A Year To Remember

A Year To Remember

A recap of my 2016 & fingers crossed for 2017
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I'm writing this at 11:42 p.m. on December 31st, 2016.

Not shockingly at all, but New Year's blindsided me, as did Christmas (which I rushed to throw together once the semester ended), as did Thanksgiving (which was pitifully celebrated by three people around a slightly pink turkey at 8:00 in the evening whilst I alternated between editing papers & mashing potatoes).

I'm not upset about this though because I've never been one for New Year's, as it is primarily a drinking/staying up late holiday (neither of which I am fond of). However, after reading a few lengthy Facebook posts of friends and being sucked into participating in the Instagram #bestnine2016, I started--inevitably--reflecting on my year.

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The highlights of my year (chronologically) were:

+ Starting writing for Odyssey--Happy one year to me (though I took a brief sabbatical in the summer to prepare for my thesis).

+ My one year anniversary of marriage and our honeymoon do-over (read all about it here).

+ Turning 21--though again not a huge drinker.

+ My six year anniversary with my now husband.

+ Becoming president of Brenau's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta & simultaneously seeing two of my best friends graduate/abdicate.

+ Helping publish The Elixir's 2015-16 edition.

+ Completing spring semester and my first year as a college mom.

+ Moving into our renovated apartment situation (read all about it here).

+ Becoming The Elixir's new editor in chief & creating our new website.

+ While I was on a wordpress kick, I also started my own blog.

+ Welcoming my daughter's first cousin into the world--on my husband's birthday no less (which just happens to be the same day as Harry Potter's & J.K. Rowling's).

+ I celebrated my daughter turning one year old...excuse me while I go cry in a corner...(check out her super awesome pineapple/flamingo party here).

+ I started my own Happiness Project modeled after the book by Grethen Rubin, which is a monthly set of goals/resolutions designed to improve--you guessed it!--my happiness (read all about it here).

+ I started my senior year of college.

+ I committed to going to Cambridge University for a 4 week summer semester (read all about it here).

+ I founded an online support group for mothers/students at Brenau (click here to check it out).

+ My blog welcomed its first guest writer: Becca Jean the Hiccup Queen.

+ I found out that the roundtable proposal on digital writing for Brenau & UNG's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta had been accepted to present at the national convention this coming March.

+ I edited & published a Southern Literature magazine (alongside my colleagues) and it was inducted into the rare books room at Brenau as the inaugural issue of Dr. Dobkins' collection.

+ I completed my first creative thesis (special circumstances have dictated that I do two) and received an A with an honorary plus. Look for the short stories on my blog!

+ I bought my matron of honor dress for my best friend's wedding.

+ I WON a scholarship from Sigma Tau Delta for $1,000 towards my Cambridge trip (read my scholarship essay here).

Of course there were some low-points, like my creative nonfiction paper for the Sigma Tau Delta convention being rejected (which incidentally is about my honeymoon do-over), but overall it was a great year.

Things I'm hoping for the new year are to get through another semester with As & Bs, see my blog get some more traffic, raise enough funds to go to Cambridge, celebrate two more anniversaries and three more family birthdays, successfully participate on the roundtable, publish a new edition of The Elixir, find an internship for my last semester, GRADUATE with a B.A. in English, and figure out what the hell I'm going to do after that.

Cover Image Credit: Fox 47 News

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 A.M. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest,

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old doom room is now filled with two freshman trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Begin Again: Ode To Dear Odyssey

A new future for us all.
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On a tumultuous path, I stumbled upon a new cave where the light and ray

of sunshine came upon me.

I never realized there was a new beginning, however the old one still lit fire.

In this parchment of grey skies, I found the peace to my own solidarity and strife.

As I begin and embark on a path that creates austerity and sincerity, I begin to unravel

the streams of unconsciousness.

Thus, we all shall write those rules of our happiness down in thin air and plaster it

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