2016 Reflections

2016 forced me to do a lot of soul-searching. It was a challenging year for everyone, but it also made me grow up a little bit. The transition from teenager to adult was hard, things became darker and more complicated, instead of the usual simplicity that correlated with the teenage lifestyle. Because so many bad things happened this year it made it almost impossible to acknowledge the good.

My fall semester was the toughest trial I had to go to. While it was hard and I had a few emotional breakdowns and existential crises, it was a time for many firsts. I began to get to know my teachers and form a relationship to better myself, I actually managed my time efficiently between school, work, and down time, and I entered the application process to transfer, which was intimidating at first. In the middle of this semester, I wondered if all of this was worth it, my thoughts then validated when I saw my 4.0 GPA pop up on the computer screen. I finally made it to the end of the beginning, and my hard work is what made this possible.

For me, this year consisted of loss. I no longer consider some people as friends, I've burned some bridges, and I had to deal with the passing of my cat of 12 years. None of this was easy, in fact, I wondered if my life would ever get better. I sometimes joke that I peaked back in 2014, I had a lot of friends, my family life was pristine, and I was graduating high school. I truly believed that 2014 was my last year of happiness.

Fast forward to 2016, my 20th birthday was also my first day at summer school, my friend group has shrunk dramatically, and I barely keep in touch with my high school friends. I became so stressed that it began to affect my physical health. My social life was declining and I felt more alone than I ever have.

Yet around a month ago I finally asked myself, "So what?". I truly wanted to finally be honest and real with myself and decided "F**k it". That's when I wanted to find the true value of life: love, happiness, and success. These three things have different meanings depending on each person, but for me, I just wanted to be happy, a feeling that I haven't felt in years.

With all these tough times, I had to reflect on the moments that did bring me joy, even for a brief moment. The staff at my work has become my second family, I worked with CollegeFashionista -- my dream internship, my best friend and I are now closer than ever, and now I'm even up for a promotion.

I want to use 2017 for improvement. I want to be healthier, inside and out. I want to go outside more love more. This is going to be the year of changes; I'll be turning 21, going off to university and putting myself in an entirely different environment-- something I haven't done in my 20 years of life. But most important of all, I need to get off of social media, not entirely, but enough so that the negativity the comes with it doesn't brood on me. I'm not doing resolutions, the pressure gives me anxiety, these are simply lifestyles changes. I want to live gracefully.

What the changes you want to make? And what do love, happiness, and success mean for you?


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