In honor of the beginning of a new year and the closing of my first semester in college, for this week's article, I decided to reflect on important events in my life, whether they affected just me or the people around me. Here are 9 important events in my life so far.

1. Being adopted

Even though I don't remember anything about being adopted, it has to be the most important event in my life because it's what led to who I am today. If I wasn't adopted, I might still be in Cambodia or maybe living in a different part of the United States.

2. Getting a dog

My dearly departed best (furry) friend Elwood has to be one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. Not only did he teach me how to be responsible for a living breathing being, but he also taught me unconditional love and affection. Coming home from school and seeing him fast asleep on my bed or running towards me with his tail wagging always made me smile. He was with me when I started kindergarten and he was with me in the beginning of my senior year of high school, and I can't thank him enough for that.

3. Getting a hamster

In a way, Peanut was my first pet. I was his primary caretaker and he taught me a lot about responsibility, especially since I was the only one caring for him. I got him in 5th grade and he passed away my freshman year of high school. During the funeral ceremony that we had in my backyard, my dad said, "this marks the end of your childhood." In the moment, I wasn't very appreciative of that but in retrospect my dad was right. I was starting high school and that meant that I wasn't really a kid anymore, I was a high schooler at the bottom of the food chain in school, but slowly making my way towards the endgame: college.

4. Playing ultimate frisbee

I joined ultimate frisbee in my sophomore year of high school and I've been playing ever since. I have to admit, for a while I feel out of love with the sport. Going to practice and trying to juggle my academics and extracurriculars felt more like a chore, as opposed to a fun after school activity that would help with stress relief. But as soon as I joined college, ultimate frisbee once again became one of the best things in my life as it led me to a community that I care deeply for, life-long friends and new appreciation and love for the sport.

5. Getting my license

Getting your license is an important part of every teen's life. For me, it meant more freedom and the ability to waste time while simultaneously making progress towards a destination that I didn't have yet. Driving also allowed me to de-stress. I would aimlessly drive around town and listen to music while eating McDonald's, sometimes with friends and sometimes without.

6. Finishing my gold award

My girl scout gold award has to be one of the most challenging things I've ever done. The project was centered around addressing issues that many girls might face in their teens and advising them on how to deal with them. Not only did this project teach me the meaning of hard work because I had to put in hours and hours of sweat and tears (especially tears) into completing it, but it also taught me to stick to things. I have a tendency to start projects and not finish them, but with this project, I was determined to finish it. If you're curious about it, here's the link.

7. Graduating high school

High school was an important time in my life. I got my first job, applied to college and survived the hell that is the ACTs, SATs, and PARCC. I went to prom and I went to two of our football state championship games. I discovered my love for journalism and computer science and I got meet some of my closest friends. I was also taught by some of the best teachers I've had the pleasure of knowing (shout out to Farabaugh, Maruschak, Della Fera, and Hynes). Graduating meant leaving the town that I love and know and writing the next few chapters of my life in the unfamiliar world of New Brunswick.

8. Renting a house

Renting a house has to be the most grown-up thing I've ever done and it gave me a little taste of what it will be like when I'm out of college and thrown into the real world. Not only did I have to carefully read all the leases that we were given, but I also had to figure out the financials of it and weigh the pros and cons of each house against my needs and my future housemates' needs. I can't wait to live in it next year and feel like a full-fledged adult.

9. Finishing my first semester of college

Honestly, it feels a little strange to think about the fact that I finished my first semester of college. It seems like just yesterday I got lost on the first day of my freshman year in high school trying to find my history class. Being here has taught me more than I learned in my first two years of high school and I can't wait to see what the spring semester has to offer.