Between this birthday and the last, I lost important figures in my life. My childhood dog and my grandpa being two of them. I keep their spirits alive, taking them with me on this new journey. My grandpa is the reason why I strived for Irvine. And my dog was my own buddy in growth. I dedicate my growth to them; I dedicate this entry to them.

With much anticipation, I’m finally eighteen. Starting the early morning academically peer editing, and later sitting in a lecture over Zoom. Sometimes, sometimes it feels like nothings changed. Even as there was much others and I left behind graduating. With much anticipation to age, I am entirely grateful to have made it here. Undermining my own high school accomplishments at times, I look back with the hope that I did my time to better the lives of my others; even as they continue to grow beyond.

The autonomy gained from moving away is proving better for mental and physical health. Consistent meals and scheduling laundry days, adulting is definitely a lot, but it’s so welcoming to be doing this with other people around me. Specifically, my friends from high school who still keep in touch, along with these new friends who’ve I’ve aquatinted myself with. I’m so grateful for them. Once again, reminding me that I am loved and appreciated. Even from a distance, they make a dorm feel like home. There’s no support system like them, but there’s no support system like yourself either. Long walks around and through Aldrich Park? Yeah.

After today’s lecture, I had a slice of cake at Brandywine or our dining hall. The pasta was alright. For my programming class, I spent half the day trying to index a list using another list. Of course, I over complicated it. And for anthropology, I pushed through annotating two more articles for our environmental case study. Back at Aldrich Park, I had a friend take care of my birthday photo shoot. Nothing too fancy, not even a formal dinner. Just the boys and I at Chipotle for that sweet queso blanco.

A lot has changed in a few weeks, months. I did have a good day though. Sometimes I wish more could’ve been done or said, but alas, time continues to move on. I can easily hate how my own routines can stay the same, but also hate how some feelings and situations can’t stay the same. And although I might condition today as uneventful, I found it nice to be able to take all of it in. Even if this isn’t what many wished me to do today, which was to party hard! With every reflection written after every birthday, I cringe a little, but I embrace the growth. I wish myself the best of luck for these next years in college, and for a first year in adulthood. I’m optimistic with where all of this takes me, determined to handle my anxieties of college. Even with a large amount of these unknowns, I can’t wait to cross these bridges with y’all.

We’re just getting started.