Happy New Year!
January 1st, 2017
Hello and Happy New Year!
Can you believe that it is already 2017? In just 17 short days, I will turn 22. This is a day where I will do nothing but listen to Taylor Swifts song: 22. Where has the time gone? 2016 was a lot for me, like every other year, it had its fair share of ups and downs.
In the beginning of 2016, I completed an online course which certified me with a “Certified Student Leader – Group Fundamentals” certificate from the National Center for Student Life. It was only at that point that I helped my little sister create a family tree project for school. I turned 21 and celebrated with friends while away at one of the best universities around. I was blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime when my father handed me two free tickets to attend a Carrie Underwood concert at the All State Arena in Rosemont. It was easily one of the best days of my life while I took a video, pretty much the whole night.
Attending the Chicago Cubs game with my boyfriend, Cameron was pretty cool this year considering they ended up making history and won the World’s Series. On top of all of that, I also worked for Country Thunder where I was able to meet some of the coolest artists and listen to them up close and gain an autograph from Jake Owen. At the end of 2016, I celebrated 6 -years of dating my very best friend, Cameron.
Academically, it also consisted of a lot of photoshoots and volunteering for Relay for Life in which my roommate Jaclyn and I created shirts for our team. I was fortunate enough to sit in the same room as Tia Mowry and listen to her while she had a Q&A at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While maintaining my grades, I also accepted plenty more leadership positions and joined a sorority! My roommate Jaclyn and I also went apartment hunting, only to find the most perfect place that the two of us love so much. Jaclyn and I were also extremely fortunate to have an all paid for trip to the University of Michigan Ann-Arbor to sit in the big house where my cousin, Morgan, attended school for a football game.
One highlight of 2016 was that I was asked to attend NODA Region V conference in Iowa with an amazing group of students from school. While being a transfer ambassador, I met one of my best friends, Michael. Not only did our team rock it and make tons of new friends at the conference but Michael and I were chosen to participate in a case study competition. This is where we would be placed with another person from a different school and compete against the other teams. We both proudly accepted the challenge since it had been the first time for both of us, we couldn’t pass up the experience. Ever since NODA, Michael and I have remained only the best of friends. He is someone who is constantly there for me and is my hype man.
Michael and I have had many experiences that will last a life time. We have taken classes together, worked together, and more importantly cooked together. He has opened my eyes up to a new way of thinking; constantly remembering the positives. He is always a phone call away and I don’t think he will ever get sick of having my Buffalo Chicken Dip. Sometime’s Michael magically makes “Sara’s Shitlist” but he eventually escapes that. Michael is someone who has been one of my very best friends from the beginning of my time here at Illinois and will remain one of my best friends as we finish up our time here as Illini. Even after college, we will remain best friends because Michael is unique. He is definitely what he considers himself to be “woke”.
In 2016, I also started my last first day of my undergraduate career at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It was filled with plenty of leadership positions including: Phi Mu’s Historian, Communications Chair for Illini Pride, Social Media Intern at HerCampus, PINK campus team member and I also continued blogging for the College of LAS at Illinois. I also won a lot of free items at my apartment complex like a beats pill speaker and some free Illini chairs. While focusing on exceeding in school, I attended plenty of volleyball, football and hockey games. This also led to my first ever barn dance and first semi-formal.
Not only have I been fortunate enough in college to have amazing experiences, some of the best experiences are on the weekends. Mom’s weekend is a weekend I will never forget because I asked my aunt Kim to come down to spend the weekend with me. We spent the weekend which included but are not limited to: attending the craft fair, which was put on by the school, sleeping in a sketch hotel that we turned into as positive of an experience as we possibly could have, taking countless selfies on snapchat, walking around my beautiful campus, eating out for lunches and dinner, as well as “participating” in a 5k.
This was one weekend that I will surely never forget because I spent it with a woman who is selfless and loving in a mother kind of way. My aunt Kim, like my grandmother, is my rock and is someone that will continue to support me regardless of anything that may step in our way. I am forever grateful for the weekends spent with family and lovely care packages from the one and only, grandma.
2016 was also a big year for my family and I. My brother, Nicholas, successfully graduated from high school and attended his final prom with one of his best friends while she rocked out a beautiful green ball gown dress that hysterically matched his bright neon green Jeep Wrangler. This year was also spent completing a weight loss study at school in which I was able to workout a couple times a week and lost 10 lbs. I also went on a family vacation with my father and boyfriend across the country for my first time. I explored the beautiful country of Colombia. I also spent countless days with my cousin Morgan and her family baking, shopping and having family time. Christmas this year was special.
Christmas time is usually not one of my favorite holidays because of how divided my family is. It usually consists of not seeing part of my family and that for me believe it or not, is rather difficult. However, this year my father finally became a divorced man. I couldn’t be happier to type those words. This meant a little more peace around the holidays even though the outcome may have hurt many.
Focusing on the positives, I am that much closer to graduation and becoming a better version of myself in the new year. As I sit here and reminisce of how blessed of a year I have had, I can’t help but to think of how fast it all went. With that being said, I am sure you’re all wondering what my New Year Resolution could possibly consist of with all that I have attained and accomplished this year. Well, my resolution is to blog or at least journal every single day of 2017 for 365 days in order to truly reflect on my days and to take one day at a time. Too often we worry about what is coming rather that what is right in front of us.
So here is to 2017, here is to happiness, love and plenty of new experiences.