Reflection #2: turning 21

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This post is literally just a list of 20 great things that happened during the year I was 20 (the last 12 days of 2015 plus nearly all of 2016). I had to pick and choose; this year has been a tumultuous one in terms of global events. It’s been shocking, interesting, and occasionally horrifying, but all that aside, my year has had some phenomenal highlights:
1: December 2015 – I started my year off right with an amazing 20th birthday (thanks to my lovely family plus Noemi and Emily!).
2: December 2015 – I had another amazing Christmas with my extended family. They never fail to make me laugh so hard I cry, and I’m sure this year will be no different.
3: January 2016 – I was accepted to study abroad at the University of Edinburgh (my top choice, and almost my university for my entire undergraduate degree). Cue the celebration and anticipation!
4: February 2016 – Noemi and I went on our first ‘cute vacation’: a spa retreat … we ate, got pampered, ate, hot tubbed, ate, pretended to do readings, and ate.
5: March 2016 – I went to the Sunshine Coast over Easter weekend for a staff retreat with my wonderful co-workers, facilitated by my awesome boss. Can’t wait to get back to working with them!
6: April 2016 – Noemi and I went on ‘cute vacation’ #2, this time we changed it up by eating fudge, writing papers, eating pasta, buying books like the true English majors we are, drinking slurpees, going to a museum, and (over)eating cheesy potatoes.
7: April 2016 – I finished my third year of university, felt weird that time passes so quickly, then reminded myself that ‘luckily’ I’m doing a fifth year, so I have an extra eight months to stress and multi-task!
8: May 2016 – I moved home to live with my family again over the summer – not #hoemi, but definitely a welcome change after my exhaustion.
9: June 2016 – I finalized acceptance details for Edinburgh and finally started properly telling people. I had no idea then that it would be so amazing!!
10: July 2016 – I biked the seawall and took in the sunshine after a couple of days ‘unplugging’ and camping with my mum and Rosalie.
11: July 2016 – I spent some much-needed quality time with Rosalie after barely seeing her since last summer. Still my #1 girl, despite all our bike adventure disasters.
12: August 2016 – I was a counsellor at the VPL Writing and Book camp (again) and remembered why I’ve always loved it so much! The written word is a tool that everyone should appreciate!
13: August 2016 – I went to Holidaze and stayed with several of my Brownies in a cabin full of girls who insisted I sing them to sleep every night (so sweet).
14: September 2016 – My co-patrol-Guider Sam and I were accepted to take a patrol of Pathfinders to provincial Girl Guide camp SOAR in Smithers this coming summer!
15: September 2016 – I began my amazing exchange journey and realized quickly that I didn’t want it to end this soon.
16: October 2016 – I cooked my first full Canadian Thanksgiving meal and fed a handful of good friends. Also this month: travelled to Bath, Stonehenge, the Cotswolds, Skye, and Hawick.
17: November 2016 – I travelled to Paris and London and turned in my first University of Edinburgh paper!
18: November 2016 – My a cappella showcase went off without a hitch and I didn’t even cry on stage. The following week, I sang a solo at the Female Voice choir Christmas concert!
19: December 2016 – I got into the holiday spirit, despite being buried in work. I went to visit my dad’s side of the family one more time for an early birthday celebration that reminded me of the power of family.
20: December 2016 – I finished my last exam on the morning of my 21st birthday, complete with a freshly broken refrigerator and an end-of-exam fire alarm.
Here’s to my 20th year being amazing and my 21st (hopefully) being even better.