(Birthday reflections will be a series on my blog.)

Where should I begin?

When one thinks of turning nineteen, she probably doesn’t think of much. The age isn’t necessarily considered a milestone and at most sounds a tad bit more mature than eighteen. For some reason, though, I was a little more excited about my birthday this year than I usually am (I’m usually not very excited). I spent the day going to brunch with my friends and roommates, and later attended the State Fair with some of my best friends. I was also able to watch some Harry Potter.

I would say I remember birthdays quite well. I’m sure many others have a knack for this too, but I also remember to somehow personally wish each person. I think, due to this, I am always curious and excited to see who will actually take the time to wish me. In this process, I also am surprised by those who don’t wish me (and these are folks who definitely know when my birthday is). Ultimately, I feel quite guilty if I do not wish someone a Happy Birthday, but I guess I may be alone in this feeling.

I think I’ve definitely learned quite a bit about myself this past year.  I truly feel as though I have discovered what makes me “happy” and what I want from myself, my relationships, my friendships, my family, my schooling, my passions, and my career. I am more comfortable sharing my opinions as I have definitely learned lots within and outside of my schooling.

I have met so many people and have made so many wonderful friends. I know I will have the friendships I’ve made for the rest of my life. While I consider practically everyone I know a friend, I know those whom I consider my closest or best friends now will always have my best interests in mind (I will do the same).

I am now an Event Officer on my college’s Student Board and am an At-Large Representative in my University’s student government. I had an interesting internship this summer with County government and I truly felt as though my opinion was valued.

While I’m grateful for all of these positive factors, I must, of course, discuss the negatives. I would say, even during my Senior year of High School, my anxiety heightened quite a bit more than it already had. I believe I am now mainly a “Type A” personality and can be annoyingly specific about how I (and those around me) complete tasks. While this has, obviously, affected my mental health even more than it already was, I try to remind myself to remain calm within my storm of worries. I am often quite hard on myself and this is frequently reflected physically on my body (I suffer from dermatitis and cysts on my scalp due to emotional stress). All good things take time, so I will continue to do what I can to better and maintain my health.

Ultimately, I am incredibly indebted to the positive influences I have for making my life what it is currently. Many do not have the opportunity to see the age of nineteen and I can only hope that I do it justice. My youth and / or age should not have any significance in how much of a difference I make during my time here.

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