Not only is today the last day of 2019, but it's also the last day of a decade. Ten years ago, I was a freshman in high school. At the time, I planned on being a high school math teacher or maybe an architect, depending on how I felt entering college. Then the years started flying by and plans began changing.
In 2012, I realized that my dream college - Northwest Missouri State University - didn't quite feel like the right fit anymore. So I turned my focus to the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
In 2013, I began college with a Distinguished Scholarship - the highest scholarship offered at my school, which included full tuition and a stipend.
In 2014, I took my dream internship - the Walt Disney World College Program. I spent five months cleaning toilets and it was absolutely magical.
In 2015, I attended a conference at West Point on behalf of my school. Yes, they let me hold a gun.
In 2016, I graduated college, less than 3 years after starting. And in the fall began my law school journey, which everyone can read about on this blog.
Fast forward 3 years to 2019, and in the past 7 months I graduated from law school, spent countless hours studying for the bar, began my career as a judicial clerk, and in September I finally accomplished my dream of becoming an attorney.
You see, the past ten years has been full of accomplishments. I'm not bragging, but I am very proud of how far I've come and how much I have been privileged to accomplish. But those last 10 years have been centered around one thing - school, education, and finding a career.
So now I turn to 2020 and things are looking different.
I'm no longer in school. Although I'm glad to be done with tests and homework and studying for hours on end, school has been part of my identity for the past twenty years. 2020 is the first year that I won't be a student. I haven't quite wrapped my head around that yet. Yes, I graduated in May, so I've had several months without school already. But I'm still getting used to the fact that being a student isn't a central part of my identity anymore.
I'm an attorney. Like, holy shit - who let this happen? Today I did a big girl thing and renewed my law license. If you would've looked at me 10 years ago and told me that I'd be saying that exact sentence, I wouldn't have believed it. I've worked my entire life to find a career that I love and it's crazy to think that I'm just out here doing the thing now.
There are some personal things that are different too. In the second half of this year, I moved in with my boyfriend. A couple months ago, we got a puppy named Walter. Let me tell you folks - owning a dog is serious business. I haven't slept through the night in 3 months. But at the same time, I love that little guy with my whole heart.
I'm excited to see what 2020 brings, and how all my life changes shape the "new me." What things are going to be different about you in 2020?