Reflection

Dear 2017…

Almost exactly one year ago today, I wrote a post titled “Dear 2016,” which allowed me to reflect on 2016 right before the new year. I actually really enjoyed reflecting back on the entire year, and I wanted to write a similar post about 2017.

First of all, let me start out by saying holy sh*t, this year flew by. As I write this post, I cannot even remember many significant events (Other than becoming a college graduate [!!!!] but we will get to that.) that happened this year, so I turned to my handy-dandy smartphone to look at photos of this past year.

My oh my, how my life has changed in the past 12 months.

I started out the 2017 with none other than Tyler Russell Ish by my side. Maybe it wasn’t as magical as ringing in 2016, but nevertheless he was the first person to wish me a Happy New Year, and that’s all that matters.

This was the year I let go. I actually let myself have fun without worrying about everyone else. I enjoyed time with my friends in typical 21-year-old fashion. It was overdue. 2017, I want to thank you for allowing me to let loose and have fun, even for a short period of time. 

After my brief bout of letting loose, I really buckled down on school. At that point, I only had two semesters left, and I was determined to keep my GPA up to graduate Summa Cum Laude (SPOILER ALERT: I wasn’t able to pull off a 3.9 GPA, but I did graduate Cum Laude with a 3.7 GPA, which was still an accomplishment for me.)

The first few months of the year flew by, and before I knew it, it was spring break. No, I was not one of those college students who vacationed in Florida. In fact, I went the opposite direction—Canada. My boyfriend and I spent a few days at Niagara Falls, which was strange for my 21-year-old self because that was the first time I went on any sort of vacation without parents watching my every move. 2017, I want to thank you for pushing me to experience the freedom of being an adult. No matter how terrifying it seemed at first.

As the summer drew near, the panic of “holy crap I only have one semester left of school what am I going to do” set in, and I decided that I needed to get more experience outside of the classroom. At the moment, I was interning at Sherwin-Williams, which I loved, but I felt like I needed to get experience in another aspect of public relations, so I made the difficult decision to apply for internships outside of Sherwin-Williams.

People thought I was insane. When I got the job at Sherwin-Williams, people applauded me because it is such a great company to work for, so when I told those same people I was looking for a job elsewhere, I could feel the disappointment in their eyes. Now that I look back, that disappointment that I felt only pushed me to find an internship at a company that was equally as good, so I set my sights on Goodyear (and got the internship). 2017, I want to thank you for letting me finally make a decision for myself and only myself. It was greatly needed.

I started my internship at Goodyear in May, and worked full-time through the summer. I learned more than I could have imagined, and I am 100% confident in saying it was the right step for me professionally. I finally felt that the major I chose was the right major for me, and I knew that this was something that I could see myself doing as a career.

Not only did this change help me professionally, but it also helped me personally. I noticed that some of the things I was learning on the job could be applied to my life, and I took full advantage of that. I used my new knowledge to really launch my blog. I created an editorial calendar, starting posting consistently, and watched my views take off. In fact, I even started receiving mail addressed to both me AND my blog.

It was junk mail, but you better believe that I still have the first piece of mail that was addressed to “Julia Romito keepgoing-keepgrowing.com.” 2017, I want to thank you for giving me endless amounts of knowledge that I used to better myself and my life.

As the summer drew to a close, I was anxious and excited to begin my last semester of school. In fact, I was eager to go back because the sooner I went back to school the sooner I graduated, and I absolutely could not wait to graduate.

Between going to school full-time and working at Goodyear part-time, the last five months of 2017 flew by faster than the previous seven. However, there was one aspect of those five months that really impacted me.

I took a class that focused entirely on my strengths. At the beginning of the semester, we took a test that analyzed our strengths, and through the course of the semester, we read various books and discussed our strengths and how we could use them in our personal and professional lives. Amazingly enough, I learned more about myself in that class than in my entire 4.5 years of college. 2017, I want to thank you for allowing me to really get to know and feel comfortable with myself. It’s the most amazing feeling in the world.

Remember when I said there was one aspect that really impacted me? Well, I lied. There were two. The second being the fact that I my boyfriend’s brother and his girlfriend welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world, making me a proud aunt. You see, when my little sister was born I was only 5 years old, so I didn’t get a chance to see and understand how a baby grew up.

Now, Cali is two months old, and both Tyler and myself absolutely adore her. I can’t wait to see her grow and spoil her all along the way. 2017, thank you for showing me what it’s like to welcome a beautiful new soul into the world.

And to wrap up 2017…….(drum roll)……. I GRADUATED COLLEGE.

After an unpredictable (to say the least) college experience, I finally did it. I’m an emotional being, but oh my there is nothing like walking into the gymnasium—wearing your cap and gown, graduation music playing, looking up at your family and friends—and realizing that you did it. You made it through all of the classes and quizzes and nutty professors and papers and exams, and you finally graduated college. 2017, I want to thank you for this moment. This moment that has topped any other one of my life thus far.

I must say, graduating college is the best possible way I could have ended 2017. With 2018 right around the corner, I am so excited to have this fresh start. I can’t wait to begin the next step in my life. I don’t exactly know what’s in store for me, but I know that it will be nothing less than amazing because the years just keep on getting better.

Going into 2017, I knew it would be the year my life changed and transformed more than ever, and, boy, was I right. I still have so much ahead of me, and I am beyond excited to see what 2018 brings.

I’d highly recommend that you take a moment to look back on 2017, and think about the wonderful (and not so wonderful) things that happened this past year. Seriously, if you have an iPhone, the photos are sorted by year, so you can easily reflect on 2017. You can even create a Memories slideshow on your iPhone. See how far you’ve come, and see what you have overcome.

Luckily, 2017 was great to me, and while I had moments that were not so great, the good definitely outweighed the bad—at least enough for me to have a more than 1,300 word blog post full of the great things that happened.

Have a safe and happy New Year everyone! 2018 will be full of blog posts, I promise.

 

 

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