It's crazy to think that 2017 is already over. This year has been one of the most eventful years of my life thus far. I think the new year is a great time to look back at the best and worse memories and to reflect on the lessons learned through the past year. That's exactly what I'll be doing today.
January 2017. A new year. A fresh start. A new page. I was very excited for 2017, I was in my senior year in high-school and I was determined to make the best of every day. Some of my goals were to really be myself and focus on self growth, as well as making a difference in other's lives, and to work hard towards my academic goals as well.
One of my favorite memory's this year was being a candidate for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Students of the Year campaign. I was working towards raising thousands of dollars for blood cancer research. It was a great and humbling experience, I wrote and send hundreds of letters as well as went to local business for support. It brought me so much joy to help raise money for a cause so dear to my heart.
February 2017. Another great and eventful month. As you can see in the picture above I was very happy and proud of all that I was achieving. I was so proud to get all A's and my highest GPA yet, a 4.4! And I was still working hard on my campaign to help beat blood cancer.
One of the best days ever! My acceptance into the University of Maryland! I also found out that I got into the honors college and was a semi-finalist for their most prestigious merit-based scholarship. To say the least I was over the moon happy! The best part was seeing how proud I made my mom who worked so hard and sacrificed so much for us to have these opportunities.
Another favorite memory is Black History Month. I was happy to help my school celebrate BHM as vice-president of SGA by having a black out day, making posters, a banner, and bringing awareness to this important month that was often overlooked at my school. I learned a lot this month about leadership and the criticism that comes with it.
The Gala for the Student's of the Year fundraiser was so inspiring. I was so proud to take part in this campaign and raise thousands of dollars for blood cancer research. It was amazing to meet fellow young students who raised so much money for this cause, the whole experience was inspiring. The lesson I took away is that we all have a chance to make a change, any amount that you can give is worth it. I raised over $6,000 for this cause which I was so proud of, another student raised over $70,000! The moral is it doesn't matter how much you give, it's about the fact that did your best to make a difference in any way you can.
Laurence Family - March 2017
Another major moment was my acceptance into GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY! I was so happy that I cried because I didn't think I would be accepted AND offered a merit scholarship. It was truly a humbling and amazing moment this year, the fact that they accepted me still gives me chills and makes me so proud.
A huge moment this year, I can actually say the best was being offered a full academic scholarship to the University of Maryland! My mom and I cried tears of joy and I can't describe the emotions that I felt. I feel so blessed for this opportunity and it continues to motivate me even more.
My high school prom! I was so happy that my boyfriend and I were on prom court. It was such a great night and it felt like I was living out a dream. Check out my prom blog post for more pics.
In May, everything was basically about saying goodbye. I had my last chorus concert which was so bittersweet.
So proud of my mom, she instilled the importance of education into us and lead by example by going back to college and receiving her degree while still caring for the four of us. I don't know how she does it but I'm glad to call her my mom.
My high school graduation was another major moment. I felt so blessed and honored to be one of the speakers as well as being able to perform one last time with my singing group. This was a huge step towards the next parts of my life.
One of my favorite moments this year was going home to St. Maarten. Leaving my home four years ago was the hardest thing and I really appreciate the times that I get to go back home and see my family and friends. I was so blessed to have my boyfriend come to the island, I loved showing him my home and what my childhood was like and to celebrate our 2 year anniversary together.
Lovers in Paradise
My first tattoo - St. Maarten
Move in Day! In August I moved out of home and into college. It was a huge step for my whole family. I am the first child to go off to college so it was really big moment for us. I was so excited to start my college career!
In September I celebrated my 18th birthday!!! Thank God for giving me another year of life and a wonderful family to have celebrated this day with.
Hurricane Irma hit my island in September, I was heartbroken. I've never felt that amount of fear until that moment. It was shocking. It was numbing. But when life knocks you down you have to get back up and I am so proud of my island for its road to recovery.
I really enjoyed my first semester of college. I learned so much about myself, how to live on my own, how to enjoy my own company, and how to stay focused. I stayed true to myself and did the things that make me happy. I look forward to spring semester to push myself further towards my goals.
In November, I continued to work hard in all my courses but I was so happy to finally have a break. Thanksgiving was a great time to reflect on all the blessings in life.
One of the projects I was working on was "Gemstone Terms for St. Maarten" With the help of my honors program and fellow terps, we collected hundreds of items for St. Maarten for Hurricane relief. It made me so happy to contribute to my island after the worst hurricane in history.
Now it is December and I can't believe how quickly the time has gone by. Writing this post helped me to reflect on this past year and its easy for me to say this has been the most eventful year in my life.
Gemstone Terps for St. Maarten was a success. I am happy to say that we shipped 44 boxes to the island to help those in need. I am very thankful to everyone who donated!Gemstone Terps for St. Maarten was a success. I am happy to say that we shipped 44 boxes to the island to help those in need. I am very thankful to everyone who donated!
I went through my first "finals week" which was quite the experience, it is very daunting that one last test could impact your grade and all the hard work you've been doing the past months. But I stayed motivated and studied hard. I'm so happy to say that I finished my first semester of college with all A's and a 3.8 GPA!
Now, I am home for winter break and am enjoying time with my family to end this incredible year. I am thankful for 2017. The ups, the downs, the fun times, the struggles, the tears, the laughs...I'm thankful for it all. Every experience gives us and opportunity to grow. I am so excited for 2018, I hope to grow, learn, and accomplish even more than I did this past year. A new page. A new start. A new year. Goodbye 2017 Hello 2018