Lifestyle

Looking Back on 2017: Highlights of My Year

I may be a bit late, but I’m excited to be posting this “year in review.” I was inspired by college/lifestyle blogger Jessica Slaughter’s “year in review” post, and I thought it would be interesting to do something similar (looking back on my year, as well as what I hope to accomplish in 2018!) and share it on the blog.

Going into 2017, I didn’t have a clue what the new year would hold for me. 2016 was an incredible year of life-changing experiences – I’d studied abroad in London for 4 months, which was my first time traveling independently and living away from home. I learned so much about myself and about the world, and I made incredible lifelong friends. So I was wondering how anything in 2017 could possibly “top” that experience, in the sense that I knew my year might not be quite as externally exciting. I was still prepared to grow and to learn, but I wasn’t yet sure what that would look like. As it turned out, 2017 was another “big” year…!

JANUARY – MAY

  • During spring semester of my junior year, I began applying for summer internships with Disney. In April, I was offered the Print Production Internship with Marvel Entertainment, which meant I’d be moving to NYC for my summer semester!
  • In May, I turned 21 years old, but I was also down with the flu for a week. I don’t have any idea where it came from, only that it was awful and it was the sickest I’d been in years. So, on the day of my 21st birthday, I cancelled my plans with friends and stayed home in bed. We celebrated the week after, but I think the excitement had sort of worn off by then, haha.
  • Also, my ballet recital (I’d been taking ballet with a close friend for the past 2 semesters!) was scheduled that same weekend, and I managed to perform (pumped up with meds / with shaky knees). So I didn’t let the flu get me down! The ballet recital was exciting and way out of my comfort zone, but it felt really good to try something new and to showcase the routine we’d been rehearsing for months. (Shoutout to my girl Megan for taking that leap with me and to all the lovely ladies who participated in recital!)

JUNE – JULY

  • In June, I flew to New York for my internship, and I loved every single minute of my experience! I love big cities and it was especially exciting to work for such a well-known company and to meet new people with similar interests. I lived in student housing (Marymount College – I wrote a post about researching safe summer housing) and had 3 random roommates. So it was a lot of fun to explore the city with my roomies but also with new friends from Marvel.
  • I walked to work every day, about a 20 minute commute, but I loved passing St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Plaza in the morning. I absolutely adored the “Seated Ballerina” statue on display in Rockefeller.
  • The view from the Top of the Rock (twice, actually, once with friends and once with family!). So incredible! We watched the sun go down. Dare I say the view might be better than the view from the Empire State Building?! You can take some great shots of the Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock.
  • Day trips to Brooklyn! When my sister came to visit (bottom left, yellow sweater), we hopped over to Brooklyn for Smorgasburg, and drank from giant pineapples (John’s Juice) and then shopped at Artists and Fleas.
  • I saw HAMILTON. On Broadway. And it was the highlight of my life. The show was FANTASTIC, and I sat on the edge of my seat during the whole thing while I mouthed the words and cried. I am #obsessed with this play, because I love Alexander Hamilton’s story and I think Lin Manuel Miranda is a genius. (What CAN’T he do?!) I listen to the entire soundtrack on repeat and I’m a pretty decent rapper, in case you were wondering.
  • During my 10 weeks in New York, I discovered an obsession for Shake Shack, vlogged for the first time, saw 10 Broadway shows, and learned a whole heck of a lot about comics. 🙂

  • Shenanigans in Central Park, including the model sailboats from the Stuart Little movie! I’ve recorded the entire experience in this vlog.
  • A Yankees game at Yankee Stadium on July 4th! The game was a blast (Yankees lost – we’ll pretend it didn’t happen that way), and then we celebrated one of my roommates’ birthdays afterward by watching the fireworks over the East River. (Check out the July 4th vlog!)
  • One of my close friends Megan came to visit! *Megan was one of my roommates when I studied abroad in London 2 yrs ago, and she’s also the beautiful soul who took ballet with me. She spent the summer interning in Boston but took a bus to the city for a weekend, and we saw the World Trade Center, ate dinner at Eataly in Madison Square Garden, and spent an evening at 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar for rosé and a spectacular view of the Empire State Building. We also went to see Groundhog Day on Broadway and just so happened to be in the same audience as Bill Murray himself. #What?!
  • Cookie dough at DO! It was worth the wait.
  • Summary of my 10 weeks in NYC: discovered an obsession for Shake Shack, vlogged for the first time (check out my summer vlogs on my YouTube channel), saw 10 Broadway shows, and learned a whole heck of a lot about comics! Thank you thank you Marvel for the experience!

AUGUST – SEPTEMBER

  • August and September were very much about my duties as a bridesmaid for my best friend Ashley. <3 When I came home in August, we went to New Orleans for her bachelorette weekend! It was a whirlwind of fun and we stayed up really late and ate a lot of beignets.
  • The wedding took place in September, and it was a nerve-wracking / exciting / beautiful day during which I smiled so much my face hurt. Their ceremony was beautiful and I was so honored to be her bridesmaid.
  • *Ashley visited me twice over the summer in NYC. The first time for a social visit, and the second time for work (she’s a cosmetologist and a rep for Bumble and Bumble!). The first photo was taken during one of her visits to Manhattan, at popular rooftop bar Loopy Doopy for “prosecco and popsicles.”

OCTOBER – DECEMBER

  • I didn’t expect my fall semester of school (aka my last semester of college!) to be particularly difficult, but it took quite a bit of time/energy. It was bittersweet, because while I was excited to finish school, I’ve loved my time at university and it’s hard to believe there’s no going back.
  • I applied for a position as a Program Assistant with a study abroad program, and was offered the position in October! So I’ll be returning to London in February 2018 for 6 months (eeek!).
  • And in December, I graduated college! I took grad photos and participated in the ceremony (I still have my cap and gown – oops), so it all feels very official.

2018 GOALS

  • Blog consistently. I launched this blog in June, and have hardly posted since. After deciding to rebrand as Marion Ave (I blogged as Brooke Reviews originally), it’s been hard to start all over. But I’m committed to posting content and to getting to know my readers and other bloggers within the community.
  • Maintain friendships by keeping in touch / reaching out.
  • Continue vlogging! And, similarly to my #bloggoals, I want to commit to posting videos more consistently. I’m excited to learn more about the YouTube platform and about creating video content.
  • Research post-London opportunities! I’m talking jobs, my friends. When I return from London in August, it would be awesome to have something lined up. If not, I’ll need to spend some time when I get home submitting applications and preparing to move out (for good!).
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