My 2018 started off with some amazing people in the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland. I then headed back to Michigan State for the second semester of my freshman year. I was excited to be back with Bridget, Allexa, Andi and Lena, always laughing and dancing in 204 North Wonders. We planned a Spring Break trip to California without hesitation, little did they know it's not just blue water and famous people. We went to a hippie party, I made Bridget a dope shirt out of the tie dye tapestry my mom bought to spice up our room. Oops!
I got to serve at the Volunteers of America banquet at the Kellogg Center furthering my passion for helping children without stable living situations. I found out my favorite kids at the shelter finally own a house with their family and they're happy, safe and healthy. Allexa and I went on a Valentine's day sushi date. Mary Beth, Hope Ann and I discovered Dusty's breakfast, white table cloths and everything! I went to Colorado with my family, skiing in Keystone, hot springs and some of my favorite memories.
I flew back to school and by the end of the week it was Spring Break, time for California. We were greeted with gift bags made for each of us made by my wonderful mother. My roommates and I went wine tasting with my parents and my brother in law, Justin, being one of my favorite memories of 2018. We are all now wine connoisseurs and can show off our legs. In these short couple days, I was able to show my Michigan friends Marin Headlands overlooking the Golden Gate, the redwoods, Pacifica beaches, the Full House house, Pier 39 and Berkeley. We made a lot of avocado toast and drank more than enough wine. We then packed up the jeep with five girls and drove to Southern California. We experienced Malibu, Santa Monica pier and Hollywood, somehow we also ended up partying at a 40 million dollar home. That was pretty cool but being humble and kind is far more attractive, in my opinion. The next night everyone got invited to an over the top exclusive birthday party, I opted out in the hotel room due to being "tired". Reflecting made me realize I need to put my own happiness first and be true to myself, I can't let other people control me. The roommates and I headed back to East Lansing for the rest of our freshman year.
I continued my banquet server job, celebrated St. Patrick's Day with Mary Beth and fell asleep in her bed. Andi, Stefanie, Allexa, Mary Beth and I went to Grand Haven on Lake Michigan for the night and I fell in love with the place. I watched Keely on Wheel of Fortune with my neighbors. Zeta won songfest during Greek Week and I was only supposed to stay at the after party for 30 minutes. I found out I'm really good at keg stands (34 seconds), my parents weren't exactly proud but they said it could be worse! Allexa and I realized we only have 12 more days of being roommates and I cried.
I brought Mary Beth as my formal date like always, we had a good time. I went hammocking in Lansing with Allexa, Andi and Mary Beth during our last few days. I had a goodbye lunch with all the friends I made at MSU. We all played beach volleyball and suntanned together while studying for finals, it was probably only a whopping 65 degrees. Allexa left for home, I cried more. My dad and Uncle Steve came to East Lansing to help move me out, he took Mary Beth, Hope Ann and I to Dusty's for dinner. Then he bought us boxed wine and it spilt on my laptop, but not to worry it still works, a Christmas miracle! I found out I made the Dean's list for the first time. We played telestrations with all our closest friends and said our goodbyes to freshman year.
After school ended, I got to see my grandparents and cousin Racquel for a day which was always nice. I flew back to California with my dad and we went to the U2 concert with my mom and Keely. Keely had a summer party with all of our friends back at home. I got to be Laura's assistant for Markstein Sales Company, I loved it and learned a lot from many different aspects. My family visited the Waltz's and their almond & rice farm. I celebrated my 19th birthday and my sister asked me to be her maid of honor for her wedding :). This was really exciting and I was completely surprised.
I was able to travel to Hawaii with the Prosser family and stay in their house with 7 girls. I've never been to Hawaii and it was one of my favorite trips ever. We met a guy named Maui, (that's all we wanted) and I'll leave it at that. We got to snorkel with sea turtles, swim, tan and experience the island life. We hiked the steepest road in America without knowing and we all thought our lives were ending. Shoutout to Scotty P and Barb for the adventure! I flew back home, did a lot of golfing, dog sitting and babysitting. My parents, Gavan and Sven moved to Colorado and I chose to stay in California. I thought living in a five bedroom house by myself for the summer was a good idea, and didn't understand why my parents didn't agree. I quickly learned why it's not a good idea by having a difficult and lonely summer, but again it was my choice.
