December 22, 2019

What a year.  2019 seemed so long yet so fleeting.  It's fascinating to think about where I was at the beginning of the year and the beginning of the decade.  I was still in elementary school then--mindblowing!

I wanted to wrap up this year in a creative way, and I was inspired by a few of my favorite bloggers to create a "year in photos" post.  I hope you enjoy this peek into my hectic (as always) year.

During the first month of 2019, I started taking walks on the weekends.  It doesn't sound like much, but at the time, I was struggling with homesickness and negative thoughts.  The simple act of being outside in the fresh air, watching the beautiful sunrise and sharing little moments of camaraderie with other walkers, really improved my attitude.

All that I can really remember about the past February is that it involved a lot of schoolwork.  It also involved a minor relationship issue (right in time for Valentines Day), but in retrospect, it wasn't worth the amount of energy that I devoted to it.  Live and learn, right?

Most of March was taken up by rushing for an honors fraternity that I qualified for.  Unfortunately, I'm no longer in that fraternity, but the rushing process was quite fun at times, so it's a good memory.  Above is the costume I wore for big-little reveal;  if you have no idea what I'm supposed to be, don't worry.  I can barely tell what I'm supposed to be.

One of my favorite memories from April was volunteering at the local humane society.  The dog pictured above was my favorite to interact with (if only dorms allowed pets).  The other highlight of April was finishing my first year of college in one piece, with a solid GPA!  I even (somewhat successfully) moved out of my dorm with my parents' help.

Returning home was absolutely lovely.  We also listed our house for sale in May, so quite a bit of work went into perfecting it before it went on the market.  Also, this process involved tons of house hunting.

June was one of the most hectic months of the year for me.  I turned 19, and we moved from our house into a temporary rental home (pictured above) to occupy while waiting for our new house to be ready.  Besides moving to college, this was the first major move I can remember taking part in, and it was challenging in many ways.  I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have a difficult time leaving my childhood home.  However, I also think that my family grew even closer during this trying time, and that made everything worth it.

The definite highlight of July was my trip to New York City with my aunt and uncle.  I still have dreams about seeing one of my favorite musicals on Broadway.  Have you ever loved a memory so much that you wanted to bottle it up to keep it perfect and whole?  That's how I feel about this.

After a crazy summer, I moved back to college in mid-August.  I moved into an off-campus apartment for the first time, and along with many other firsts came my new mantra:  "You may be as brave as you make believe you are."  I was quite scared to start back and face a new wave of changes, but everything worked out for the best.  I started working in a new lab with one of my professors, and I started new, interesting, and challenging courses.

This month involved more adjustment to a new lifestyle and living space.  As you can see, my dog roommates and I have gotten along pretty well.

I don't remember much about October, except that it involved an overwhelming amount of schoolwork and candy consumption.

I really started to feel the symptoms of burnout during this month.  Most of my free time was spent sleeping or doing absolutely nothing.  However, not everything was gloomy.  I took advantage of my PBS subscription to watch my favorite musical, and I got to spend Thanksgiving in Gainesville with my family.

Now I'm home again for the holidays after taking my exams and finishing out the semester.  This was definitely the hardest semester that I've had so far, due to lots of extracurricular commitments and a certain organic chemistry class that made me question my sanity.  Needless to say, I'm enjoying the break.

2019 undoubtedly has been one of the most challenging years of my life (bear in mind that I haven't lived for very long, though).  To be frank, I'm not that satisfied with the person I'm ending the year as, and I'm somewhat apprehensive about the challenges that 2020 will bring.

However, the past year definitely wasn't all negative, and with challenges come new lessons learned.  I hope and pray that I'll be able to focus less on setbacks and more on progress in 2020.

Wishing you the happiest new year!


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