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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CWU chapter.

As I have gotten older, I’ve realized how important it is to look back and reflect on life.  What you have gone through, accomplished, and strived to do as the year passes you by.  I’m closing out my twenty-eighth year and it seems like it went by so fast.  I feel like I am different from last year, but I have so much I want to currently work on myself.

For starters, I’m in the middle of finishing up my first year as a graduate assistant for the Food Science & Nutrition Department at Central Washington University.  It’s crazy to think that the year is already coming to a close.  I remember at the start of the school year how nervous I was to teach lab classes and how I felt so lost about what I was going to do in terms of my research project.  If I could have told myself just relax and take everything in, I would have been a little less of a ball of nerves.  Now I can confidently say that I have my graduate thesis in the works and I’m continuing my research regarding nutrition information and diabetes.  I also enjoy the teaching aspect and how I can be a mentor to others and offer the proper help and guidance along their path through food science and nutrition.

Getting a little more vulnerable here I’m working on myself. That means my mental health. The last few months have been an absolute struggle filled with so many tears. I felt feelings like not belonging, not being heard, and sometimes completely just alone when I wasn’t. I’m grateful to have wonderful support systems but even more grateful that I am taking the steps to learn how to deal with issues like these that come up. Never push your mental health to the background, you never know how damaging that can be until you feel like the walls are caving in.

I’m trying to find my active side again.  The last few years have been tough to feel motivated to stay active and get back into shape.  I feel like I dug myself a huge hole that I struggle to climb out of.  My advice to myself and others.  Take it day by day.  The changes are not going to happen overnight.  I hope I get back to the super active side where I want to be going on hikes and trying new things when it comes to working out.  Right now, I take it in small steps, and for now, that’s enough. 

Its been a year, literally.  I know life is not going to slow down anytime soon but I hope I can learn to deal with situations better in my mental health and my physical health as well.  I have a feeling twenty-nine will be the year when I start to understand my body more and how I can make it the best I can while making sure I feel my best before I focus on the looks.  I choose to reflect on important tidbits like these because stuff like this will only make me stronger.  Things like this will only help me to create the best Katelyn I can be. 

My name is Katelyn Richardson. I am 29 years old. I am currently attending Central Washington University studying for my Master's in food and sciences to become a nutritionist and later a diabetes educator for kids. I've been personally battling type 1 diabetes since I was six years old. I love being outside, vintage shopping, watching movies, and going to stock car races! I love being a Her Campus Contributor because it gives me a platform to talk about current issues, topics I'm passionate about & real-life relatable experiences.