19 Things I Did In 2015 That I’d Never Done Before

I got the idea for this post from the blog Sushi and PizzaBoquinha and Dr. Mark recently published year-in-review questionnaire posts, and the first question was, “What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?”

I know I’ve written a LOT of end-of-the-year/beginning-of-the-year posts lately, and I didn’t originally plan to do very many more, but I’ve decided to answer this question on my own blog because… well, I think it’s a neat way of looking back at the year we just finished.

It’s an incredibly POSITIVE way of thinking about the past year. Rather than feeling bad about what I needed/wanted to do but never get around to doing, it’s a way of reflecting on what I did accomplish.

And I think sometimes doing even the most ordinary things – things that other people think nothing of because they’ve done them so often before – for the first time is an accomplishment in and of itself, especially when we’re talking about major life changes and experiences that scare us because they’re new and we’ve never navigated them before.

2015 was a a year of huge changes for me, and this meant it was stressful at times. So, this post seems like a good way to look on the bright side and think about how stressing over something is a completely normal reaction to change… and how changes will happen whether you want them to or not, so you might as well enjoy all these new experiences that are part of ADULTING and just try not to stress too much about them.

(Wow, Engie, tone down the philosophizing there!)

Aaaaand TBH, it’s a 2015 wrap-up post that ISN’T necessarily about books or movies or anything fandom-related. I’ve published a lot of posts like that in the past few days and I realize that for some of you, it probably isn’t your cup of tea.


1. Graduated from high school

This was REALLY weird because, well, my method of education changed so much afterwards. Like… wait, I’m done? And ready to move on to college? I swear I started kindergarten just the other day. How did thirteen years go by so quickly?

It was a lot of fun too, though: We invited a bunch of friends and relatives to my open house, and there was CAKE and plenty of other yummy food.

2. Graduated from 4-H

This summer is gonna feel reallyyyyyyyyy weird because I won’t have any 4-H projects to finish last-minute… or at all! I’m definitely going to miss this program, except for the part that involves me scurrying around to complete all my projects. I’ve met so many wonderful people (who wrote letters of recommendation for my scholarship applications!) and made lots and lots of memories.

3. Quit my job

Not because I was dissatisfied with it, but simply because I moved several hundred miles away for college! In some ways it was just a job for me, buuuuuut… it was a pretty great first job, as far as first jobs go. It wasn’t fast food, for instance. And I generally got along with everyone there.

4. Went to a comic book store (& bought my first comic!)

I actually ended up interviewing the owner as part of a project for my communications class! I picked up some comics there on Free Comic Book Day in May, and I started my comic book collection by buying Captain America: The Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker.

5. Watched an LGBTQ+ film

I watched three this year, actually, but the first was Imagine Me & You! It’s a great, cute romcom about a woman who falls in love with another woman she meets on the day of her wedding. Lena Headey is in it! SHE MAKES ME FEEL A LOT OF REALLY GAY FEELINGS. I’m sooooo glad I decided to start with something lighthearted, because there are entirely too many stories about sad lesbians and it all gets a bit much after a while.

6. Moved out

My room looked so bare after emptying it of so much stuff! I left most of my books behind – well, duh, I had to because I own a few hundred of them – but I took most of my clothes. (…I don’t own very many clothes. I certainly don’t have as many clothes as I have books, and that’s just the way I like it!)

TBH, one of the differences that really startled me was that my desk was clean. THAT NEVER HAPPENS. MY DESK IS ALWAYS COVERED WITH RANDOM CRAP. I’d always used it as more of a place to store stuff, rather than a place to sit and study.

7. Had a roommate 

I mean, technically I shared a room with my brother for a while? But we were babies. I don’t even remember it. So this was, essentially, the first time I’d ever had a roommate. My roommate is quiet and not too messy and she doesn’t steal my stuff or anything like that, so we get along just fine. We’re not best friends or anything like, but then we don’t need to be – we’re just two people who happen to be sharing the same room for a year.

8. Started college full-time

I started taking dual-credit courses at a satellite campus of Purdue University as a sophomore in high school, but I never had more than two courses at once… and most semesters, I only had one.

