Nearly 12 months ago, I had yet to graduate high school. I was still stuck going to school 5 days a week and I was still worried for graduation and what came after. Nearly 12 months ago, I was still pretending to hate things that I didn’t really hate for the amusement of people who considered themselves my friends and I was still pretending to love things that I didn’t really love for those friends.
Nearly 11 months ago, I was tired of always doing the same things and being stuck in the same routine over and over again. So I went to things I wouldn’t normally go to. I showed up early for things that I would have normally been late to just because it gave me more time to experience the places I was in. I tried new things and spent time with different people and just tried to enjoy the time I had left in high school.
Nearly 10 months ago, I learned that communication is key and while that might sound like a typical thing to say, it’s true. If you can’t communicate with your friends or peers or loved ones, a lot of simple tasks become a lot more complicated. Communication is hard sometimes, especially when you have to say things that aren’t positive, but knowing how to communicate will get you really far in life.
Nearly 9 months ago, I learned that you should never choose someone else over your friends. Your friends are there for you and they’re going to support you no matter what you do but you can only push them away so many times before they decide you aren’t worth investing energy into.
Nearly 8 months ago, I learned that endings are bittersweet. Good things come to an end and sometimes you can understand why it has to happen but sometimes the end makes a bigger impact on you than you would have expected. 8 months ago I also learned that you can have a good time even if… ESPECIALLY if, you are defying other people’s expectations of you and showing them the real you.
Nearly 7 months ago I experienced graduation. I didn’t cry when it happened but when it hit me, I did cry because I knew nothing would be the same as it always used to be. I also learned that sometimes your biggest supporters in times of change live miles away but that doesn’t make their support any less meaningful. Also, I learned that if you get an opportunity to see the world, you should take it. There is nothing better than realizing how different life is outside of what you encounter regularly.
Nearly 6 months ago I learned that change is scary but when you face it surrounded by people who relate to your feeling, it’s just a little less intimidating.
Nearly 5 months ago I attended a sort of huge congregation of freshmen at my university. We are all in an organization and basically this event was a mandatory way of getting us all together at the start of the semester.I was sort of anxious about attending because I didn’t know anyone. As an ice breaker, we played a game of rock, paper, scissors where basically, you would play your opponent and if they lost, they would join your “posse” until it came down to two players with huge followings. I was one of the final two. They had us get up onstage and ultimately, I lost. The point is, had I not experienced that huge push out of my comfort zone, I would not have enjoyed being in the organization half as much. Life starts outside of your comfort zone.
Nearly 4 months ago I learned that if you love someone, you let them go even if letting them go is really painful and difficult for you.
Nearly 3 months ago I turned 18. I’m not old but I’m another year older and wiser, I guess. Turning 18 was a pretty big deal to me because it stirred something in me. If my opinion could matter to my government, then my opinion could matter to anyone else. I spent the month sharing my opinions and feelings and content that I was proud of even if no one else was.
Nearly 2 months ago I learned that the phrase “unconditional love” means different things to different people.
Nearly 1 month ago I realized that people aren’t going to understand you. People will never truly understand why you’re so passionate about something but abhor something else. They’ll never be able to grasp why you feel so strongly about some things but couldn’t possibly care less about others. And that’s okay.
Though a lot of people will say that 2016 has been a bad year or a rough year, and I will admit a lot has happened globally that could be considered bad, the year was a learning experience for me. I feel that I’ve grown so much in this year and I can’t wait for what’s to come.