With the end of one year and the beginning of another, I find that I do a lot of thinking and reflection on the past 365 days of my life. As I was pondering the year 2015, I began to realize just how much happened and changed for me this year. So I thought I’d write a 2015 recap that highlights my, well, highlights, of 2015. Enjoy.
I met Lightning players and got cool, autographed stuff.
This year, I met (and took photos with!) goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and left wing Ondrej Palat. My dad won me a signed, game-used Valtteri Filppula stick at an auction, and I had a few chance run-ins with defenseman Anton Stralman. I also got most of the 2014-2015 team’s autographs at an open practice held in a town nearby.
The Lightning tweeted me. Several times.
They tweeted me happy birthday on my birthday (the Lightning beat the Dallas Stars). Then they delivered a birthday cupcake to me at my seat a few days later and got the whole row to sing me happy birthday. I tweeted them to thank them and they tweeted me happy birthday again! Later in the year, they retweeted my Black Friday picture with Ondrej Palat. AH.
I joined Lit Up Review.
I became a bimonthly contributor for a teen book blog run by a bunch of bibliophiles and fangirls just like me. It’s been a fun experience and has inspired me to write more book reviews/discussions.
I traveled a lot.
I went on five trips this year. First, I visited Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts over spring break in March with my dad. We toured colleges, skied, saw relatives, and attended a Lighting/Bruins game in Boston, as well as a UVM/BC college hockey game. Next, I traveled to Portland, Maine in early July with my mom, dad, and youngest brother. He had a hockey tournament, but on the off-days, we explored Portland and its surrounding area, including a few state parks. Just two days after returning home from Maine, I left with one of my best friends for Europe. But I’ll discuss that trip a bit more below. In September, I traveled to Chicago with my mom, touring colleges and taking a day trip to Indiana to attend my first college football game. The Chicago Blackhawks were also present and the team sat just yards away from us, with the Stanley Cup, no less. Finally, in December for Christmas break, my family of six traveled to Keystone, Colorado to ski for over a week. More on that below.
Zayn left One Direction.
I think this is fairly self-explanatory, but I’ll spell it out anyway. As an avid 1D fan, this was a rocky year. Zayn left the band, the four remaining boys finished their tour and released an amazing new album, and now they’re going on a yearlong break. Sigh.
I was inducted into the Order of the Gold & Black honor society.
It’s the most selective and prestigious honor society at my school – only twenty juniors get in in the spring. And I was one of them. It’s always nice when your hard work pays off, and getting recognized for it is just a bonus.
The Lightning made the Stanley Cup Final.
Need I say more? I attended every home playoff game and it was such a blast. Looking back on the 2015 playoffs, it was definitely one of the best times of my life. I have so much love and nostalgia for that period, though going through it was actually very intense and nerve-wracking.
I got job.
I’ve worked all throughout high school – babysitting, tutoring, swim instructing, and working baseball concessions – but in June I started my first “real” job at a women’s clothing boutique. I think it’s been a valuable learning experience and it’s always nice to have a steady (if meager) income.
I started watching Game of Thrones.
AKA the greatest show on earth. Jon Snow, Jon Snow, Jon Snow. In England, I bought the complete box set of the book series, along with a Funko Pop! and Jon Snow sweatshirt. In Northern Ireland, I got to go on a Game of Thrones filming locations tour. So, so cool. (The cast was actually in the area filming at the time, but we didn’t know until we met a locations scout for the show on the bus back to Dublin.) I can’t wait for season 6!
I visited Europe for the first time.
I left North America for the first time this year and got to travel to my favorite place on earth: Europe (sorry Canada). I visited Paris, France; London, Oxford, and Cambridge, England; Dublin and Malahide, Ireland; and Belfast, Northern Ireland (along with all the GoT tour stops, like the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge).
My best friends graduated from high school and started college.
Two of my high school best friends left my hometown to begin college this fall and it was very bittersweet. There was definitely an adjustment period I had to go through, as I was so unused to not having them around. But yay for school breaks when they come back to visit!
I became a senior.
It’s actually crazy to think about. I’ve been dreaming of this for years, but when it finally happened I just couldn’t wrap my head around it for awhile. Again, another adjustment period because it was weird at first being the oldest in the school. But now, I’m doing just fine.
I was named a National Merit Semifinalist.
This was something I distantly hoped for, but actually earning this honor was an incredible surprise. It’s opened up scholarship opportunities for me and just makes me happy and proud.
I attended some amazing concerts (key word: some).
I attended 5 Seconds of Summer’s Rock Out with Your Socks Out Tour with my friend Kathryn in September and it was tons of fun. The highlight of the year though, in terms of concerts, was Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour, which featured opening acts Shawn Mendes and Vance Joy (both were phenomenal live). For the not-so-great, I attended The Weeknd’s Fall Madness Tour, which was supposed to open with Halsey. However, she was in the hospital on my tour date. The music was too loud, people were drunk, vaping, and smoking indoors, and, while The Weeknd sounds good live, the show was just a total bust for me.
I concluded my swimming career.
I finished my nearly ten-year stint with competitive swimming at my last high school State meet. I swam really well, medaling in the medley relay and doing two personal best times in the 400 freestyle relay.
The Hunger Games film franchise ended.
The odds are always in this film franchise’s favor: The Hunger Games films are arguably some of the best book-to-movie adaptations out there. I absolutely adore these movies – the screenplay, actors, acting, characters, plot, everything. The final installment to the series, Mockingjay Part 2, released in November and it was fantastic.
My family took its first family vacation in 2.5 years…
… And survived intact. We traveled to Colorado for Christmas – the first Christmas I’d ever spent outside of my city. We stayed there for nine days in a cozy little condo with a fireplace that warmed us from the -10 degree weather outside. Colorado is breathtakingly beautiful, and I really enjoyed the longer runs down the mountains (as opposed to the northeastern U.S., where I’ve skied in the past). And our private instructor, Will, was awesome!
I applied to colleges.
What a hellish nightmare. Absolutely awful. 0/10, would not recommend. But seriously, joking aside, it’s not a fun process. I’ve received two acceptance letters and one deferral, but I won’t hear from the majority of schools I applied to until February or March.
Well, that’s it for me and 2015.
What were some of your 2015 highlights?
Thanks for reading.