2017 Reflection + 2018 Resolutions

Hi everyone! 2017 has been quite the year for me, and I’m glad to say I mean that in a good way. These 365 days have been filled with crazy awesome opportunities, and I actually completed most of the goals I set around this time last year! Let’s look back, shall we?

Okay, this list was pretty extensive, but I managed to pull off most of it (of course with the help of others!).

#1: More opportunities + the courage to take a shot at them:I totally think I lived up to this one!

  • I joined a different SkillsUSA team this year that I had no idea about, and managed to still go to state with my team. I usually do photography, but this year, I did photography and chapter display!

  • This will tie into #7, but I freaking traveled across the country to Fairfax, Virginia to be in the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment!! That took a lot of courage!!

  • I entered into a local photography competition through my visual imagery class last (school) year and won third place, which came with a membership to the Lancaster Photography Association!

#2: Inspiration to improve and experiment with my photography:Okay, so this is probably one I slacked on. For those of you familiar, Instagram sends you your best 9 pictures of the year at the end of the year. Well, I hardly posted compared to 2016, and my likes plummeted. BUT, the pictures I DID take this year? So proud of them!! I feel like they show a lot of maturation in my style, so there’s that! (Instagram: nature.photography.x)

#3: Basic adulting skills: Looking back I realize I had no idea what this would even mean. (Nor do I really do still.) But, I think I have somewhat acquired some skills that will carry me into my adult life, like:

  • Requesting tax transcripts from the IRS. Does this sound like something a normal 17 year old does?

  • Filling out immunization forms, taking them to my doctor for signatures, etc. (Colleges are so demanding!)


  • You know what, applying to college in general. I stand by this, don’t tell me otherwise.

  • Learning from my mistakes.

#4: A job, a full license, passing AP test scores:Let’s be quite frank here,

  • @ 2016 Cierra, you’re applying to college next year!! That is time consuming and you don’t NEED a job!

  • A full license has not happened yet, BUT, I will have my permit before January 8th. Mark my words.

  • I PASSED MY AP TESTS! (4 on English Lang and 3 on Bio!)

#5: A scholarship or two would be nice:Hey, @2016 me, how does a scholarship to every school you applied to (so far) sound?

#6: An acceptance letter to the college I want to go to:Hey, @2016 me, how about seven acceptance letters (so far)?

#7: More real life experience with the field I want to go into: Again, I traveled cross country to be a delegate in an international youth conference centered around kids who want to help the environment. @2016 me, you did it.

#8: Challenges: Rather vague, but there have been some challenges throughout the year that I think I have (worked to) overcome, like:


  • Overcoming unnecessary emotional attachments (will touch on later)

  • My Goodreads challenge. I think that counts…

#9: A chance to see my love this summer: For those of you who do not know, my boyfriend of 2-3 years and I are long distance (1,440 miles apart.) I will never ever ever ever be able to thank my godmom, my mom, my dad, and his parents, for making this happen. A week with him (especially my birthday week) was one of the best gifts I have ever been given in my life. Thank you all so much.

#10: Anything else this year has to offer: Honestly, there is a lot else that happened in 2017, but looking back on 12 months of my life and trying to remember it all is overwhelming. I will say, however, that the biggest lesson this year has taught me is that I am capable of more than I think. It has taught me to break down big tasks into more manageable tasks, so that way I feel less overwhelmed and anxious about what I have to do. It has taught me patience, and in the last couple weeks of this year, I think it has taught me about self-acceptance.

When I mentioned overcoming unnecessary emotional attachments, I’m talking about my hair. If you’re on my Snapchat then you know the story, but cutting my hair was one of the biggest things I did this year (in a different sense.) I’ve always hated my hair. I mean for as long as I can remember, my hair has been crap in my mind. The problem was that I hated it short, and I could never imagine myself sitting here, at the end of 2017, with hair that is not shoulder length, not even ear length, and be able to say that I enjoy it. Big chopping was literally and metaphorically liberating, and I’m so glad I went through with it.

So, with all of that being said…

2018 will be a year of change.

I’m going to be leaving the nest after 18 years and traveling to where ever I end up at for the next four years of my life. With that, it’s going to be difficult to properly make goals for the new year, because I have no idea what to expect. So my number one goal for 2018 is:

Embrace it.

Expect and accept challenges as they come, and don’t be afraid to get outside of your comfort zone, @2017 me.

For the portion of the year I can anticipate, though, my goals are:

  1. Walk. That. Stage. May 30th.

  2. Pass my AP tests

  3. Get my full drivers license

  4. Goodreads challenge: +/- 15 books. (Dialing it WAY down because again, I’m not sure with my new schedule and environment next fall that I will be able or willing to read much).

  5. Spend time with people I love, because this change is definitely on the horizon.

  6. Keep up with your planner!

  7. Experiment with a new hobby. In 2016, I started my blog. In 2017, I started planning, In 2018, I….

  8. Just have as much fun as you can. Live in the present.

Thank you all so much for reading! Oh, and of course!

Let’s kill it, 2018!

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