Wow. 2016 was quite the year. Not only did a lot of stuff happen, but a lot of BIG stuff happened. So as we say goodbye to one year and welcome another I’m sighing with relief, smiling over the fond memories, reflecting on all of the lessons I’ve learned, and getting excited for all the new experiences and opportunities to come!
But before I say hello to 2017, I want to say goodbye to 2016. Let’s look back on everything that happened.
Spring 2016 was the second semester of my freshman year in college. By that time, my hallmates and I were not only best friends, but family. They were the people eating ramen at 4am with me, running up and down the hall scantily dressed, doing homework with me in our study room, sharing practically every meal with, and loving and supporting me every minute of the day. These are girls I know I’ll be friends with forever, and Spring 2016 was one of the best times of my life. I was surrounded by people I loved and who loved me; I was fit, eating healthy, and trying out different exercises; I was doing well academically; and I was having a bunch of fun. It couldn’t have been any better.
Fall 2016 began my sophomore year in college, and it’s been a lot different. To put it somewhat mildly, last semester was one of the lowest points of my life. Changing environments and living with new people really took a toll on me. I rarely saw my “hall-fam” from my freshman year, which led to a lot of loneliness and some depression. I’m not a cryer, but for a while I cried every single night. School was stressful (but I did make it through alright), and my living space was not somewhere productive or positive. I found myself unmotivated, pessimistic, and self-centered. Paired with my loneliness and depression, I was a wreck and definitely not the person I wanted to be.
A positive aspect of last semester was I worked my bum off at the gym, and I got super fit! It’s probably the most fit I’ve ever been, and I was so proud (was aka the holidays gave me a nice cushion to keep my dormant muscles warm). I’m still trying to be fit, and I’m excited to see how my body changes and transforms this semester (I’m still working on that six-pack!)
Between the two semesters was my first college summer. Used to about two months of vacation during high school, four months of free time in the sun took me a bit off-guard. It was a very different type of summer too. Throughout the summer I felt God teaching me to “be still and know that I am God”. This was extremely difficult for me because I had plans to go to Haiti, get a job, visit different places and meet up with friends. Spoiler alert: none of that happened. Time after time I was confused as to why my attempts to rush around weren’t working. But God was telling me to slow down and focus on my relationship with Him, which I did do. Besides that, it was a bit of a disappointing summer, but I did learn some good lessons and get a little bit of a tan, so I’m glad I did get something out of it!
Last year was a bit of a roller coaster for my faith (isn’t every year this way though?), but not exactly in dramatic ups and downs. It was more like a gradual decrease during the Spring, a bit of struggling during the summer and early fall, and then a strong increase in the last part of the year. Focusing on the past few months, I’ve really been practicing spiritual disciplines like praying and reading my Bible, and it’s because I’ve set apart time in my day to do so. I like to do all of that in the morning (so I don’t forget and start off my day on the right foot), so I pray/talk to God when I’m walking to the gym, and I read my Bible and journal during breakfast after I get back. It really starts off my day the right way, and I can definitely see the positive effects these disciplines have on my life.
Looking back at my goal for 2016, I said I wanted to become a Woman of God. It’s a lifelong journey, but I think I’ve made some good steps down that path. Of course I’ve stepped off that path quite a few times, but I do feel like I am stronger in my relationship with Him. I’ve had friends and other people come up to me and talk to me about my faith, and that hasn’t really happened before, so I take it as a sign that I am closer to Him. I’ve gone through a lot, and it’s thanks to Him that I’ve survived and continue to thrive through the difficulties and blessings. He’s blessed me so good, more than I deserve and more than I probably recognize.
Now on to 2017! These are my hopes/aspirations/plans for the new year:
Let’s do well in all of my classes! It happened to work out that I only have four classes this semester (two core economics classes, one business class, and one humanities/english class, so not a super light workload), so I’m hoping with the extra time I’ll really be able to put in a lot of effort and do well. Fall 2017 semester will probably have lots of major classes, so I’m enjoying this easier semester!
A big change in 2017 is that I’ll be moving off-campus in the fall. I’ll be living with my roommate from last year, and I cannot wait! I’m so excited to cook and eat my own food, have a room to myself, decorate said room, and hang out with friends all the time. I’ve already signed the lease and started dreaming up how life will be like out of the dorms. I’m sure there’ll be lots of posts about that later in the year!
Regarding my fitness, I WANT TO GET A SIX-PACK!!! It’s my goal to get a six-pack by my 21st birthday (10 months to go!), and I’m really hoping to get it this semester (my previous goal was by Thanksgiving 2016, but that obviously didn’t happen, so we’ll see how this goal goes). I want to be strong and healthy with toned muscles and a healthy diet. It’s currently a little rough coming off of all the sweets I ate during the holidays, but I know I can do it. I think I’ll focus more on my eating habits this semester because I ate like a pig every single day last semester, which is probably why my abs didn’t show. Let’s hope I stay motivated!
Now that I’ve created a time and space for spiritual disciplines, I want to start adding more disciplines into my life. I’m thinking of looking into fasting on Sundays, my inspiration is the millions of people that go hungry every day. I want my spiritual life to reflect and respond to my real-world life. As I progress in school (and hopefully get a job), I want to start meditating to ground myself on a firm foundation that will not only help relax and destress me, but also help my relationship with God. I want to be more evangelical and be more bold in spreading the good news. I want to find a solid group of Christians to surround myself with every week. I also want to post more about my faith journey; this blog used to primarily focus on that, but I’ve diversified and changed a bit in the past year or so. My spirituality is a big part of my life, so I think it deserves to be a big part of this blog. Overall, I want to continue to strive to become a Woman of God and bring glory to Him.
My main mantra for 2017 is “take the next step“. I feel like my life has come to a point where I either need to courageously take the next step in multiple areas of my life or be left behind in the dust. Some of these areas include getting a job/internship over the summer, being intentional about who has influence in my life, and the many more big decisions that will arrive in the coming year. I can no longer wait for fate to happen; it’s up to me to start pushing the gas pedal (with God in control of the steering wheel), and start making my way down life’s lane. It’s going to be uncomfortable at times, and I already know I’m going to want to give up at least 719 times, but I’m going to grit my way through the transitions and changes to progress in God’s plan for me. I’m so excited!
What are your thoughts and feelings about saying goodbye to 2016, and what are your goals/aspirations for the new year?