With a matter of minutes between me and my birthday, I’m finding myself (unsurprisingly) reflective as I consider the past year. I will be the first to admit: 21 was good to me; I liked it very much.

ImageTurning 21 was definitely not the dream I hoped for- in fact, I rang in 21 with a full-on-24-hour-flu and here is a HUGE shout-out to my friend Abby for…handling the unfortunate situation of my sickness. DISCLAIMER I was not able to “celebrate” this special day before I got sick… and so this is me clearing up that rumor. My mom always said “if you want to dance you have to pay the fiddler” and I remember calling my mom on my birthday last year, sick in bed, saying “But mom I had to pay the fiddler and I didn’t even DANCE.”

Anyways. 21 was actually awesome. My friend Victoria planned my birthday bash so I got to celebrate the weekend after my day, with some great friends. Even my cousins Kasey and Matt surprised me by making an appearance at the festivities! That same weekend, I got to road trip to Michigan with some of my favorite friends, to attend our great friend Megan’s bridal shower! Being able to see Megan mid-semester was such a special treat.

I took a trip to Arizona and got some much anticipated sunshine and Brewer time. I also got to see Victoria in her home state!

I hosted Mr. Troll, a mens’ pageant put on by my dorm building’s hall council. Speaking of the dorms…I loved my living situations at age 21. From my on-campus apartment roommates to my off-campus apartment roommates to the Cteve Hut, I’m thankful for the great people I’ve had the privilege of living with.

I took a Florida trip in May that we fondly referred to as #ONAMI13 because, of course, all good vacations also have Instagram hashtags these days.

I attended my friend Annie’s wedding! Attending a wedding in our home town was extra special, and she and Travis had a great day.

In July, I road tripped to Iowa for Megan and Ben’s wedding. What an awesome time with good friends and sweet memories.

I moved back to Chicago for my final semester in August. Then, I learned more about who I am as an individual. I got to do another semester of FYF. I spent a lot of time with many, many really great people.

I gained a sister. I GAINED A SISTER! My brother Dan married Melissa on October 5, and I got to be a bridesmaid which was so special. I’m honored that I got to stand up for Dan and Mel at their wedding.

I led a Cap Stone group, serving Ruminate Magazine. Being a part of this project was a blessing and a challenge; I loved my group and I’m thankful for everything we learned.

I learned how to make Vokda Gummy Bears. And I’d say they were a hit. But that depends on who you ask.

I graduated college!

I drank a grand total of 5,389 cups of iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Just kidding, I totally made up that number. But I did have a lot of iced coffee and I’m glad it was just $1 since I obv would only go between 3-6:00.

I completed my job as Alumni Office Assistant, though I miss those nice people often.

I made new friends. I wasn’t planning to get close to new people my final semester of college, but it happened and I’m glad it did.

I spent time with old friends. I’m so thankful that there are people I’ve known for 15-20 years and we can still hang out and talk about new things as well as the old.

I started a new job! I’d tell you my job title but that’s honestly TBD. So, stay tuned for that one! (So far so good, though, with the job. I am thankful).

I sang in “Jilli And The Overheads,” AKA I attended a 7th-12th grade youth group for the tenth consecutive year.

Twenty-One was a full year, and I’m so thankful for many people and memories that made 21 great.
Here’s to many more years of fun, learning, and good times ahead!


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