Even though I write here every week, I feel like I’m only ever giving you the smallest bit of information about my life. I’ve been blogging since October. The year was winding down, but much more was still in store for me in the last three months. 2013 was most definitely not the best year of my life; in fact, I would go so far as saying it was a highly unfavorable one for me. Regardless, there was still a lot of good in the year. Here’s a look at my year……
The beginning of 2013 wasn’t particularly eventful. I trucked along in my sophomore year as a first time resident assistant, learning to be both a better student and resident assistant. I finished the semester with another notification that I had made the LAS Dean’s List, making me one happy kid! I also won two awards at the Campus Housing Banquet- NRHH’s Commitment to Recognition Award (an award given to the NRHH chapter member who is most dedicated to the recognition pillar of NRHH) and Rookie of the Year (an award given to a first-year RA who has excelled.) I finished up my first year as an RA with a pocket full of tricks and lessons learned, ready to take on the challenge the coming semester. During finals week, a lifelong best friend of mine passed away. This was the absolute hardest point of my life, and I had an impossible time imagining life going on without her. Since her passing I think of her constantly, and so much reminds me of her. Because of this, I have thought so much about life in general and the purpose and significance of those given to us. Her passing is a huge part of the reason why I don’t look back on 2013 very fondly.
Much of summer 2013 was spent reminiscing about days past and visualizing my friend everywhere I looked back home. It was a quiet, often solemn summer. Luckily, I landed an incredible internship that took my mind elsewhere during the week. The internship was so fulfilling, and I loved every minute of it. I was finally able to realize that my career path is the right choice for me-such a great feeling. We spent the day at a White Sox game- a passion we share.My boyfriend and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary in first few weeks of break. In the beginning of the summer, I discovered a baby turtle in my backyard. It was far too small to take care of itself, so I spent the summer raising the hatchling. This was something I’ll never forget. It reminded me of the small miracles all around me in life. When it was time to go back to school, I passed the rapidly growing turtle on to the Chicago Herpetological Society. They plan to find the turtle a good home. A huge part of summer was watching the Blackhawks on the road to the Stanley Cup. My house is certainly a Hawks household, so we had a great time watching the games and attending the parade together. I finally got around to entering the world of Stephen King novels (I don’t know what I’ve been doing with my life…) This gave me some amazing reading material for the summer. My reading has been nearly stalled due to school since…. The end of summer brought about another terrible death. My boyfriend lost his grandma just days before his birthday. Having dated him since 2007, I had grown to become another of her grandchildren. Her passing was so difficult for me. She was the absolute sweetest and happiest person I have ever met.She was an absolute inspiration, constantly serving as a reminder of how to live life, even at 89 years old.
This fall and winter didn’t get any easier. I started my junior year, ignorantly welcoming my hardest semester yet. It was a total struggle for me to keep up with academics, my extra-curriculars, and my job, but I knew if I could get through Fall 2013, I could do just about anything. During this time, I survived my first (and it better be my last!) 8am class at UIC. This never got any easier for me as the semester went on. I attended and presented at a leadership conference-the most stressful thing I have ever done. I have successfully figured out my minors and am excelling at them. I finally entered the 21st century with a smartphone and am even almost understanding how to use it! I turned 21 years old in October and have been enjoying the perks ever since. I began blogging for IAMUIC, something I’ve wanted to do since I discovered the site my freshman year. This has been so wonderful, and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity. The following month, my boyfriend took me to see Paramore- one of the best experiences of my life. I got to see Wicked for a 3rd time. No words can accurately describe how happy this makes me. I cut 12 inches of hair off of my head over the course of the past 4 months and am never looking back. My whole world- my 11 year old dog- passed away over Thanksgiving break. I grew up with her and still feel lost without her by my side. Being at home for break has been so difficult, but I get signs that she is with us here all the time. I had the same surgery I have already had done again over winter break, and I am confident that this time will be different. My sister and mom took me along on their tradition of seeing Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert- an amazing way to close out 2013. Such an incredible experience!
Overall, I am grateful for the blessings I have been given during 2013, and I am ever-mindful of the losses I and my loved ones have endured. 2014 is sure to bring about even more changes, and I am eager to share them with you along the way.