So I wasn’t at all sure how I’d handle a full load of classes, PLUS living on my own, PLUS doing my own laundry and stuff like that. Would I fail all my classes, cry my eyes out due to homesickness, and live in a pile of dirty socks? Fortunately, no. I earned all As (and made the dean’s list!), wasn’t homesick at all, and even figured out how to turn on the washing machine. Yay, me.

9. Was away from my family for more than a week

I visited Washington, D.C. the summers after my sophomore and junior years with two different groups, and each trip lasted about a week. But that’s it – I’d never been away from my family longer than that. Had the opportunity presented itself, I would’ve happily gone on longer trips, but that didn’t happen.

So… that’s the main reason why I was nervous about moving out. I wasn’t sure if I could handle being away from my family for fourteen weeks. (The University of Iowa doesn’t have a fall break – we only get Thanksgiving break! So we’re at school for a really long time, then we have an entire week off for Thanksgiving, and then it’s back to school for just three weeks until winter break begins.)

10. Turned nineteen

I’ve never been nineteen before, so of course I had to include it on this list!

11. Spent my birthday away from my family

I thought I would be lonely that day, but I wasn’t! I hung out with some of my new friends and it was awesome.

12. Took a workshop-style creative writing course

I’d taken three English classes before, but we wrote essays and speeches in them, and I’ve always been shy about sharing my stories with anyone, even my family and friends. So I was REALLY nervous about this class, but I ended up loving it! Both my confidence and my writing skills grew by leaps and bounds last semester.

13. Took a literature course

This was so much fun! I loved discussing the novels we read, analyzing the symbolism, learning about different authors, et cetera. I always felt that studying literature as a homeschooler was always a little lonely, so this experience was amazing.

14. Made friends IRL who actually make an effort to spend time with me

My IRL friends back home are… not the greatest when it comes to initiating activities. I constantly felt like I was annoying them by asking them if they wanted to see this or that movie with me, so eventually I asked less and less often.

I love that my friends from school ask me to study with them and eat dinner with them and watch movies with them and just generally hang out with them. I ask them to do all those things and more as well, of course, but the difference is that now I’m not the only one asking.

15. Got a phone

Believe it or not, I did not have a phone until last summer! Blahhhhhh. But now I have one! And most of the photos I’ve taken with it are selfies with my cat. #priorities

16. Joined a GSA

I joined Spectrum UI, the LGBTQ+ student group here at Iowa! Meeting so many other queer people has been amazing, and I’ve made so many friends. I’m thinking about applying to be a club officer next year!

17. Volunteered for a political campaign

I volunteered with Hawkeyes For Bernie and the University of Iowa Democrats this fall! Once I’m back on campus, I plan to do some last-minute volunteering before the caucus, which will be held on February first!

18. Met a presidential candidate and took a selfie with him!

I MET BERNIE FREAKING SANDERS. IT WAS AMAZING. When I decided to go to school in Iowa, I knew that state is important in the presidential election, but just how important it is hadn’t fully dawned on me. I never thought I’d have the opportunity to meet Bernie Sanders at an event just a few miles from campus!

19. Watched a Star Wars movie in a theater

That was an experience I never thought I’d get to have, so it was pretty cool. I’d just assumed there was never going to be a sequel trilogy, so… yeah. Also? It was fun to see a Star Wars movie spoiler-free, and in general I’m a big fan of seeing movies in theaters. I love movies, but especially on the big screen because then everything is BIG and LOUD.


Be sure to tell me about all the things YOU did for the first time last year!

About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in LGBTQ+, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to 19 Things I Did In 2015 That I’d Never Done Before

  1. The lesbian movie you mentioned sounds so cute. I need to watch it. I just finished The L Word and have been looking for more LGBTQ+ shows/movies.

  2. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    I was cracking up over #8. XD OH YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL. Getting As and turning on the washing machine?! I bow to your adulting skills.

  3. orphu44 says:

    I, at least, love New Year posts, so you can never have too many as far as I’m concerned.
    Goodness, that’s quite an eventful year! (Which … I suppose I already knew that you did a number of these things, but seeing them all listed out is very impressive. I’m impressed.)
    And we share two of the firsts! Getting a phone for the first time and our birthdays (… which I suppose is a bit of a cheat. But still.)
    Also I have to say that you seem much more proactive than I am with social things like Participating in Groups and Making Friends. (This is why it’s probably good that we met online because if we’d met IRL I probably would have just made a few awkward attempts to befriend you by showing you pictures of Tolkien&Darwin and giving you cookies and then just. hiding and never ending up friends.)

