When you’re a kid and your parents bring the cake over, you close your eyes and make a wish. Maybe it’s for a puppy or that new toy you saw at the store. When you grow older, material objects don’t hold as much meaning anymore. People find themselves being grateful for their health, knowledge, and getting to live another year. As the days leading up to my birthday drew closer last weekend, I realized that I had grown more as a person than I ever had before.
Maybe it was due to the fact that I had to accept changes as they frequently came. This last year, I graduated high school and started college. Learning how to adapt to a new change of scenery and leaving my hometown was something that I had to learn how to accept in a span of only three months. Adjusting to new classes and homework loads took a bit of getting used to, but I had incredible teachers in high school help me build my work ethic which, in turn, was a gift I hadn’t realized I had been given.
Maybe it was time that I started a new chapter in my life. Leaving high school was a bittersweet ending, but as the end of the school year drew, several of my teachers assured me that I was “more than ready” to tackle college.
Considering I’ve been told I’m mature for my age since I was eight or nine, I wasn’t too daunted, but still apprehensive of what was to come. It turns out this chapter was something I’ve been anticipating in the back of mind, just waiting to experience.
However, I think the main reason was pushing myself out of my comfort zone and having great outcomes in return. I’ve never been one to accept change with open arms, but life came full speed at me without much time to prepare. Moving out of state for college to a place where I knew no one was one of the biggest changes I’ve ever had to make, but I’m forever grateful for having the courage to do so.
I decided to reach out to a few people on social media coming into college. Now, I have countless memories with them and consider them close friends. Never having been a huge sports fan growing up, I went to one hockey game just because some friends invited me. I ended up going to every home game this season, leaving the arena with a hoarse voice every time.
Despite that, the best chance I gave myself was walking into The Reporter’s office during welcome weekend. I was so sure I wouldn’t get a job as a freshman, let alone become a part of the editorial staff. By turning in an application, I ended up having several opportunities to attend events that I never would’ve gone to and I get to work with talented, genuine people in return.
Whatever the reason I felt this tremendous amount of growth, I can safely say that it changed my life for the better. Birthdays should be a time to reflect on how much you’ve changed over the last year and all of the amazing accomplishments you’ve achieved.
Next time you blow out the candle, wish for growth, happiness, and good memories. Who knows? They might just come true.
Header Photo: As a kid, birthday wishes are often for new toys. Growing up, we realize that material possessions aren’t as important as wisdom. (Flickr photo)
Write to: Emma Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org