My junior year of high school was rough. In addition to AP classes/tests, SAT and ACT prep classes/tests, extra curricular activities, and homework, college applications cast a cloud of unknowns over me that I had a really hard time dealing with. I stopped playing volleyball that year, and though I visited the gym frequently, I was missing something in my routine.
I’ve recently been feeling stuck in a similar slump, and I think junior year is to blame. This year has been my best in college thus far for innumerable reasons, especially living with my best friends, but making the effort to stress my independence often results in multiple phone calls or texts to some of the most amazing women in my life: my grandmother, my mother, and my best friend, Shannon.
My grandmother is the fiercest, most no-nonsense woman I have ever met. Her inner strength, cooking skills (especially her pierogi), and sharp sense of humor make her a force to be reckoned with. When I call her in need of advice or just someone to talk to, she never minces words. Her blunt honesty is often exactly what I need.
I’ll refer to my mother as a “lighter” version of her own; born and raised in New Jersey, she is not one to be messed with. My mother is the most intelligent, tuned-in, tenacious, and caring person I know. (She reads all of my posts, and I know she’ll call me out for using “tenacious “ in her description, but it’s true. I mean it in the best way, Mom!) Her intolerance for nonsense in any form, cooking skills (even better than her own mother’s), and ability to know and understand me better than I do myself make her my favorite person in every sense. She is the first person I call or text about anything and everything, and will always be my first and forever best friend.
Shannon, whom I have known since I was two years old, is my half-Peruvian sister. We do not have the same mother, but grew up so closely together, and have remained so incredibly close since, that we could. Shannon embodies all that a best friend should: she is honest, supports me in all of my endeavors, and is always there to make me laugh, cry (in a good way), or vent to when I need her most. She is the wittiest person I know, and inspires me live life to the fullest so I can write about it for our television show we plan to have one day. She’s the Amy (Poehler) to my Tina (Fey.)
One of my favorite Walt Disney quotes involves the phrase “keep moving forward,” and that’s exactly what I plan to do for the next two weeks until Spring Break. With fun things to look forward to and these three women in my life, in addition to those I have with me at school, I know I’ll be just fine. It’s like the tagline for the second season of one of my favorite shows, Girls: “Almost getting it kind of together.” Sometimes, that’s all one needs to be doing.
The most thoughtful, unexpected gift from my mom.
Alfred's trip when Shannon visited a few weeks ago.