As 2018 comes to a close I can't help but reflect on what a whirlwind of a year it has been. There were many highs and lows, mountains and valleys, crys and laughs, but at the end I will forever be grateful for the things that 2018 has given me. Since entering college I have faced some of the most difficult challenges ever in my life before and I believe part of that comes from the simplistic factor of being on my own for the first time. I ventured outside of the comfort of the bubble surrounding me under my amazing parents roof and entered a world of the unknown. I no longer had my mom helping me with every task possible to make sure I was taken care of at all times. I felt for the first time I was truly on my own. I always thought of myself as a strong independent girl who would go to college and start living an amazing life never missing her parents because she was strong enough to take care of herself. Fast forward to the night before I moved into my freshmen dorm where I was sobbing in my mom's lap, begging her not to let me go. Yeah, quite the opposite of what I had envisioned for myself too. But taking the leap of going away to school was one of the most amazing decisions Ive ever made. It drove me to be more independent, learn how to problem-solve, learn how to open up to others, and most importantly how to find myself.

The first two years of college took a toll on me from time to time physically, emotionally, and mentally but I wouldn't trade that for the world. It made me into who I am today. 2018 was no exception. This past year has challenged me more than I ever thought possible. I consistently felt like I was never good enough for anyone. I felt like a constant disappointment no matter how hard I worked in school I hardly saw the results I had hoped for. My anxiety made me so physically sick it began to affect my academics which only made me stress even more. I let myself fall back into toxic habits because it gave me a strange sense of comfort since I couldn't control anything else going on in my life. This summer I had hit my breaking point and didn't know what else to do. I was faced with the possibility of having to transfer home for the sake of my own health and my education which scared the absolute, you know what, out of me. I was broken. Or so it seemed.

Thankfully, I was able to return back to my dream school with a whole new sense of determination to push myself further than I ever have to achieve the goals I had set for myself. I entered a whole new environment with a whole new outlook on life. Thanks to the amazing people I get to surround myself with everyday I finally believed in myself that this semester was going to be the best yet and all of my handwork was finally going to pay off. Seems like I was wrong again. I finished this semester and had to make one of the hardest decisions Ive had to in a long time. Ive spent the past 5 years of my life dedicating all I had to pursue a career that, in my head, was the only one out there. When I began to realize that his may not be realistic I panicked, and cried. I didn't know what else to do.

Then I realized, a career, a GPA, a standardized test doesn't define me. A number on a sheet of paper that I consider my best and acceptable may not be considered the same by someone else, but that doesn't mean that I don't have a purpose here. If there is one thing for sure, that is that I want nothing more in life than to devote my career to helping people in any way I can. I have learned that this is not only something I am good at, but something I am passionate about and no one can get in the way of that. So I put on my big girl panties and decided to take a leap and change my future career path. It was absolutely terrifying and I had no idea how to go about it, but thankfully I discovered a whole new realm of what it means to trust yourself and your abilities.

Its funny how God works sometimes, but He always ends up opening the right door for you to better understand his plan for you. As hard as it was to trust myself and Him, Im no longer scared of change. I don't fear the unknown because I know there is something else out there working in my favor and that is why I can do anything. So, cheers to the New Year and a new season of change. May this year be one of success, passion, and drive. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone, take the leap of faith you were always too scared to take, and watch yourself flourish. 2019, we're ready for you.