I turned nineteen on Monday, which means I only one year left of being a teenager. I'm not upset about that fact, since the teenage years have been quite a rollercoaster, but this realization has still put me in a very reflective mood (as most things do). With that in mind, I've summarized ages 13-18, and if you're interested, just keep reading.
Thirteen Years Old
My first year of teenage-dom was... interesting to say the least. I was in seventh grade, and was in a school that wasn’t necessarily the best for me. Sixth grade was when my perfectionism started to affect my school work, and seventh grade was no different. I had a backpack that was filled to the brim with books, and during lunch I could often be found sitting in the locker room studying for afternoon tests and quizzes. For our spring concert, we did an abridged version of Les Mis, in which I sang a solo for I Dreamed a Dream, which still remains one of the coolest singing experiences I’ve had even though it was almost six years ago. The summer of being thirteen found me at Camp Wawona, where I spent many summers growing up. This was actually the last time I would go, and it was one of the best experiences I had there, complete with spending the last night on the outdoor stage in sleeping bags watching shooting stars.
Fourteen Years Old
When I was fourteen years old, I was three things- a swimmer, an insane perfectionist (yeah, I was worse five years ago), and a writer. I went swimming on Mondays and Wednesdays, wrote lots of short stories, and took lots of selfies in an attempt to improve my smile. I took guitar lessons for a little while, tried running and hated it, and went on my 8th grade class trip (which, honestly, should be an entire post in itself). I spent days at the beach, went hiking sometimes, and once a month visited my dad. I graduated 8th grade (haha, a funny sentence), and then went to Camp Meeting with my dad and met some new people. Once I got back, my mom, brother, grandparents, pets, and I moved to the Bay Area.
Fifteen Years Old
At fifteen, I had officially moved from the only place I really remembered living, and I was in my Freshman year of high school. I remember studying intensely for a test on Romeo and Juliet, and I remember being very proud of the grade I received. I started to form really good friendships, and would occasionally go on runs with my mom (spoiler: running was still not one of my favorite things). I spent early school mornings reading in the cafeteria before starting my classes, and listened to a lot of Sara Bareilles. That summer, I spent a couple weeks in England, Wales, and Scotland and met two of my little cousins for the first time. I returned to California and spent the rest of being 15 reading books, writing stories, and preparing for my second year of high school.
Sixteen Years Old
At sixteen, most of my time was spent writing songs in my bedroom. I assumed I was the only one who could hear them, but alas bedroom walls are thin, and now I’m pretty sure my grandparents heard every word. This was the year my dad had an odd habit of adopting every animal that came to his doorstep, and the dog pictured above was my favorite. He stayed around for a while before he ran off again, and I like to think he found a nice home. During finals week, I’d walk into downtown Mountain View, CA with some of my friends and we’d meet for bagels or coffee and quiz each other (for a little fun fact, I got an A- on my Biology final second semester). I took classes that I loved, especially my World History class. The summer after my Sophomore year, we all moved again. I started at a new school, and a few weeks before my seventeenth birthday this website went live.
Seventeen Years Old
By my seventeenth birthday, I was starting to find a place at my new school, and I already hated chemistry. I took two English classes, wrote lots and lots of essays, and started to form new friendships that have affected my life deeply. I also took six Kung Fu lessons, which is something I forget about sometimes. For me, seventeen was the year for learning more about myself, what is really means to be a friend, and how important it is to have good communication with the people around you. That year, I met some incredible people, most of whom I stayed friends with and really miss now that I’ve moved away.
Eighteen Years Old
I know, I know, this was really only three days ago, but the beginning of being eighteen feels like forever ago. Being eighteen was actually really wonderful. I may have had some months of serious anxiety, but I still had a really great time overall. I was taking great classes, I was writing a lot of poetry, and I had an excellent summer where I cut my hair, worked in a theatre, went to France, and got my driving permit. My dad got married, I traveled a lot, and I tried to force myself out of my comfort zone more than usual (so, maybe three times). Eighteen was a really good year for me, and while I was pretty sad to leave it behind, I’m thankful for all the things that happened in those twelve months.
Nineteen Years Old?
Now what? I live in Washington, I'm a Freshman in college, and I spend most of my time preparing for my acting class, meeting new people, and making plans for what the rest of this year will be. Eighteen was a great year in itself, but lots of the things I did were in preparation for what I want nineteen to be. I have a lot of really cool things in the works (most of which I’ll be talking about soon), and I’m really excited for the next twelve months!
So, would I go back? I've been thinking about this a lot, actually, and I've settled on a definite maybe. There were parts of my teenage years that I loved, and there are some moments that I would really like to relive, but so far I'm really liking college and getting a taste of what being independent is like. The jump from eighteen to nineteen didn’t seem too big, but the jump from nineteen to twenty feels like it’ll be huge. I have a whole year to get there, though, and I have a feeling it won’t feel as crazy once I’m there. The teenage years have been a rollercoaster, and while I’m glad to not be leaving them behind quite yet, I’m excited for what the future has in store.