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Mental Health

2010 v 2019: A Personal Reflection

Many things have changed over the years. I started the decade in the 7th grade and am ending it in the 16th grade. I was a straight A student in 2010 and now barely keep above a 3.0 (but algebra 1 and organic chemistry are different beasts). I was stuck in a uniform and now get to wear all my cool free college shirts. In 2010, I wanted to be a marine biologist and in 2019, I’m a semester away from graduating with a degree in chemical engineering.

But some things haven’t changed. I was 4’11 in 2010 and am 4’11 now. I listened to 2nd Day Crush in 2010 and listen to them now. I wore glasses then and staunchly refuse to switch to contacts now. I still love to write and still love science.

The decade has been pretty crazy. I have finished middle school and graduated high school. I’m about to graduate college. I went to a theater camp for four years. I have made hundreds of friends and changed so much. I have been published as a poet and have received accolades for my work in writing and leadership. I have been president of different clubs. There are a bunch of events over the past ten years that were instrumental to making me who I am today.

In terms of taste, things have not changed too drastically. I have gotten a lot more into indie pop music but have kept listening to many of the artists I used to. I have moved a bit away from Young Adult novels, but I also barely have time to read. I prefer science fiction now, though. I still love a good animated comedy movie, but I don’t think that ever leaves anyone.

When I began the decade, I was still rather shy. I loved acting and was in the advanced theater class but was still so afraid to speak up and do things on my own. I still like when someone comes to my defense or asks the professor first, but I am not as afraid anymore. I would spend three weeks two states away from my home at a camp with people I only saw once a year. Then I moved two states away in another direction to go to college. I was in a new place and knew almost no one. It was a trial by fire. I learned how to handle my own problems and improvise and developed into a reasonably responsible adult.

 As the decade comes to a close, I am reminded of the Amanda Palmer’s “In My Mind”, where she talks about who she thought she’d be and who she ended up becoming. In the first verse she says:


“Maybe I’ve just forgotten how to see

That I am not exactly the person that I thought I’d be”


But by then end she realizes she may not be who she thought she’d become but she is happy with who she became.


“And maybe it’s funniest of all

To think I’ll die before I actually see

That I am exactly the person that I want to be”


I am not a marine biologist or over 5 foot, but I am proud of who I am and hope to keep growing in this next decade.

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