Wow. 2015 is finally over.I know everyone says this, but God where did the time go? This last year has been a blur. I feel like this year has been the year of “added responsibilities” for me. Between becoming an EMT, turning 20, and starting my second year of nursing school, it feels like 2015 was simultaneously trying to kill me and teach me how to be an adult. I’ve been an “adult” for a while (only 2 1/2 years but still) and yet I don’t think I really knew what that meant until this year. So here are some of the things I’ve learned this year. SPOILER…I’m not some philosophical genius…so yeah, just keep that in mind.

2015 brought on the second semester of my Freshman year at Villanova University and the multitude of responsibilities that came with living on my own. I found out the hard way that mindlessly eating a gallon of chocolate covered raisins does not a balanced diet make (Maddy knows what I’m talking about). I also found out that the library is my friend, even if the walk there seems infinite. But regardless, settling into Freshman year and actually having to manage my free time on my own was one of the bigger challenges I’ve faced. If I didn’t have stellar friends who are on top of their lives to drag me along with them, I wouldn’t have made it. Which leads me into the First Lesson of Adulthood; surround yourself with people who a) make you happy and b) make you better. This was hard for me. It’s so easy to find people to giggle and goof off with, but it’s something else entirely to have someone who makes you giggle and makes you want to be a better friend, student, and person. Find those people who can make you both happy and a better person and hold on tight.

Two Thousand and Fifteen was also the year I became an EMT. After doing ride-alongs with Villanova Emergency Medical Services (VEMS) for the entirety of Freshman year, I fell in love (again) with medicine and decided to take classes over the summer to further my medical knowledge. It was tough; we were in class from 9am-3pm and then we would stay after class to practice some skills that we had learned that day. Along with the 12 hour clinicals at either an ambulance service or the ER I had little to no free time.With that said, it was the best three months of my life. The people in that class (instructors and students alike) are some of the most driven, caring, incredible people I’ve met in my 20 years of existence. I learned so much from them, more than just medical knowledge. So here’s the Second Lesson of Adulthood; I didn’t realize going into, but it’s an incredible responsibility and honor taking care of someone’s life. It was kind of a duh moment but it really resonated with me that everyone has the responsibility to protect and care for those around us. I think that’s what separates the kids from the adults, honestly. 

2015 also started my Second year in Villanova’s nursing program and boy was I not prepared. This was the first year in all of my schooling that wasn’t based around assignments. We were given a textbook and told to read it and then tested on our knowledge. There were no worksheets to keep us on track, no essays to give that little boost in our grade…nope it was like they just shoved us off a cliff and told us to teach ourselves how to fly. Which is my Third Lesson of Adulthood; nobody is going to hold your hand and tell you exactly what to do. You have to take it upon yourself to teach yourself how to do it. People tell me this all the time and it didn’t make sense until now. I was use to being “smart” but only in a world where people taught me and I learned. I’ve never been in the situation to teach myself a large majority of the material that I was expected to know.

I know I have a lot more to learn about being a grownup and having to deal with grownup-y things but I’m just happy that I made it through another year without flunking out of life.

Now, since you’ve so kindly sat through the most long winded essay on some hokey lessons I’ve learned this year, I thought I’d reward you with some pictures (yay!). My friend Nicole and I went on a nice New Year’s hike and took some cute little BFF pics because we never have any good pictures of each other (usually we are making weird faces). It was absolutely freezing so please forgive us if our faces are frozen in super awkward smiles.


Anyways, I hope you all are having a great 2016 so far and haven’t given up on those New Year’s resolutions just yet. I’m so grateful for all of you who keep up with all the random bits and pieces of my life.

I’ll leave you with a quote from my friend CT.

“Who isn’t awkward? If you aren’t fully yourself you aren’t awkward; just be different and you.” –CT Wristen

Happy Monday,

ally renee

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