A Year in Review

306020_10200271446894503_1541640419_nThe end of a year always seems to be a time for personal reflection—combing through the hours, days and months that have led up to these final few moments, attempting to determine if anything substantial stemmed from them.

For me, 2012 was more influential than most.

I came into the New Year with the fresh pain of losing an old friend. After creating a support system back home to cope with the loss, I was forced to head back to IU, a place I then resented for tearing me away from the comfort I had established.

Couple this with the news in January that my dad would need to undergo open heart surgery as soon as possible, and I believed that my year would simply follow a pattern of one piece of horrifying news after the next. My mom was terrified, my dad was crying, and I was stranded—or so it seemed—in the middle of Indiana, helpless.

Of course, in his typical fashion, my dad pulled through stronger than ever. My friend’s memory has been maintained through the countless lives he had touched in his time here on Earth. I learned the importance of faith through these situations, the importance of trusting that everything happens for a reason.

And this lesson then made my positive experiences of the year far more meaningful, and such examples are cou561371_10151713273315333_1265429599_nntless.

I signed up for my first half marathon on a whim, disciplined myself to a training schedule and completed the 13.1 miles in less time than I had allotted for myself. I then took on another half in November, finishing it in freezing temperatures while battling bronchitis.

I overcame a circumstance that had been plaguing my life for quite some time.

I figured out a way to live in London for eight weeks with several of my fellow journalism students and friends through the assistance and guidance of a very generous mentor.

I held several journalistic positions at various publications, providing me with further confirmation of what I want to end up doing when I finish school. From being a features intern for the Herald-Times of Bloomington to a social media intern at Morris Visitor Publications to the women’s soccer beat reporter and General Assignments editor at the Indiana Daily Student, I’ve realized my capabilities and limitations as a journalist.

I fell in love with the most adorable dog there ever was.

I discovered the beauty of Paris with my very best friend and a resident of the city.

I became the girl who cries when she sees a celebrity the day I attended The Amazing Spider-Man premiere in London and had both Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone sign my beloved Spider-Man wallet.

I participated in my sister’s wedding and witnessed her profess her love for and commitment to my brother-in-law before our family and her friends.

I turned 21, the Golden Age in the States, and loved every minute of it.

I researched further study and travel opportunities, and came across an IU study abroad program in Lima, Peru by chance. I applied, knowing it offered everything I wanted—the chance to travel to South America and immerse myself in a society rich in indigenous culture and the Spanish language.063

I grew close to some of the greatest people to ever walk this planet, and I could not be more grateful for the constant love, support and laughs they provide me with each and every day.

I celebrated my final holiday season as a “child,” in a sense, as next year I will have graduated from IU at this time.

And now, with 2013 right around the corner, my future opportunities seem even more promising, if that’s possible.

In about a week, I will begin an internship with a company based out of Chicago. Come March, I will jet off to Peru to spend about four months in Lima and in August, I begin my final semester of college.

I am excited about what this next year has in store for me, to say the least.