solved (if your neighbor is playing loud sad music on repeat you should probably check on them!), we dealt with making new friends and learning that sometimes you need to meet the wrong people in order to find the right ones. We learned that not everyone will stay in our lives and that’s OK, what matters is the impact they leave us with.

This year we were forced to learn to survive on our own (it can get quite lonely when your roommate leaves every weekend), but also that it is OK to ask for help. We figured out that if we were feeling sad all we had to do was text a friend to bring food and they’d understand. This year was a struggle to find out alcohol does not solve all problems and it can be very dangerous, but with the right friends you can have a good time. Sometimes staying in and enjoying our favorite people's company is much better than adventuring out, whereas sometimes you need to do something a little crazy.

We learned that people will abuse us and our bodies and we have a right to stand up for ourselves. It is always OK to defend ourselves. This year we learned more about ourselves and life than our entire eighteen years before and for that we can say this has been the best year yet.

See one year ago we were eighteen, we were young and we were incredibly happy. And that’s the amazing thing about this past year because even though we have faced some of the most difficult speed bumps on the road of life, we have never been as happy as we are in this current moment. Nothing could have prepared us for the friendships we built, the content we feel in life or the happiness that stays with us each day.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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