A lot of tears happened and then Mary Beth planned a trip to come to visit me, in many ways she saved me. We visited Capitola, Berkeley and Mount Diablo, then we flew to Colorado together. In Colorado, we hiked, danced in the kitchen, saw Zed's Dead at Red Rocks and overall had the best time together. I am blessed with such an amazing best friend who will always be there for me.
On 4th of July, I went to an awesome dinner with my parents and hiked with Sven and my mom. I flew back to California to finish working and babysitting Cashe and Ava. I had a goodbye to California dinners and finished up cleaning my empty house, moving to Colorado with my family. I saw Pretty Lights with Gavan and Ryder at Red Rocks. After a long summer of sadness and realizations of who truly matters, I said goodbye in Boulder and felt as if my world was ending. It was time to go back to East Lansing and start my sophomore year. My mom moved from first class to sit by me and support me, this helped. We went boating on Lake St. Clair with my grandma and friends. We went to see Aunt Carol and Uncle Eddie and Uncle Steve and Anne Marie. My parents and Royce helped me move into my sorority house and we had a tearful goodbye as always.
As nervous as I was moving into a sorority house with 50 girls, I quickly learned to love it. Surprisingly, I barely knew the cove, Hallie, Jaclyn, Audrey and Sabrina but along with Bridget we have all become inseparable. We learned how to formally recruit for fall rush consisting of many long days. Mary Beth and I went to Breakaway music festival and saw Odesza live, front row being one of my favorite memories ever. Truly a dream come true that will most likely never happen again.
Rush week came and I was exhausted from saying "Hi, Welcome to Zeta, I'm Serena, What's Your Name?" a million times over each day. In the end, I got to pref the most amazing girl, Alaina. Bid day came and we had fun dressing with a Grease theme meeting all the new zistas. Alaina chose Zeta and ended up being my little so my work was complete(;. I started going to Planet Fitness with the zistas, you know, where they accept anyone and everyone, no judgment! Irene learned to love me since I am mail pledge and soup pledge. Mary Beth, Hope and I went to Prime Music Festival. My sorority had our hayride, it was fun, we ate a lot of corn and drank a lot of fireball.
My mom and my godmother, Brenna, came to visit me at school, we had a lot of fun tailgating before the football game and out to dinner. I had a 5:30 AM shift at work and ended up serving the Deloitte interviews room, I talked myself up and got to meet Mark Ford. He emailed my dad about me, that was pretty cool. Bridget and I tailgated with her family, parent tailgates are always the best. I found a passion for event planning during my COM 490 course and took upon the role of Director of Event Operations. My friend Natasha tried setting me up with a tall German boy in Psi U for their hayride although I was reluctant, I said yes for the first time. I had no idea how this would go but being set up wasn't something I'd normally be comfortable with. I was extremely nervous, I couldn't even eat dinner and my friends had me drink wine before. He ended up coming to the sorority house door and of course all of my friends followed me downstairs to watch, it was like a movie scene. This was the first time meeting each other, hence being set up, and he opened the car door, huge brownie points. The night ended up going well, we got along way better than I expected and I had no idea where it would lead.
I went hunting at Uncle Steve's and got to see grandma and grandpa, she loved asking about the night with German boy. Back at school, I went to Harpers with my friends and hung out with Cedric for the second time, nervous per usual. Then went to Buffalo, New York with the Austin's to surprise my best friend since kindergarten, Sarah. I got to see her play D1 volleyball and Niagara Falls. Hallie girl and I made cookies with Marcia back at school. Mary Beth, Hope and I tailgated for the last football game.
We celebrated Halloween that weekend, Mary Beth and I walked home and counted how many houses we could walk into. On actual Halloween, Bridget and I went to Psi U, Cedric and I found each other. Bridget hurt her ankle, that's another story. I went hunting again at Uncle Steve's and saw grandma and grandpa. I brought Cedric on my formal in Lansing, realizing I really like him and also that I shouldn't ever wear 4 inch heels when drinking. Audrey and I had many car rides consisting of good music.
