This was a very dark year for so many people, and it certainly seems like the future is bleak for effecting positive change anywhere in the world.
I have been fortunate to have an amazing year personally. I feel like I have learned and achieved so much in a short amount of time.
I started my year with the people I love and continued onto taking a 2-week class in St. Petersburg, Russia. This was a beautiful, cold experience. I had so much fun making new friends and brilliant memories. With only a few days of break spent at home, I was back to Smith without my three best friends who spent the semester abroad.
February marked the beginning of my crew season. Without the support of my best friends, I struggled a lot in getting back into the competitive groove of powerful legs and extreme aerobic capacity. These struggles taught me so much about myself and interpersonal conflict.
Aside from a truly unpleasant Spring Break on Lake Lanier in Georgia, this month marked the rekindling of my excessive love for the music of Bastille. I saw them twice in the final days of March, and not a day has gone by in which I don’t sing or listen to multiple songs of theirs.
My birthday month was full of fun challenges in the way I interacted with my teammates, but who am I kidding? I had been running for captain since I joined the team. I solidified my summer plans to spend 6 weeks in Death Valley National Park and a month in Japan.
After the busy finals period and end-of-season, I had a literal day at home before embarking on the first leg of my cross-country road trip, modeled after my childhood memories of watching Mary-Kate and Ashley movies. We went through Pennsylvania, Ohio, dipped into Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. I began my internship with the National Park Service in Death Valley and had the time of my life.
I made some great friends and contacts, took some awesome weekend trips to other National Parks and Disneyland, and met my mommy at LAX for the return leg of my trip.
After a few days in LA, we drive through Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, Delaware, and back to PA! We saw some amazing sights like the Grand Canyon and had so many laughs along the way. I had a brief time at home before embarking on my next journey to Japan!
I spent most of this month in Japan. I was in Tokyo for 3 weeks and Sapporo for 1. I met so many amazing people and learned so much! This was a life-changing experience that I’m honored to have.
Back to Smith for my senior year – how time flies! I visited Acadia with a Maine friend and started my busy senior schedule. Most importantly, Halloween came into full swing.
Halloween month was one of the greatest with Friday the 13th falling right in the middle. The purchase of a hockey mask for the occasion has changed my life for the better.
As the leaves changed from Halloween to Christmas, I had a great last fall at Smith. For thanksgiving, I went to Norway with my boyfriend and had an incredible time. Seeing new places and having new experiences are my favorite.
I excessively celebrated Christmas and made sure those around me did the same. I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time at home for which I’m thankful.
I hope everyone has a happy end of their 2017!