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ehehe, I think you made a similar comment last year, about enjoying endless New Year’s posts. ❤ Should I post more? 😛

      I have a phone… you have a phone… you should send me selfies of you with your cat! 😀

      Pffft, the key word here is "seem." Most of the time I'm actually not very social, but… I'm more social now than during high school, I guess? Probably because everything on campus is rather close together, so it's all within walking distance and I don't have to work out with my family who gets which car when.


      • orphu44 says:

        Probably. That certainly sounds like me.
        Trade you cat selfies. 🙂
        My two most notable Failed Attempts at Making Friends were a) when I asked a Potential Friend if they knew Darwin’s middle name and then showed them the picture I drew of Darwin & Tolkien as friends, and b) when I went up to two Potential Friends I hadn’t previously interacted with and offered them homemade lembas, so those were specific examples of me trying to be an outgoing, friend-making person.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yay! ❤ *takes approximately 6 trillion more cat selfies*

      Ohhhh my god, you're so weird. ❤ "Drawing really improbable things" seems to be a hobby of yours. (I mistyped that as "a hobbit of yours" at first. Omg.)

  4. matttblack42 says:

    *reads #3* Hey now, I’ll have you know that fast food restaurants are a great place for a first job. Sure, there are rude customers, and the food is terrible, and the companies tend to view child labor laws as guidelines rather than actual laws, but, uh . . . actually, never mind.

    Anyhoo, I was recently accepted into the first (of hopefully several) of the colleges I applied for, so every time you talk about college-related things I find myself getting even more hyped than usual. “Woah,” I think, “she just mentioned college. I’m probably going to college soon!” *fidgets nervously* The roommate factor is what makes me nervous the most. I shared a room with my brother for fifteen years and he was pretty much the worst roommate you could ask for. Always making a mess, refusing to clean up said mess, and listening to music late into the night. I’m just afraid my new roommate might somehow manage to be even worse. (What if he listens to Macklemore!?)

    • nevillegirl says:


      Congrats! 🙂

      Oh my god. I was going to say “I wouldn’t be able to stand it if my roommate listened to Macklemore,” but she was actually playing one of his albums the day before we both left… oh well. :/

  5. Dr. Mark says:

    Hey, thanks for the shout out! I really enjoyed the post. It’s been fun to hear about all of your firsts this year–those college years are getting smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror! And #19, I never thought *I’d* see another Star Wars movie in the theater in my lifetime, and now there are going to be TONS! I’m looking forward to another year of interesting anecdotes and cat selfies. 😉

    • nevillegirl says:

      You’re welcome! 🙂

      It’s really fun to see how excited people of all ages are for TFA/the upcoming movies, isn’t it? 😀

      *nods seriously* Taking more cat selfies is my goal.

  6. So many new things!! I’ll be turning 19 this year so that’ll be one to add to my list 😉 Living on-campus sounds like a lot of fun, I’m so proud of you learning how to use a washing machine :’)

  7. Boquinha says:

    Adulting! Wow, such a big year for you! Love #13! Totally appreciate #14, let me tell you. So cool that you met Bernie. I mean, SO cool. Thanks for the shout out on this post. I like filling this one out every year – it’s nice to reflect on the past year while moving forward. Oh, and Star Wars – that’s been a first for me, too! When I was growing up, it just wasn’t on my radar. When the music started and the writing scrolled, I got SO excited and leaned in to Mark and said, “I’ve never done this before!!” Yay for fun things! Great post. 🙂

    • nevillegirl says:

      It was definitely a big year for me! 😀

      You’re welcome! 🙂

      Seeing and hearing so much about Star Wars these past few weeks made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 😛 It reminded me of tiny ten-year-old geek Engie. 😀

      Thank you!

  8. Pingback: 20 Things I Did In 2016 That I’d Never Done Before | Musings From Neville's Navel

  9. Pingback: 17 Things I Did In 2017 That I’d Never Done Before | Musings From Neville's Navel

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