Wow. It’s the last day of 2019, and the year is actually about to end. I know, I know- it’s obvious. That doesn’t mean it’s not crazy though! This past year absolutely flew by, and I can’t believe we’re about to say hello to a new decade. I completely grew up and matured through the 2010s… in 2010 I turned 6, so obviously in 2020 I’ll be turning 16. As the title says, this is a year in review, not a decade; however, it’s still crazy for me to think of how fast the past ten years have flown by as well. If you want to hear about my journey through 2019, keep on reading!
January: When the year began, I honestly still wasn’t completely adjusted to freshman year. Winter break was a nice escape from high school, but as soon as I came back it was back to cheer and craziness (similar to this year!). I felt like my life was boring yet too busy, which is why I started to think about what else I would rather be doing with my time. I was still actually kind of into cheer at this point though, and I remember constantly stretching and going to tumbling classes. I feel like it was really too busy of a month to be significant, considering I don’t have any pictures from January in my camera roll and only a few with friends in my Snapchat memories. I had my first round of high school finals… I guess that took the most out of me.
February: Always a short but sweet month, this month was mainly marked by my freshman year cheer season ending. I had to be switched into offseason PE for 2nd semester which was a huge source of my angst at the time. I remember it being a pretty cold month by Southern CA standards at least, so I pretty much lived in hoodies and sweatpants. Now that cheer wasn’t taking up any of my time (unfortunately, PE was), I started to research extracurriculars and opportunities for next (this) year. This is kind of when I got on top of my game as far as planning for the future and realizing what it takes to get into college…aka stumbling upon College Confidential for the first time. Because of these things, my self-esteem took a little hit. To deal with that and to fill my time, I started volunteering at the local animal shelter which I still do and love today.
March: I volunteered a LOT this month to fulfill all my hours for Key Club. I did Rotary events with my dad, I went to the animal shelter every week, I volunteered at the YMCA, and more. It was honestly a great experience since I met so many new people at each place and got to do “normal jobs” that I hadn’t before, and I was so proud of myself when I fulfilled most of my fifty-hour requirement during this month. I had volunteered on and off before, but this is when I really started to get into it and realized how good it made me feel. Before I knew it, cheer was also (sort of) back in my life- tryout meetings and sign ups were upon us. I had a major breakthrough in strength in my tumbling classes though, so my self-esteem and happiness had increased quite a bit in this month.
April: Spring break offered another escape from the craziness of school. It was the peak of studying for my AP Human Geo test (a major feat at the time) and cheer tryouts were coming up quickly. Palm Springs with my friend was super fun though, and it stopped me from stressing too much over the break. I kept volunteering and finally finished my Key Club requirements as well. I also had a little phase of being into hiking and photography- I still enjoy both things, but I noticed when scrolling through my camera roll I did a lot of those things in April. Maybe it’s because the sun finally started coming out again.
May: Cheer tryouts time! The end of the school year came fast, and cheer took over my life (again). Everyone made the JV team and we immediately started two-hour practices after school everyday again. Between that and studying for finals, I don’t really remember anything else. I was just counting down the days until the beginning of summer and my Europe trip. I dissected a pig in biology and that was kind of the hot topic among my grade at the time.
June: SUMMER BEGINS!! After my second-ever round of high school finals, I could finally say I had survived my first year of high school. As soon as the school year ended, my family left for our first out-of-the country trip ever, to Europe. We spent most of the rest of the month there, and it was honestly one of the best experiences of my life- we went to Paris, and all over Italy. In fact, when I embarked on the trip, I started my blog! I had wanted to start a blog for so long, and having an exciting trip to cover encouraged me to finally do it. I’ve blogged extensively about the whole trip in the past, so I recommend checking out my first posts if you haven’t before. It was amazing and I felt almost like a different person when I returned; I definitely saw some of the most beautiful places I think I’ll ever see.
