5 Things My Senior Year Taught Me

I have five days left of my senior year. I'm a puddle of nostalgia, stress, and nerves right now, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking of all I've already learned this year. Since I have only five days left, I thought it would be nice if I shared with you the five biggest things I've learned this year:

1. I am not the same person I was on August 16th, 2017. 
I have changed so much since I started at this new school, but most of that change happened this school year. At the beginning of the school year, I wrote a piece where I mentioned that I had no idea what this school year would hold, and I was totally right about that. So much happened this year that I couldn't have anticipated- some of it good, and some of it bad. A lot changed this year, the main thing being myself. I am definitely not the same person I was  when this school year began. From senior survival, to being part of SA, to quitting my job, to crying in multiple classrooms, to music tour, to now with five days to go, I've changed a lot, but in good ways. I've become stronger, and I've become more myself than I was nine months ago. 

2. Who people see you as isn't necessarily who you actually are. 
You aren't always who people think you are. You also aren't necessarily what your accomplishments are. You aren't just the person who is part of SA. You aren't just the person who was part of the musical. You aren't just the person who spoke for Student Week of Prayer. Yes, you are those things. Those are accomplishments that you should be proud of, but they don't make up your entire being. Those things are a part of you, but they aren't all of you. Who you are perceived to be isn't who you are, and that can be a really good thing. 

3. Friendships grow, change, and sometimes disappear. 
I had a lot of friends move away for school this year, and that was really hard. Luckily I haven't totally lost touch with any of them, but my friendships with them have changed a lot. Instead of seeing them in class every day, I now call one of them every so often and respond to Instagram stories of others. I've also had a friendship completely disappear this year without really noticing it, and while that's sad, I've realized that I'm better off because of it, and I think they are too. 

4. I have a really strong intuition. 
I also knew that my gut is never wrong about things, but it wasn't until the beginning of this year that I realized just how strong my intuition is. A lot of people don't believe me when I tell them something that I suspect, but then when that thing happens a couple months later, I realize that I'm not totally crazy after all and was actually correct all along. This isn't always a good thing, though, and that's something else I learned this year. 

5. Although there are hard moments, overall I have a really good life. 
On any given day, I am surrounded by amazing, talented, beautiful, kind people. I have spectacular teachers who challenge my thinking and encourage my intellectual side. I have friends who support me and a family who loves me. Up until this year, I knew that I was privileged in many areas and that I was blessed in ways others weren't, but it wasn't until this school year that I realized just how true that really was. I'm so thankful for the life that I have, and I'm thankful for the life I'm in the process of building for myself. 

It's been a good year. A long year, but a good year. Before I go, I thought I'd share what I wrote at the beginning of this year, right after my first day: "The thing that gets me the most is that three years and five days ago I had no idea what was to come. I didn’t know any of the people I would soon meet, and I had no clue how they’d affect me in the long term. I hadn’t failed the tests or passed the finals yet. I hadn’t been to those disaster banquets or those amazing ones yet. I hadn’t cried in bathroom stalls yet or jumped for joy with my soon to be best friends yet. When I think about it that way, I can’t help but think that I, in this moment, have no idea what this next year has in store me. And that, my friends, is a really exciting idea." (read the whole post here)

I was right, I didn't know. I didn't know about the rejection or heartbreak or failure this year would bring, or the many wonderful changes. I didn't know about the friendships I would make or the essays I would ace yet. I didn't know that I'd speak for Student Week of Prayer or go to England or spend hours in coffee houses with my best friends. I was right about something else, too- it's exciting to not know what's to come. I don't know what will happen this summer, or next school year, or any other year after that. And that's exciting. It really is.