As I sit in the car driving through Kansas and see nothing but vastness on either side of me, I can’t help but reflect on how completely full the past twelve months were.
January started a new semester, with a new major, and new classes all fueled in passion and commitment to being part of something greater.
Followed by February, where I ended up at a conference in DC focusing on food insecurity and sustainability in the United States. I ended up spending my 20th birthday lobbying on Capitol Hill and finding out that I adore being the forefront of an issue I’m passionate about.
In March school got hard for the first time ever, but was still so fun. I realized I was in a major I loved, even when it was difficult.
April was a month of fun (mostly), spending Easter in Panama City with my best friend AND my family before heading back to Walsh and studying for finals (and ending with my best semester GPA to date).
Then there was May, full of driving, working, schooling, and wedding prep. I got a job back home that I worked on the weekends, and spent my weekdays at Walsh with Sabrina studying plants and field botany. Ending the month by taking a trip to Norris with the bridal party (and family) to celebrate my sister’s bachelorette party.
June, oh June. Sis and Jobes tied the knot at the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been too, where I was able to dance the night away with not only my family but some of my closest friends. June also gave me two new kiddos to babysit and allowed me to get closer with the boys I watched the summer before. We spent each day a little bit differently from the pool, to the zoo, to having our own cupcake wars, to sky zone, June was busy, fun and super active.
Being at Silver Lake means it’s July and fireworks and Jeepin’ and even a little sand dune wedding. July also brought a week in Columbus with Sabrina, full of spending too much money on mediocre food, going to every farmers market in a 30 mile radius and defeating my fear of Ferris wheels.
With August came school but also came soccer. With everyone passing their beep test this season looked to be the best start yet.
September was when we realized we were good this year, like really good. And my friendships with Erin, Maddy and Nicole really began to grow (expanding Anna and I’s friend group past just each other).
Nashville with Mama (& the soccer team), starting my job at the YMCA, finding a church I LOVED and Halloween with Ann showed how busy October was.
November was making NCAA bid for the first time in school history and a little bit of recognition for how good we were and missing way too much school to play the sport we loved.
And December, watching my brother playing football at Hall of Fame arena, passing all my finals, Christmas. Now I’m twelve hours into a twenty hour road trip still looking at the same plains of dead grass in Kansas thinking about how full of life my year truly was.
Looking back it’s crazy to think that all of this happened in twelve months. It’s also crazy to think about how much it’s changed me, shaped me and made me grow up. I’m finally in a major I adore, I’m applying for Peace Corp in 6 months and entering the National Women’s Soccer League draft in 8 with full intentions to pursue my law degree in the years that follow.
I don’t know if having such an amazing, forming and experiential year is part “growing up” but I do know that being surrounded by the most amazing friends and an unbelievably supportive family while at a University that not only encourages but makes every dream you have achievable, is part of the reason.
I couldn’t be more grateful for what 2018 brought or excited for what 2019 will bring.