Last year, as the clock neared twelve, from our airport hotel in Grand Rapids, my family and I began to countdown surrounded by dozens of suitcases and bewildered by the sight of a foot of snow. As I looked around our messy hotel room and outside into the darkness, I realized that everything would be okay. My new home was going to be just fine.
As I started school only a few days into the new year, I was immersed in a completely new learning environment. Though it took getting used to, I began to enjoy the independent style of my classes. Along the way, I met dozens of new people, most of whom happily welcomed me with open arms. I learned new ways, experienced new things, and settled into a new life.
Gradually, the snow melted as the sun began to shine a little brighter. Before I knew it, it was already summer. A hectic school year came to a quiet end as I reflected upon the first few months of my Michigan high school experience. Over the summer, I was lucky enough to travel and explore, spending a few weeks in Florida to catch up with old friends and experience the magic of Disney World for myself. On my trip to Southeast Asia, I relished spending time with family in Singapore and Malaysia. I explored the beaches of Bali and wandered through markets and alleyways.
Just as fast as it came upon me, all of a sudden, summer had ended, and I entered the long trek otherwise known as junior year. With a challenging class schedule and a new job, I found myself overwhelmed and longing for more hours than just 24 in a day. But, I persevered. Determined, I discerned how to truly maximize the time that I was wasting and discovered a newfound sense of contentment. I began to accept the challenge that I bestowed upon myself and no longer felt like I was wasting my days.
This year, as the clock nears twelve, from our city hotel in Kuching, India, my family and I will celebrate a successful year – one with innumerable twists, turns, and surprises along the way. On our trip, I will experience the beauty of Kerala, an Indian state, and indulge in the way of Keralan life. If I was able to not only survive this difficult year but prosper, I know that I will be able to take anything that life throws at me this coming year. Though I don’t know what this new year will bring, perhaps new friends, classes, and responsibility, or maybe even a new home, with the help of my family and friends, I’ll be able to take it.