because i have a blog and it is my duty to write a “year in review” post

So here it goes:

I rang in 2012 in the best way humanly possible: in London, surrounded by friends and strangers, and watching fireworks shoot off from Big Ben and the Eye. I was only a few days into the grandest adventure of my life, and I was on top of the world.

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When you ring in the new year with a sight like this, you know it’s going to be an incredible journey.

I spent the first part of January in London, studying Theatre and Art Appreciation and just generally falling in love with a city I had dreamed about visiting for basically my entire life. I saw the most breathtaking works of art in all forms, from Les Miserables to Canaletto‘s paintings of Venetian canals. I rode the tube, took 1000+ pictures, and became a regular at a small coffee shop with the best belgian waffles of all time, all in the company of some wonderful individuals I’m so glad to call my friends.

Going to Hogwarts!
Going to Hogwarts!

My roommate and I then took off to hop around to some other spectacular places for two weeks. We flew down to Rome, where, after getting severely freaked out due to being completely on our own in a country where we didn’t know any of the language other than “thank you,” we came face to face with history I can’t even wrap my mind around. We then trained our way to Florence, where I would have gladly spent the rest of the two weeks, and Venice, where we were the coldest we have ever been in our entire lives (this is not a joke in any way, shape, or form). After eating our fill of pizza, pasta, and gelato, we took a very interesting overnight train to Paris so we could take a million pictures of the Eiffel Tower and  replace the gelato with crepes (often always with Nutella). Then it was back to London for one last night before heading stateside.

But unlike Lizzie McGuire, a cute Italian pop star did not appear immediately after this moment. Photo courtesy of RuthAnne Crews.
But unlike Lizzie McGuire, a cute Italian pop star did not appear immediately after this moment. Photo courtesy of RuthAnne Crews.

The Spring 2012 semester was one of the busiest and most stressful I’ve ever experienced, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. Events like Step Sing and Beeson Ball became benchmarks for myself and my friend group, ways of keeping track of time in a crazy 3.5 months. My friend group solidified and expanded, with random friendships becoming intertwined with each other in a beautiful mess of personality and encouragement. The support system these people provided became so necessary later in the semester as I struggled with the next year’s rooming situation and what the heck to do with my life after graduation in just over a year. I left the year still confused about and struggling with those things, but still knowing it had been the best semester so far.

UM presents: NINJAS!
UM presents: NINJAS!
Our group for Beeson Ball. Photo courtesy of Rachel Freeny.
Our group for Beeson Ball. Photo courtesy of Rachel Freeny.

During the summer I returned to one of the greatest places on earth: Camp Crestridge for Girls. I had been looking forward to camp since I had left at the end of the last summer, anxious to reunited with the campers and staffers I had grown to love so much. It wasn’t an easy summer. God dealt with me in some tough ways, but he surrounded me with a community of girls who provided a constant source of prayer and support, and He allowed me to speak His words of healing and hope to campers. I was also blessed and encouraged to see the fruit of seeds that had been planted the year before, proof that camps like Crestridge are so very, very important for young girls. It hurt to see the summer end because I knew I wouldn’t be returning the following summer and that most of those campers would never walk through my life again. Leaving at the end of the summer was probably the most difficult moment of my entire year.

These are just some of the wonderful goofballs I got to work with this summer.
These are just some of the wonderful goofballs I got to work with this summer.

The fall semester started, and with it came the Samford whirlwind once more. I had a media internship at my church that probably taught me more about working with people and for people than it did about media, but I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Ben, Connor, and I got sick and tired of looking at the Twitter and Facebook pages of Birmingham churches for our senior project, but we got an A, so it was worth it in the end. I had the greatest Foundations class I could have ever asked for; mentoring those freshmen was one of the highlights of my semester. I took Beginning Social Dance with many of my closest friends, and now am very pleased to say that I can waltz, foxtrot, swing, rhumba, cha-cha, and tango with a good amount of confidence that I don’t look like a complete fool.

Beyond the academic side, my friends and I were determined to make the most of our last year at good ol’ SU. There were food runs and football games and feeling like real-life adults all dressed up for a birthday party at a swanky wine loft. We cooked a lot and ate it all, picked apples and pumpkins, climbed [a-hem] did not climb Reid chapel, had countless discussions about the problems of being an N (coughcough, Megan, coughcough), stayed up way too late way too many times, and Instagramed/tweeted essentially everything. I was placed with the world’s greatest roommate and suitemates, an answer to my many, many stressed-out prayers about my rooming situation. Rachel, Caroline, and Charlotte have been an incredible source of wisdom and motivation this past semester, and I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to get to live with them another semester.  I got to see even more of my friends become friends with each other and share in the joy of new relationships and engagements. I had thought the spring semester was the best, but quite honestly, the fall semester beat it (though not by much).

Because no trip to a pumpkin patch is complete without a group picture on the hay bales. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Guckenburger.
Because no trip to a pumpkin patch is complete without a group picture on the hay bales. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Guckenburger.
My best friend and fellow 'N' who I would never have made it through the semester without. Photo courtesy of Caroline Burkhardt.
My best friend and fellow ‘N’ who I would never have made it through the semester without. Photo courtesy of Caroline Burkhardt.

And now I sit on the cusp of 2013, one year older, one year wiser (hopefully), and every day closer to graduation and the real world. This is going to be a roller coaster of a year, and God only knows if I’m ready for it.

So here goes nothing.

Happy new year, everyone!

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One thought on “because i have a blog and it is my duty to write a “year in review” post

  1. Pingback: the last twelve months | various and sundry

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