sunrise
Enjoying the beach sunrise at 6:30 a.m. in Belmar, NJ.

From Sunrises on the Beach to Painful Epiphanies

My view of 2016 was most definitely a negative one; a vision of terror, disappointment, and many sleepless nights. My year could only really be described as awful. With a study abroad program that fell through at my previous university, the unexpected death of a friend, and having to transfer to an entirely new school, 2016 was beyond difficult. I was fortunate to have a few highlights along the way such as living in North Carolina for a summer and joining the Arcadia community. And I did have a surprisingly enjoyable December. During winter break, I experienced an amazing New Year, spent time with my friends and family, attended a theater festival with Arcadia’s Theater Arts program, and even watched the sunrise on a beach in New Jersey. The sight was breathtaking.

sunrise

A picturesque winter break.

But two weeks into 2017, I got into a terrible car accident. I was driving on a back road in East Windsor, NJ,  going to pick my dad up from work, when my car hit a patch of ice and swerved out of control. I slammed on the brakes, but they refused to respond. My car crashed into a pole and fence, completely destroying the back-seat door on the driver’s side. I don’t know how, but I made it out with little to no injuries.  I couldn’t tell if I was the luckiest or unluckiest person in the world. Either way, I survived.

I’m ready to take what life throws at me, but embrace what I can create for myself.

I returned to Arcadia shaken, but eager to move past the accident. My training as a new Resident Assistant gave me a much-needed distraction. After a grueling week of training, decorating, and planning, I was officially ready to start the semester. Of course, that’s when my key and ID card decided to go missing. For the next two days, I spent every waking moment in a state of intense fear and panic. When you lose a dorm key, you have to pay for four keys, one for each person living in the suite, plus the cost of a lock change. I went to my staff meeting stressing the oncoming blow to my bank account and another RA casually mentioned that my key and ID were in my mailbox. Apparently, one of the housekeeping staff members had found it outside of the apartment building shortly after I lost it, which explains why retracing my steps didn’t help. After a minute of squealing, tears, and pure joy, I went to reclaim my items, yet again wondering if I was the luckiest or unluckiest person out there

At the end of the day, I’m mildly concerned about what else is to come in 2017 (based on my current track record, that is). Yet, I’m also  filled with this intense feeling of hope for what this year holds for me. I did have a near-death experience and a rough start to 2017, but I am still standing. I’m excited to be an RA, I’m working as a Career Peer Advisor at the Office of Career Education, I’m directing a one-act play with the student theater group, UnderSiege, and my dedication to theater and music have only increased. I’m ready to take what life throws at me, but embrace what I can create for myself.  No series of unlucky events can take that away from me. I can only go up from here.