18 Memories at 18

18 Things I Did At 18, In 2018

A year to be remembered.

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September 10th is my 19th birthday! One year ago, when I turned 18, I was told by many family and friends that it would be the best year of my life so far. I was determined to prove them right. I applied to my dream school, took solo trips and took advantage of the big opportunities that came my way. I met amazing new friends, overcame obstacles and stepped outside my comfort zone. 18 was a year of self growth and self love. In addition to enjoying all of the fun possibilities that came my way, I grew through what I went through. There was struggle and there was hurt, but every big leap I've made this year has pushed me to be the best version of myself I could be.

Here's a list of 18 wonderful things I accomplished when I was 18!

1. I was accepted into UW-Madison.

State Street, Memorial Union Terrace, The Capitol... can't go wrong

Chani Corpus

Madison feels like home to me, and I wouldn't have wanted to go anywhere else.

2. I turned my spare bedroom into a closet.

White walls, wood floors, lots of TJ Maxx and Target decor.

I'll be really honest, I have way too many clothes and they didn't fit in my bedroom closet. Luckily, we had a guest bedroom which was an ugly red color and needed to be redone. We picked out new paint and flooring, and then added some cute decorations and boom! Walk in closet.

3. I tried contacts . . . again.

The first week of wearing contacts was so uncomfortable.

The first time I tried contacts was in 5th grade and I hated them, but now they're my best friend.

4. I took a solo trip.

King Coffee Shop in Tempe, AZ

Chani Corpus

I had an extremely rough couple of winter months, and desperately needed some sun. I used my tax return money to book a flight to sunny Tempe, Arizona all by myself!

5. I took a trip to Spain & Italy.

Zaragoza, Spain

Chani Corpus

My Spanish club voted on taking our trip to Spain and Italy! We went to Madrid, Barcelona and Rome. My favorite part was the architecture, pizza and gelato!

6. I got a summer job.

There was definitely dancing involved during our sports games.

I was getting tired of cashiering at my local grocery store, so I found a job as a sports leader for the recreation department. It was a super fun way to work while still enjoying my summer. I got to be outside all morning and help kids have fun playing sports!

7. I became one of my high school's Valedictorians.

Along with my 2 super amazing co-valedictorians!

Chani Corpus

I worked hard throughout high school to keep up my 4.0, thinking of my school work as a second job. I was awarded an academic scholarship for being Valedictorian, which greatly helps out with UW-Madison's cost of tuition.

8. I got a MacBook.

I love my Mac.

My parents gave me a MacBook for my graduation gift, and I love it so much. The best part is that I'm able to download all the pictures from my phone so that I don't lose them forever!

9. I hit my savings goal.

"Better have my money!"

I worked in a grocery store since I turned 16, and every single paycheck went into my savings, left untouched. Seeing my savings go up and hit my goal by the end of summer made me feel so accomplished.

10. I said yes to a new opportunity.

Me when I have writer's block like . . .

Earlier this summer I was approached to write for Odyssey! I love writing but didn't want to major in Journalism, so this was the perfect way to do what I love with way less pressure and more fun!

11. I tried yoga.

I love the part where you just lay on your back and chill.

I found yoga really relaxing, but also a great way to get in cardio without going too hard.

12. I became a Packers' season ticket holder.

My first (preseason) game as a season ticket holder!

Chani Corpus

My dad originally was the owner of the season tickets, but when I turned 18 he put the tickets in my name. I was raised a Packers fan, and I feel blessed to be able to go to so many games! Go Pack Go!

13. I got a credit card.

*Tries to be responsible with credit card*

I shop so much at TJ Maxx so I might as well get rewards and build up my credit score, right?

14. I voted for the first time.

Make sure to vote, y'all!

I voted in the Wisconsin primaries this past August! It was really easy to register, and the whole room clapped for me after I voted!

15. I took a trip to New York City.

Central Park is my favorite place in NYC.

Chani Corpus

I took my second solo trip all the way to New York City! I've been to NYC a couple times with my mom, but I had such a fun time by myself. I felt completely safe as well.

16. I got a tattoo.

The sun will rise...

Chani Corpus

... and we will try again. I've been wanting to get this tattoo for over a year now, but I was waiting for a time when I am truly was happy with where I am in life, and that's now.

Other than the song lyrics, the sun rising each day means so much to me. Even after my darkest days, the sun still rises, and so do I. There have been so many mornings where I've felt broken, but then I see the sun out and I remember that that day is a new day, a fresh start, a reason to keep going.

17. I cut my hair short.

Did you really go to college if you didn't cut your hair the week before?

Chani Corpus

The last time I cut my hair short was two years ago and I cried because it was way too short. This time, it was the perfect length and I was ready to take on college with a new, cute look!

18. I moved in at UW-Madison.

GO BADGERS!

Chani Corpus

I'm so happy to call Madison home. I've met amazing people and can't wait to see where I go from here!

My 18th year has been full of amazing adeventures, and I couldn't have asked for better. Here's to another year of loving life!

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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