It’ll never be the same.

It still hurts like the day that I got the news. It still hurts like hell. I wake up some days and it doesn't feel real. Even after this past year, it doesn't feel like you were taken from us. It still feels like I could call you or text you and tell you about my day or ask you how classes are going. I wonder what you would have gone to college for if you were still alive. I wonder where you would be now.

A lot changes in a year.

I’m no longer in high school. I’m no longer pre-law, I’m actually pre-med. I was training to be a Young Life leader. I only talk to a couple of my friends from high school; I have a new group of friends. I have a better appreciation for life because it can be taken from us at any moment, whether if you’re seventeen or eighty-two.

You had an impact on me and on a lot of other people. From my classes to study groups to Young Life, I have come across a lot of new people who had been impacted by you, who met you, who knew you, who went to movies with you. I come across new people quite often, which is astounding. I go to a university with roughly thirty-thousand people and still, I manage to meet more people whose loves were changed when they met you.

I wish you were still here so that I could call you or text you or meet up for lunch with you. I wish I could tell you about the people I’ve met and how they talk about you. I wish I could call you and catch up about college or Young Life. I wish I could make plans with you. The night before it happened, we were telling each other how we would make plans the next week to go eat or something. Isn’t it crazy how something could change that fast?

It’s hard to lose someone.

I know from personal experience. It sucks for a while, waking up and being hit by the brick of reality that your friend is gone. It hurts like hell. You’ll get used to it. You’ll slowly settle into a new routine without them. They will cross your mind, sometimes more than others. But you have to move past it; you have to become stronger for it.

Appreciate the people you love while you have the time. You must tell your parents and siblings that you love them. Thank them for everything that they do for you.

Live every day like it’s your last. As cliché as it sounds, you need to live today like you will die tomorrow. Take chances. Meet new people. Tell everyone how much you love them. Do good deeds. Pay for an elderly couple's meal. Volunteer at the humane society or your local hospital. Make a difference.