Looking back on 2018, I feel almost speechless. I am so so grateful for everything that’s happened this year.

It was a year full of firsts, spiritual and mental growth, learning, networking, and independence.

My year started out fairly normal. For the first four months of the year, I was attending classes at Kent State University when I discovered my love for nonprofit organizations. I loved my nonprofit classes so much that I decided to transfer schools and major in nonprofit administration.

The months of May through August were really when the self-discovery happened. I spent these months teaching English in Thailand, where I discovered a newfound passion for teaching. Within that time, I had a number of new experiences, made lifelong friends, formed a different, but closer bond with my family, and was heartbroken. I was tested and pushed to my limits at times, and those moments allowed me to grow. I was also forced to make a tough decision about what to major in, nonprofit administration or early childhood education. I chose early childhood education and I’m confident that I made the right choice.

Throughout September and October, I was in a depressive state. The worst that it’s ever been for me. I was attending a new university and had difficulty making friends. My anxiety was the worst it’s ever been, and nearly everything became a trigger to an attack. I spent most days in bed and had an extreme lack of motivation. I never talked to anyone about it, but was lucky enough to come out of it on my own.

In early November, a friend came to visit me and we spent the night watching tv and pigging out on food. Sounds awesome, right?! Wrong. I felt physically sick that night when I went to bed, and knew something had to change. The next morning, I worked out and I’ve been exercising 6 days per week ever since. This is when my mental health began to improve too. Around this time, I also began keeping myself hydrated. Since I’ve started taking better care of myself, my days have become more productive, I’m happier and more confident. I’m at the point where I’ve started seeing changes in my body from the exercise, and I’ve learned to love the skin that I’m in!

So here I am, late-December, reflecting on this last year of my life. What a journey it’s been! As if all of that wasn’t enough, I also got to meet two of my favorite musicians and tell them what their music means to me. (Shoutout to Corey Harper and Niall Horan!) That alone could’ve made this the best year of my life, but I got to also spend four months doing one of the things that I love most.

2018 has, without a doubt, been the best year of my life.

Thank you to every single person that’s been a part of it! Whether we’re best friends, we used to be friends, you’re a stranger who reads my blog posts, or one of my favorite musicians, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Here’s to 2019 and making it an even better year than 2018!

Have a happy holiday!

Stephanie

(P.S. What are your highlights from 2018? What made this a great year?! Comment below!)