It’s kind of odd. It’s my last year being a teenager, which is so bittersweet. My teenage years have been very bumpy to say the least, but that’s just a part of youth. Periods and bras and all those initially embarrassing topics become a norm, and every grrl just learns to adjust to the new, albeit slightly awkward, lifestyle of being a teenager. We learn and grow from our mistakes and our successes, as well. I remember when I turned thirteen and was ready to literally conquer the world. No one could tell me anything because I was a freshly turned “young adult.” As I settled into my years as a teen and then realized thirteen was the bottom of the teenage food chain, I then looked to sixteen with excitement.

When sixteen came, I was elated because this was the year everyone looked forward to: THE sweet sixteen. There were even shows about it, although my birthday was less grandiose and flashy. I could finally drive without a parent (bless up) and gained some independence. I could control the aux cord and could play my own music as loud as I wanted to. But once I settled into sixteen and driving wasn’t as exciting as I remember it first being, I had a moment where I said, “Well damn. What now?”

That is the question, isn’t it? What now?

Time waits for no one, and the next thing I know, I’m seventeen and then, goodness gracious, a whole eighteen year old girl, who now has to decided what she is going to do with her life. I, like a lot of eighteen year olds, had to take multiple standardized tests that somehow believed they could determine my intelligence, apply for a lot of scholarships because money does not grow on trees, and apply to colleges in hopes they would accept me. Eighteen was a nerve-wracking year. It is the only year in my life where I can say I was in both high school and college. There were a lot of emotions at eighteen but a lot of growth, as well. So now that I have said goodbye to such a momentous age, it is, like I said, bittersweet. To know that I am now facing nineteen, my last year of the teens, which to me is synonymous to youth; it feels like I’m losing something. However, I do remind myself that it is not over yet. I have a whole year to live to the fullest. There’s no point in crying over it, because in the end it is just an age and age is just a number. I’ll just have to carry all the teenage laughs and inside jokes in my pocket when I turn twenty.