July: My grandparents stayed with us for a couple weeks at the beginning of the month, and while they were here I spent a lot of time taking my online AP Psych course and researching extracurriculars for sophomore year. I also started editing submissions at the literary magazine I still work with, and I got into writing a lot more. I also found out that I poem I submitted in spring to a contest had gotten selected for publication! It was a fun month though as I celebrated three of my good friends’ birthdays. We had a couple beach days and other celebrations. However, the second half of the month was crazy! I went to yearbook camp and got my first taste of being on the yearbook staff at Chapman University; it was actually SO much fun and I felt so independent living a mini and relaxed version of the college life. Right after returning, it was back to summer cheer practices and conditioning, and the last couple days of the month I left for cheer camp at Knott’s Berry Farm.
August: The month began while I was still at cheer camp, which was sadly less than pleasant, but luckily August 1st was our last day there! Before I knew it, it was time to go back-to-school-shopping. My birthday is August 14th, so I also celebrated my 15th birthday- a VERY low-key affair. I also happened to get my braces off, so that was great. The next week, sophomore year started, and I had no idea what was about to hit me. Football season kicking off was a nice start to the year though. I kept volunteering, I began tutoring in my school’s history center, and I joined Youth and Government. Between all my new hard classes, yearbook, and all the other new activities I had joined, my schedule was absolutely loaded.
September: I felt pressured to overload my schedule even more, so I tried out a bunch of different clubs and activities and settled on a few more. I joined Spanish National Honors Society (making me a tutor in our school’s language center!) and English National Honors Society, as well as a couple leadership programs outside of school that I applied for. The first few tests in each of my classes were trying, but I was (kind of) getting the hang of my new busy schedule. I had my first in-class English essay, which was a very over-hyped experience. Honestly, the thing sucking the most energy out of me was cheer practice and football games, and I was beginning to fall out of love with it more and more. I had a lot of breakthroughs in tumbling class, which was weird since I wasn’t even enjoying it as much- something I learned I needed to let go of.
October: Homecoming month!! The first couple weeks of the month were all just hype leading up to homecoming week. Our homecoming game was actually quite fun, and the dance was much better than last year. I think it’s just a lot less overwhelming of an experience as a sophomore. I also got way more into Youth and Government during this month, as we had our first mini-conference/bonding experience. I was definitely still overwhelmed and felt like the year had just begun, but I was having a lot more fun of a time.
November: November was an absolutely insane month filled with fun and crazy experiences. I had my first official Youth and Government conference in Fresno, which was absolutely surreal. It made me fall in love with the program and realize what an amazing thing I was now apart of- I definitely could see myself pursuing a government career someday. I also got sick, which unfortunately coincided with my Post Malone concert that I got tickets for in August. The concert was still a cool experience though since I’ve loved his music for so long. I’ve saved the best for last though: my Thanksgiving break trip to Seattle with my mom. We spent almost the full week in the city and I absolutely fell in love. I could see myself living there someday for sure, and now I can’t wait to explore more places in the U.S. currently unknown to me. School stuff was definitely still stressful, but it finally took a backseat in my life for this month.
December: This month absolutely flew by. I didn’t even get to decorate much or go ice skating before break started. I had SO much schoolwork bogging me down, but now that I’m on break I’m relieved to have another escape. It was super stressful but luckily I barely had cheer so I could focus on other things. I’ve had a lot more fun with friends and family than I did in the past couple months though. However, there was also a lot of prep leading up to what will be a crazy January with basketball season and finals!!
I know I went through the months as if they were a list, but it’s only for ease of clarification. In my mind, this year went by so quickly that I barely even remember most of it. The main thing I know is that it was one huge learning experience- I figured out lots of things I do and don’t like, and I explored so many interests I didn’t even fully realize I had. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunities to travel more and experience things I never thought I would before- thank you 2019.
If you made it to the end, I appreciate you and thank you for sticking with me. I would love to hear about your 2019 journeys and realizations as well, so feel free to share them with me! 2019 was a year of growth for me, and I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings- bring it on! It’s crazy to think the new year’s here, but it’s even crazier to think I’m going to become an adult, go to college, and grow up ~for real~ in this decade. I know, I know- I’m getting ahead of myself. But hey, the roaring 20s are here 🙂
Happy New Year,