This year was full of many adventures, including firsts and lasts. As 2017 comes to a close I am reflecting on this year and how I have finished high school and started a new chapter of my life. I have had a lot of time to learn and grow because I was forced to be independent in order to reach my goals.

The first three months of this year were very low-key before the excitement of the end of high school came. In April I made a trip to Myrtle Beach to spend a few days with my aunt. This trip was a part of me becoming more independent and preparing for life on my own. I had a 12-hour car ride their and back that tested not only my driving skills but my patience. I had hours and hours to think about life. I thought about the warm weather I was going to, but I definitely did not forget to think about the excitement of prom that was to come the following month.

Prom then came and I was able to do my favorite thing, dress up. I shared this experience with my grandma who sat with me while I got ready, then I took many pictures with my family and friends. It was heartwarming to be able to share this experience with my family.

A very significant part of my life then came in June, I graduated from high school and left many things behind. My dad, mom, and brother have helped me tremendously through these years and it was weird to say goodbye to that part of my life. They will always be by my side, but the next chapter of my education would be 3 hours away from home. I knew that this would be the last time I would cross paths with many people, but I also knew better things were to come.

I began my summer with a boat trip which made me appreciate the few months we had left living together and always doing things as a family. I celebrated my graduation with a trip to Mexico where I had one of my favorite weeks of the year.

Before I knew it it was time to move into college. I was nervous to be away from my family and friends, but it was not as bad as I thought it would be. I faced many challenges moving into a city that is preconceived by many as dangerous. I was able to make new friends that helped me through the experience that we were all about to go through together as a college freshman.

I am now home from college for the semester and I ended with a better GPA than I could have wished for, for my first semester. As this year comes to a close I plan to have an even better 2018 using all of the knowledge I learned in the past 12 months.

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