I flew to Colorado for Thanksgiving saw Denver, Morrison and hugged Sven & Calypso. I picked Julia up from DIA and we went to Boulder, we went to dinner with coco. We drank wine and did homework, a great combination. The next morning we woke up at 6:30 to see the sunrise over the flatirons and I dropped her off at class, I missed seeing Julz but I had to catch my flight back to school. I missed my Michigan flyer at the Detroit airport, the run was exhausting.
When I finally got back to school, I was happy to see Cedric again. I had an extremely packed week at school before my Event Leadership "Friday Night Lights Gala". With a lot of pressure, the event ended up going well I was thankful to have the support of my dad, grandma, Cedric and friends, missing my mom due to plane delays. My speech wasn't great, but it was my first time after all and I was more proud of myself than ever for pulling the event off.
The next day I went to formal in Canada with Cedric, we gambled and didn't even win back a penny. It was a lot of fun, especially figuring out the wifi password, knocking the art off the wall and confusing John Engler, MSU's interim president with Donald Trump, I had such harsh opinions for the Uber driver. Nonetheless, it was the perfect weekend that I will never forget.
The week back at school consisted of studying for finals and my first Wednesday at harper's half of that was a learning experience for every one of my friends. I will never buy tequila shots like that again or forget to use the actual bathroom. The most embarrassing memory (not literally) of my year by far. But my mom was there the next morning to give me advice and not get mad at me, Cedric wasn't mad either, more points for the sweetest boy.
Second semester ended with a "turd floor" secret santa at El Az, I learned to look at prices before I buy tacos and margaritas. This girl cannot afford $40 meals for her broke self. Mary Beth and I saw Zed's Dead at Masonic Temple finally for her birthday gift with Eric and Connor, the best rave people. We got french fries after, that's all we wanted. That night she proved to be the most selfless best friend I could ask for, only a couple people will know why. Audrey, Bridget and I did face masks together realizing there won't be three of us in our room anymore.
Bridget and I did not do well on our insects final, probably because we both despise insects. Although the semester was over and I was content, it was hard to say goodbye to my favorite people for three weeks, especially Ceddy boy. We had a great dinner at Dusty's just like my parents recommended and used to do. I flew to California for the first days of winter break and spent time with Brooke, Keely and Liv.
Living at Brooke's house is basically being with family and we missed each other more than we realized. It's important to keep the friendships close that are meaningful and simple, no expectations and judgement. Liv and I celebrated her birthday together and went to breakfast and shopping. And when at the Prosser's, I know something crazy will happen, this time involving a 10 lb. moscow mule with Keely the night before my flight… not a good idea. Keely will always be the life of the party and I love her for it. Keely dropping me off at BART with more of a "See you soon" instead of "Goodbye", made me realize I can always come back to my hometown best friends.
I made the Dean's list for fall semester. I started a new job with University Tees as a campus manager, taking a break from banquet serving, thank God. I flew to Colorado to spend the holidays with my family, I miss them more than I thought I would in college. We decided, meaning my dad, to go to the mountains in waist deep snow to cut down our Christmas tree. We were supposed to cut a small one, ended up being 32 feet tall, cut down to the perfect 20 feet to fit in our house. My dad has so much pride in this every year, not complaining it makes good memories. (I usually just take the video anyway, why would I complain!)
I learned how to play euchre and the entire rulebook to Uno, thanks Nick. We went to a Chinese restaurant on Christmas day, it was… different, probably won't make that a tradition. Chandler, Nick, Corinne and Justin all visited for a week, it was nice to have the family together. We went to Keystone where Chandler and Nick's wedding will be and did some planning. This made me excited and proud to be my sister's maid of honor. Corinne, Justin, Royce and I went to Decadence in Denver, it was a lot of fun to rave with them finally. I squeezed up to front row by myself, it was quite the experience. To end the year, my family went ice skating on Lake Evergreen, I taught my brother in law how to ice skate and pulled him around the lake. It was freezing cold, but the fireworks were awesome and it was a good time with family.
Overall, this year I have grown to be more confident and more my true self than ever. I have never been able to say that before and although it was a lot of realizations, I wouldn't change a thing. There is always more room for growth but I'm just proud of myself for all that I have overcome and learned from. If you read this far, you must really care about me, thank you. I have a feeling 2019 will be an amazing year.
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- My 2018 In Review, The Best Year Of My Life ›