1 Year after high school: “Wait, what is going on?”
I was a 2002 high school grad so a year after high school I was already in my first year of college and honestly, having the weirdest time. For the first two years of college, I chose to attend a small Christian university close to home and I think I quickly realized it just wasn’t the experience I was looking for – all around. During my first year though, I seriously spent most of it in my dorm with my roommate. We eventually ventured out but that first semester was interesting. You’ve heard of Freshman 15? My roommate and I LOST weight that first semester from just staying in our room and eating ramen noodles and watching Cops and infomercials. It’s hilarious when I look back on it. We really did have fun though together and got to know so many people in the dorm. It was a silly time, and just downright strange. But I lived 🙂
I ended up transferring to a larger university my junior year and it was seriously one of the best times of my life. I had great friends, fun experiences, and some of the most amazing professors, two of which had a profound impact on me and my decisions/views/beliefs (those classes were Political Science- go figure, and Women’s Studies). I always say, if I could go back and relive a part of my life for one weekend, it would be my senior year of college. But I’d only relive the weekend. (You know, Thursday – Sunday)
5 Years after high school: Exhilarating, Isolating, and Heartbreaking
Five years after HS was one of the most exciting chapters of my life, however also one of the most stressful. I had just signed with Elite Model Management about 6 months prior and had moved to Chicago, finishing up the last semester of my senior year online (that was not easy, let me tell you). Chicago was a new city to me- I knew no one here, was living with a random roommate, and working very part time at a German bar at nights. It was often a lonely and isolating time but it was exhilarating. I was finally living out my dreams, modeling. I felt incredibly independent. I was working hard. SO hard. I was in a serious relationship that would ultimately become broken, and would lead me down a very painful road – but also lead me to a beautiful, new path of strength and freedom. Through it all I became stronger and learned a lot about who I wanted to be as a person, and the kind of people I wanted in my life. The next couple years I would learn a lot about who my true friends were, the type of man I deserved, and strength I didn’t even know I had. I found the beauty in the breakdown and heartbreak, and the reward that comes from staying true to yourself.
10 Years after high school: This is the Life
Ten years after high school…. the best was yet to come and this year was living proof. My best friend and I had just moved back to Chicago from Los Angeles. And then I married that best friend, love of my life. We were back “home” and close to family and friends, and also back to the frigid Chicago winters – I didn’t care. Our new apartment was practically bare and we were happy. It was a year of regrouping, recovering (moving to CA and back all in one year hurts the bank account, let me tell ya!), and soaking up as much family time as we could. This year was the start of things moving forward, the happiest days of my life, and finally feeling comfortable in my own skin and surroundings. And it just keeps getting better 🙂
What does your flashback look like? What were your favorite years – 1 year out of high school, 5 years out of high school, or 10 years out of high school?