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Eighteen Reflections

This time next week, I'll be 19. Which, I must say, is incredibly shocking to both my peers and myself because I'm at the maturity level of a 9 year old. And I'm proud of it.

Of all the years in my young life, eighteen has been the most meaningful, the most memorable, and the most life-changing. A year ago from today, I was in a completely different place. 17 year old me and 18 year old me are two completely different people. They could be two strangers who just happened to look similar. And I'm not saying that change is a bad thing at all- I never tried to consciously change anything about myself. But it just so happened that I've grown and I've learned.

So here are eighteen things that have happened to me this year or that I have realized are interesting things of note worth mentioning about this past year of adventures:

  1. The biggest and best event of the year: College. Yes, leaving home and my friends and my family and everything familiar was by far one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, and coming to this new place where I didn't know a single soul was terrifying, but these months have also been so rewarding and amazing and I couldn't be more thankful that I am here.
  2. My personal preferences in some areas have changed. Personal style-wise, I am more into looser-fitting, simpler pieces (except skinny jeans. I need skinny jeans.). Music-wise, I am into mellower, nostalgia-inducing music (think Jack Johnson, Fun., Adele, Gotye, etc). Jennifer Lawrence has entered my TOP celebrity list (very difficult to get in, it must be an honor for her after her Oscar nomination and worldwide fame, I know).
  3. I am capable of being independent. Laundry, living alone, facing flight cancellations and re-routing and losing of luggage, changing printer ink, making Target runs-- those don't scare me anymore! Taking out the trash is a different story.
  4. I still need my parents and my sister. For hugs, for support, to fill out daunting forms.
  5. I have traveled a ton this year. Maybe not as extensively as my sister, but I did make my way to various parts of China, to New York, and other parts of the US. Also of note - I have traveled a ton by myself a lot this year. 
  6. I've faced a lot of trials and tribulations this year, as well. I didn't work hard enough at times, I procrastinated like a mad man, have not been motivated in a long time, and certainly made a lot of mistakes.
  7. But I've also realized that I'm more positive than I think, I have a lot of willpower, I'm persistent, and underestimate myself.
  8. I was up for a lot of spontaneous activities!
  9. Friends-wise, I've met people here at college who I know will stay in my life forever. It's a type of familial bond that is different from any friendship I've ever had before. We've laughed and cried together, but we also understand the little things about each other that you can only find out through living together. I've also learned to let go a lot of my past. I've kept in touch with the people that I want to keep in touch with and they have put in just as much effort. As for everyone else, it's enough knowing that we are both in good places now and have shared great memories and can always get back together and feel like no time has passed, but it's also okay not to talk for months at a time.
  10. I'm messy. REALLY messy.
  11. I've been taking better care of myself. From spending more money on things that matter and less on frivolous things, to eating (slightly) healthier and working out (relatively) more consistently, to occasionally treating myself (having other people treat me to) spas and mani/pedi's, to just being outdoors more and appreciating nature and the beauty of the world around us...
  12. I've started to pay attention/understand sports more. Football- went to more games here in one season than I did in all four years of high school (sad b/c I'm from Texas... Football country). Softball- because my roommate is a kick-ass varsity player. Other, random sports - because my friends here play all different kinds of sports and it's so fun to go support them and learn about these activities that they are so passionate about!
  13. I graduated high school. This should be farther up, but I forgot. Though cliche, the whole putting on the cap and gown and walking across the stage and throwing the caps up in the air thing was very, very profound. Having my best friend giving the valedictorian speech, spending the night at Project Grad, those whole two weeks I got with my friends before I left for China and the non-stop action gave me some of the best memories of my life.
  14. I've spent less time doing some of the things I love most - photography and reading and writing. Should get back on that track.
  15. I've tried new things and liked them. From Orangina to sashimi to bikes, to other more unmentionable little things - though these are little, they've been pretty life-changing.
  16. I've become a makeup fiend.
  17. I have a better understanding of what I want to do after college- it's by no means definite or set, but I've at least narrowed it down to a general direction. Or two.
  18. I am happy with who I am, where I am, what I'm doing, and who I'm with. And for now, that's all that matters.
Can't wait to see what 19 brings me!

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xx Caroline