I can say that, without a doubt, 2015 was probably one of the best years of my young life so far. I went to amazing places, met incredible people and somehow managed to not go bankrupt. Because of this, I learned a lot about myself and about life in general this year, and I'm excited to see where all of that will take me in 2016.
I learned that hard work and dedication really does pay off.
I recently found my very first portfolio site that I created when I first joined Ball Bearings magazine my freshman year at Ball State. It was filled with old newspaper clips from my high school paper and when I saw them, I swear I almost fell over in my chair laughing and weeping because I was such a terrible designer. By no means am I currently the best designer in the world, but I can tell you that when you put your really put your mind to it and put in a lot of hard work and dedication, it will all pay off in the end. I can definitely say it's all of this hard work that got me to Sports Illustrated over the summer, and it's hard work that will get me back to New York again after graduation. I look at that first portfolio side by side with my current one and see immense improvement, and I'm looking forward to working hard to improve even more to be successful in my career.
I learned that sheer dumb luck is actually a thing.
As most of you know, I had the incredible opportunity of interning with Time, Inc. at Sports Illustrated over the summer. Half the time I reflect back on how I received this internship I believe it's because of a lot of hard work and dedication, and really putting in effort to interview well (even though when asked what I knew about sports, I responded, "Nothing, but I am willing to learn anything and everything."). But the other half of the time I fully believe that I received my internship with Time, Inc. because of sheer dumb luck. You see, Gmail has this thing where the divide your email into three inboxes, your primary mail, mail from your social media accounts and platforms and promotional emails. I hardly ever check the latter two inboxes, mainly because I don't need to know that Facebook has changed their terms and usage agreement for the umpteenth billion time, and because I'm restraining myself from all of the sale emails I get from retailers.
One day in late February, I checked the promotions inbox just on a fluke to see what kind of sales Forever 21 and Southwest was having when I came across a message from Time, Inc. The subject line was "Congratulations! You're invited to first round video interviews for the 2015 internship program!" I immediately opened the email and read it over fifteen times along with Katy to make sure that it was actually legitimate, because I thought it was really sketchy that the email didn't go into my primary inbox. In the end, it was obviously a very real email, and I only had 48 hours left to complete my video interview.
Obviously, I completed the interview and by the last week of school, had a phone interview and accepted the internship. I had the summer of a lifetime, but none of that would have happened if I hadn't been able to restrain myself from checking out whatever sale Forever 21 was having at the time. Sheer dumb luck is a real thing, and I am so happy that it exists.
I learned that I still really, really love Harry Potter, and I always will.
Anyone who has ever encountered me in their life, especially those people with whom I went to grade school and high school, will always remember me as the girl obsessed with Harry Potter. Throughout grade school, my locker was decorated with Harry Potter posters and 8.5 times out of 10, I was almost always carrying a Potter book with me, even though I had read it (multiple times) before.
In 2011 when the final movie was released, the majority of my friends and family felt a pang of relief, hoping that this end of an era would tone down my obsession with all things Potter. And honestly, it sort of did. I began to love and appreciate Harry and his world in a more calm way. I still enjoyed watching the movies and picking up one of the books from time to time. I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter twice since the last movie and geeked out for a solid few days each time, but that was that, really. The height of my obsession plateaued, and my mom was so relieved, she thought I may actually be able to finally find a boyfriend (spoiler alert: I still haven't).
But then, this year, J.K. Rowling decided to write a screenplay for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," which is now being turned into a trilogy by Warner Bros. that's going to be released in November 2016. AND she helped to produce a play in London's West End entitled "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" which I found out later is ACTUALLY THE EIGHT INSTALLMENT OF HARRY POTTER THAT TAKES PLACE WHEN HARRY'S KIDS ARE AT HOGWARTS. HARRY POTTER EIGHT. I REPEAT: HARRY POTTER EIGHT.
Obviously since those two announcements, my obsession plateau has gone from zero to OHMYGODHARRYHARRYHARRY in a matter of weeks and my mother is once again starting to lose hope that I'll ever find a boyfriend. However, if these new installments in the Harry Potter world have taught me anything, it's that I am still one of the biggest Potter fans you will ever meet. I will love Harry and his wondrous world, always.
I learned that simplifying will make you happier.
When I moved to the East Coast for the summer, I was only allowed to take so much stuff with me. I was able to break my closet down to one large suitcase that wasn't completely overstuffed. And, when I moved back to Indiana and headed back to school, I pretty much took the same amount with me. I even simplified on all of the little tchotchke crap I like to drag around with me everywhere I go. Now don't get me wrong, I still do have a lot of stuff, but the simplifying I've done and all the simplifying I plan to do, has made me a lot more content. Getting rid of stuff I know I don't need anymore is at times sad, but ultimately kind of fulfilling, because it's reminding me that I'm getting ready for life after graduation, which in and of itself is an exciting and scary thing.
So that was my 2015. I cannot wait to see what 2016 will have in store for me.
WORDS OF ADVICE: Don't ever turn down free tickets to Hamilton. You will regret it for the rest of your entire young adult life.