5 Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2018

5 Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2018

2018 has a lot in store for me!
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2017 was a rough year for many people. It didn't particularly hold anything exciting for me outside of finally finding a wedding venue and setting a date. However, 2018 is a year with many new amazing and exciting opportunities and events taking place in my life. The following is a simple list and explanation of what I am looking forward to in the New Year.

1. My Wedding and All The Planning

Of course, I am most excited about my wedding.My fiance and I first met back in 2015. We met for our first official date in Freeport, Maine, a small town known for being the home of L.L. Bean and for being a major tourist attraction in our state. However, our first date was April 2 and it was still cold. Many of the stores in the town closed early(5pm!) and we left wandering the streets. In 2016, on my birthday I might add, we became engaged. And finally in June of 2018 I will get to marry my best friend. I can't wait to walk down the aisle and say my "I do" to the love of my life.

2. A New Apartment

The apartment I'm in currently isn't terrible per say, but rather too expensive for how small it is. Tucked right on Us Route 1 at times trying to get anywhere can be an annoying task. Especially during rush hour, the summer, any Holiday weekend and bad weather. With a new apartment gives us an opportunity to express ourselves as we currently cannot put anything up on our walls. We'd like a two bedroom so we have some space for a game room. Mostly because I'd like to watch tv when he plays video games sometimes :')

3. Our Honeymoon

While we don't have anything 100% set in stone, it is my hopes that our honeymoon will land us in Florida. I have never been and would love to experience the area. My heart is set on getting to both Universal Studios and Seaworld. At first, I thought about Disney, but decided I would rather wait until we have children one day so it can be an amazing family experience. I am thankful for family who has offered us their timeshare(once again...) to be able to go to a resort, spend some time on the beach and just some time with my new husband.

4. A New Job

Yes, I am thankful that I currently have a job that has allowed me to do an internship and to attend school with little to no arguing or annoyance. However, this same job is also a job that is continuously causing me to lose hours and thus lose money. My time at my internship has really created so many new and amazing experiences for me. I've learned how to deal with the state when it comes to child support money, Mainecare, and food stamps. I've gotten my lifelong LOCUS rater number to be able to determine what level of care is needed for a client. I have met some of the most intelligent and friendly people in the mental health field. While it is not set in stone that I will be getting a job at Catholic Charities after my internship, I have received encouragement from my supervisor, many of my co-workers and even the Chief Clinical Officer of the company.

5. Finishing My Second Year Of Graduate School

Going on the part- time track was a way to save myself some money. However, I do really wish my second year was my final year. Being in school, having an internship, trying to work and trying to plan a wedding has been a major headache all along. It will be nice to have a couple months off where I just have to work. It'll be nice to not be stuck on campus until 7 at night twice a week. It will be nice not to have to worry that I'll look at my bank account and not be able to pay for rent or gas or bills. I am fortunate to be in graduate school, but it's expensive and it takes a lot of energy.

Cover Image Credit: The Depanneur

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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3 Tips For Saying Goodbye For The Summer

When a few months feels like forever...

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Summertime is wonderful! You get time out of school, you can do all these fun things you've been wanting to do, and you get to spend time with your friends. Sometimes, however, your friends have to go off for the summer. Whether they're visiting family, going on vacation for a while, or even just working all the time and not able to see you, it can be hard knowing that your friend isn't gonna be around during what's supposed to be the best time of the year. You know it's temporary, but it still stinks!

Well, I've had to do this a couple of times, so I know a thing or two about dealing with your friend being gone for the summer. I hope that these tips will help your friend feel a little bit closer and the wait seem a little bit shorter:

1. Set up a scheduled system of communication.

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Call, text, email, snail mail, etc. You guys chose the easiest method of communication, and you stick to it. Knowing exactly when to expect a phone call means a lot when you miss someone. It may be difficult finding time that works for both people, but even a scheduled call one time a week is better than not even knowing when you're gonna hear from someone. You can even have a unique way to communicate. Do you like games? You can do multiplayer games online and spend time together that way. Are you old fashioned and like writing letter? Send them a letter to let them know how you are. We live in a world with so many methods of communication, so find which one helps you stay in touch.

2. Stay busy.

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I have spent my fair share mopeing around, waiting for someone to call and hoping that they'd be back soon. That is the worst way to spend your time! Instead of wasting you summer waiting by the phone, go out and do something. Spend time with other friends, go to the beach, do anything you want! Don't waste your summer trying to make time go faster; it doesn't work. Do things that'll help get your mind off of your friend being gone. It'll get easier as time goes along, so make use of the time you have.

3. Don't hold it in.

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Having your friend go off can be tough, especially if it's a person you're very close with. It's okay! You aren't being silly if you feel sad. Some people may even feel hurt, like they're being left behind. That's okay too! What isn't okay is bottling it up and not talking to someone about it. What isn't okay is taking that fear and frustration out on other people, especially the friend that's gone. Talk to someone about it. Write some journal entries about how you're feeling. Don't sit around feeling sad and lonely and left behind. Get out of your own head and realize that everything will be okay. They didn't leave you behind, you're not gonna be sad forever, and everything will be okay.

Well, I hope you have a good summer! Yeah, that person has left, but they'll be back soon. Just live your summer day by day, and they'll be back before you know it!

Good luck!

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