2016 is nearly upon us, peoples! And that means it’s time for me to write a post recapping this year. OH MY GOD HOW CAN 2015 BE ALMOST OVER ALREADY?! This year went by soooo quickly.
Without further ado, here is what I did in 2015.
I graduated high school, which was awesome and also really really weird.
I graduated from my county’s 4-H program and while I know that I won’t miss the frantic rush to finish all my project before the July deadline next year, I will miss being a 4-Her. (I was a ten-year member!)
I started college at the University of Iowa, and it actually went much better than I had hoped. I thought I would be homesick for aaaages, but I ended up never feeling homesick at all! I love the independence and the challenge of college.
I took a creative writing class for the first time. My skills grew by leaps and bounds! I learned a lot about craft and technique, and slowly became more comfortable sharing my writing with others. I CAN’T WAIT TO TAKE MORE CLASSES AND EARN MY DEGREE.
I received As in all my classes, and I even made the dean’s list! AHHHHHHH. I worked my butt off this fall, studying so much that at times I thought my brain would dribble out my ears. But I never thought I would do so well!
What can I say? I like to set low expectations. Then I feel great when I surpass them. JUST KIDDING.
Also, I now have so many credit hours (from this semester as well as all the dual-credit courses I took in high school) that I am, for all intents and purposes, considered a sophomore.
Since I live in Indiana and my school is in Iowa, I had to move out… obviously. This was my first time living on my own and I have to say that I think my first foray into Solo Adulting went pretty well! No homesickness, no massive piles of dirty laundry waiting anxiously to be washed (well… maybe once or twice), and only one missed class.
I made a bunch of new friends during the fall semester as well. DJGSHKDFJG I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! It also made me realize how crappy my friends from home are. (I can say that here, because none of my IRL friends read my blog. HA HA HA.) Like, people from college actually include me in stuff! It always used to bug me how I had to initiate social stuff with my IRL friends… and then sometimes they wouldn’t even show up! Now people ask ME to hang out. OH MY GOD YOU’RE ALL SO NICE.
I turned 19!
I read 100 books this year, which precisely filled my Goodreads reading challenge goal of… 100 books. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I read 203 books in 2014, and my goal was 100 that year as well. I feel as though I could’ve pushed myself to read more, to read faster.
On the other hand, starting college meant that I had much less time (and energy!) for reading, especially recreational reading. COLLEGE ATE MY BRAIN, BASICALLY. And 100 books isn’t bad by any means – I know many people who had even less reading time than I did!
I went through a looooooooooooooong reading slump earlier this year: I read some books in January, but then I didn’t pick one up again until June! The bulk of my reading took place during the fall semester of school. In general, my reading habits in 2015 can be characterized as binge-reading and then not reading anything at all for quite a while. (The other day, I realized I was majorly behind on my Goodreads challenge, so… I ended up reading a total of 19 books yesterday and today. Whoops. My eyes are melting now.)
I read a TON of comic books and graphic novels this year. I mean… I did last year, too, but this year they made up the majority of books I read! I read 66 comic books and graphic novels this year in an attempt to further explore the genre…. and OH MAN, doing this really made me realize how superior comics are to the MCU! I read a bunch of comics about Black Widow and Hawkeye and Iron Man within just the past few days, and the characters are soooo much better – more complex – on the page than onscreen. Discovering this just made me even more addicted to the genre than I already am…
I worked as an office clerk at my county’s 4-H fair again this July, mostly because they pay higher than minimum wage and that’s glorious. This summer, I also quit my job at the restaurant where I’d been working for more than three years. It felt reallllly weird to not work at all this past fall! (My parents and I decided it was best to wait a semester and adjust to college before I found a new job.) I applied for a job for the spring semester literally just a few hours ago, though! WISH ME LUCK.
I dealt with a lot of personal issues like my internalized homophobia, and I’m pretty proud of myself for doing so. I mean, I still have huge issues with it, but I’m slowly getting better, and that makes me happy.
One of the things that helped me work through some of those feelings was “Girls Like Girls” by Hayley Kiyoko. It’s a beautiful song and I listen to it all the time now whenever I feel sad or down.
Another song that will always make me think of this year when I hear it was “Brothers in Arms” from the Mad Max: Fury Road film score. I listened to the whole score a lot, but ESPECIALLY that song. IT’S LIKE A JOLT OF ADRENALINE. I felt it was worth mentioning here because it basically became my go-to essay-writing music. In some ways it defined 2015 for me even more than “Girls Like Girls” did because Fury Road was my favorite film score from a movie that came out this year. (If we’re talking about movies that were released prior to 2015, though, then it would have to be Interstellar. Hans Zimmer is a god.)
I began to explore the genre of LGBTQ+ film, and this is something I would like to continue in 2016. I would like to balance that with reading LGBTQ+ literature, actually – a decent amount of both. (I have a massive list of potential movies to watch, so I don’t really need to add any more to it… now I just need to figure out where to start! What are your favorites?!)
I didn’t exercise as much as I intended to. Bummer.
I… didn’t really complete my New Year’s resolutions from earlier this year, either? I mean, one of them was “exercise more,” so… yeah, no. Another was “be more proactive about friendships,” and I guess I kind of was. Maybe. I don’t know. I think that problem was partially solved by finding friends who actually cared enough to initiate conversations with me instead of the reverse.
I didn’t do NaNoWriMo this year, and I’m honest really happy that I didn’t, because it would have been far too stressful on top of all my homework.
I managed to keep this blog up and running, which honestly isn’t something I thought I would be able to do upon starting college. It ended up not being as hard as it looks, though – mostly, I blog in my free time and don’t have much of a social life. WHICH IS FINE WITH ME BECAUSE I AM A TINY INTROVERT. I blogged a lot this year – you can find my annual WordPress blogging report here.
All in all, I think 2015 was a pretty productive year. It was filled with changes, which was perfectly fine with me. I definitely grew up in more ways than one this year, and that’s a great feeling to have.
Here’s to 2016!
P.S. Stay tuned for a bunch of end-of-the-year/beginning-of-the-year posts! Over the next week or so, I’ll be recapping what I read/watched, listing my New Year’s resolutions, and more!