What I Learned in 2017

Hey Y’all!

2017 has been a hard year, and I really, truly mean that. There were many ups and downs and many mountains to climb. Looking back on it now, I’m proud of myself for getting through all of it, and I learned a lot. I lost and gained friends, turned 18, went on some great trips, had my final marching/football season, got accepted into college, and many more things. And like I said, I learned a lot. I really did. You can go through such a big year and NOT learn. It really was such a rollercoaster year. And because of this, I wanted to share what I learned this past year.

In regards to that dreadful end of junior year and beginning of senior year…

Don’t leave your SAT and ACT until the end. I took mine 3 times the last semester of junior year and it really set me up well. Don’t underestimate the power of an SAT class or getting a practice book. But also, don’t kill yourself over it. It’s an important test and you should try your hardest. but colleges look at so many other things. Don’t let it consume you and stress you out so much.

College applications are no joke. Don’t be afraid to go visit colleges! I toured them at the end of junior year and then revisited during the first semester of senior year so I got to really get a feel for everything. And not everything is going to be exactly perfect. You should like where you are going. In most cases, you’ll be living there so you should like it.

Friendships

Friends are such a big part of High school. Don’t miss out on spending time with them and hanging out. Keep your real friends by your side and really, truly, cherish them. After senior year, there is a huge chance you won’t seen them for a long time. I’m so thankful I’ve gotten such a great group of friends this year who really care. Remember that you don’t need a whole crowd, a few really good friends who really care are better!!

Senior Year: Slacking, Wishing + More

Senior year is something everyone in high school cannot wait for. It’s greatly anticipated and I really put it up on this pedestal and put way too much worth into it. It’s really just another year, but it is in fact special. I didn’t really feel like a senior until homecoming when I got to wear an all white mum or when I got to finally wear all black for class color day. Football games had a whole different meaning where now I cherished each one and really valued that time I got on the field each week at halftime performing with my band. I wish I had more time sometimes but I do still want to hurry and get to college. It’s an odd balance of wanting the old to go away and the new to hurry up and get here but also wanting the old to stay. But don’t wish it all away because you really will miss it. Tonight, the clock is going to strike midnight and it will be 2018. And then it will only be a few more months until June 1st when I finally get to walk across that stage in my cap + gown and officially graduate. I’m a little in shock that it’s so close. It just makes me want to do all of the things that I haven’t gotten to do and for my friends and I to hang out as much as possible before we all go our separate ways. Cherish this time and be so excited!!! But really, don’t wish it all away because it is already going SO FAST. Don’t wish it away, and don’t slack off. There is still so much time left and your grades really still matter. Don’t get lazy and not study for that big Anatomy or PreCal test. There are hard classes and teachers but senior year is definitely not an excuse to give up or slack off. Even when you have been accepted and committed to a college.

College: Applying, Deciding, Etc.

College was such a hard process for me. In August, I really had a hard time grasping that a year from then, I would be in a completely different stage of my life. That I would be living in a dorm on my own or with a roommate and that I wouldn’t be waking up in the same house I have been for the last few years. I couldn’t really grasp the thought of being so independent and living on my own and really being in charge of what I eat and my education. It was really mind boggling and still kind of is.

I toured colleges and ranked them and really looked at their programs for design and what their campuses were like. I liked things about all of them and really wished I could have taken little things from all of them and built my dream school. I thought Texas State had a fabulous program and it amazed me with the river flowing through campus. But I just didn’t feel like there were enough opportunities for me there in that small college town. I toured University of Texas at Austin and their dreamy, up on a pedestal school honestly just scared me. Their printmaking studio like TXST was to die for and I loved the program, but I felt so small and the school was absolutely gigantic. I didn’t feel comfortable. Austin is such an amazing place and I adore it and the opportunities, but I didn’t like the strenuous feeling and how intense everything was with the application process. And then there was University of Houston. I had attended band camps there and played there for concerts and competitions, gone to football games, walked around when my Dad taught there for a little while, and I just felt at home. When I toured the art program, I fell in love with the graphic design studio and everything that came with it and all the other classes. I loved how gigantic this school was but also how I didn’t feel irrelevant and tiny. I felt like I belonged and I already had friends attending the school as well. I felt like I could really fit in and I decided that it was really the place to be. I found out later that I got in and I have been so excited (and scared) all at the same time. The future is such an unknown territory, but it is waiting to be explored. I’m so excited for what’s to come and I cannot wait for August of 2018!! But the point of all of this, is that it might take a really long time to figure out what feels right for you, it might take years or months and even then, you might change majors or transfer school and it’ll be okay. College should be what is right for you and not just going to the biggest or most well known school or where every friend is going. And, the unknown is terrifying but also there is excitement all wrapped up in it and it is just out there waiting for you to explore. So apply to a few colleges and tour them and really research your major(s) and find out what is best for you. And if you don’t know yet, research your interest and see if there is something that sounds interesting or cool. You’ll find your calling even if it isn’t right this moment when everyone else seems to have it figured out.

Try New Things

This year I ended up getting placed into a class I wasn’t super excited for. I was supposed to be placed into another art media class but instead got placed in photojournalism because of the way my schedule worked out for school. I was sad and frankly quite irritated that my senior schedule wasn’t exactly how I wanted it. But I gave it a chance and now I am so in love with photography and every aspect of it. I love taking my camera every where I go and taking pictures whenever I can. Don’t be afraid to try something new, you never know what will spark an interest or a new love!

Family

Senior year has made me realize that I won’t get to spend as much time with my family next year. Applying to schools and seeing my college friend’s schedules as shown me how busy I will be. I’ve realized how much I really love my family and spending time with them and that’s another reason I chose a school so close to home. I absolutely adore my family and I have been trying to spend a lot of time with them. We lost my sweet Nana this year and it’s been really hard on us. It really made me realize that I can’t take anything for granted because you never know when the people you love most won’t be here anymore. So go spend time with your family and really be present. Don’t be on your phone or zoning out. Talk to them and really be there and enjoy them!

I feel like I learned so many other things but it’s hard compiling them all into one giant post.

I’m honestly really glad 2018 is here because I am so ready for a new start!

☆☆☆ Happy New Year!!☆☆☆

xoxo, Annie

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