Just this week, my life turned upside down: I found out that I'm graduating in December of 2019 instead of with the rest of my friends in May 2021. I also got a second interview for a summer job, applied for a spring internship, and talked to someone about a career position for post-graduation. And more seriously, I talked to my boyfriend about our plans once I graduate and I lost a very dear father figure, which resulted in me attending my first funeral.

Growing up is hard.

But the older I get, and the more of life I experience, whether good or bad, I remind myself of a few things.

First and foremost, I remind myself that since the age of 15, I never saw myself graduating from college. Or even high school, for that matter. I didn't see a future for myself at all. So now every time I get stressed about whatever is on my plate, or I wish an uncomfortable or inconvenient moment away, I try to remind myself that I don't have infinite moments to wish away. I do my best to be patient, kind, and understanding to those around me.

I also try my best to let the people in my life know how much I appreciate them. If I end up landing the summer job I'm interviewing for, the last time I will really live at home is this winter break and about two weeks over the summer. I hope my parents know how much I love and appreciate them for raising me, caring for me, and loving me. They impacted my journey greatly and I am so thankful for them. I hope that my little sister knows that, no matter where I live, my door is always open for her and that I have endless love and support to give her. I am so thankful for my childhood but I'm slowly and surely realizing that it's time to move on.

I have met the most wonderful people in college, and sometimes I find myself devastated at the fact that I only get to be with them for two years and they get to be together for four. But as sad as it makes me, I know that the friends I've made are lifelong ones. I know that no matter where we end up, we will still love and make time for each other. I know that my boyfriend is a great man and that we are going to try our best to stick it out.

Between all of these things that I know lingers a lot of uncertainty. There are so many things that could change between today and tomorrow, between 2018 and 2038. And I try not to let those uncertainties get the best of me - I give my best efforts to everything I try and to everyone in my life. Nothing is set in stone in this life, but there are so many opportunities to find out what life holds for you and who is out there and willing to love and support you. Just because the future is uncertain doesn't mean you should never leave your comfort zone. You'll never know if you don't try.