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Taking a trip down the proverbial memory lane (as it is the eve to a new year), I realized a lot has changed this last year. I graduated high school, I got a car, I started college, I reached a significant milestone in age, and my sister got a dog (a very major event for my family). A lot of other things also happened but if I really took the time to list them all here, we’d be here forever.

And that’s just it, a lot has changed within a year, and to be honest, I’m sometimes surprised that everything has gone by so quickly. Sometimes I still wake up and take a moment to realize that I’m no longer counting down the days till high school graduation, and that I’m now an adult. It’s weird, I’ll admit, because I’m still a bit used to the four years of routine from high school. But now there’s a certain level of freedom and, sometimes, the craziness that comes with it in my life that I have to deal with. Like taking on more responsibilities at home and school, learning how to live on my own to make the adjustment easier when I leave, and dealing with job-searching, which gives me a headache.

But despite the amount of change, there are also, thankfully, some things that remain the same. My family is still here with me, I have great friends I’ve managed to stay close to despite all of us heading in different directions, and, through the tough times these are, I’ve still got a roof over my head and clothes on my back. And hopefully these things will continue on being the same this coming year too.

People usually say that with a new year comes new beginnings, and that what happened in the past should be left there and forgotten, but I have to say I somewhat disagree. Sure, a new year is a fresh start and if you want one, go ahead and take it. But the past, even if unpleasant, should not be something that is forgotten. If anything, it should be your building blocks for making 2012 a better year. Because isn’t the whole reason why they teach us history is so that we don’t repeat our past mistakes? So learn from your unpleasant past and hopefully you won’t repeat those mistakes this coming year. And if you happened to have a great year this year, then why would you want to forget it?

I have to say 2011 ended pretty well, and hopefully 2012 will also hold good things for me and for you. Have a great New Years everyone.

Check out other CampusRiot’s bloggers’ thoughts on the new year: here and here

Photo courtesy of daryl_mitchell via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).