After a much needed (and appreciated) week in Hawaii, I loaded up my little Honda and embarked on my journey down to LA to start my fourth and final year of college…

I have absolutely no idea how these years have flown by so quickly, and how – inevitably – I’ve grown this much older; but despite the fast-changing world around me, I’m thankful for my ability to absorb – to look around and take mental snapshots of my surroundings and to realize that my world today is far different from what it was yesterday, and it will be nothing like my world tomorrow. The amount of opportunity and potential that my life holds is incredibly humbling (and scary).

And although change is scary, it isn’t bad – it’s necessary. And as my girl Sarah (one of my dearest friends and mentors) would say:

The only constant is change. Yes, in life the sun will set again and again, bringing relationships, dreams, and chapters to a close. But it will also continue to rise each and every morning, awakening new beginnings, new journeys, and new possibilities that we cannot yet perceive. Do not fear the night sky, for it is always followed by the sun.

And as the sun (eventually) sets on my time in college, I’m doing my best to embrace every moment. These (soon to be) four years have been the hardest, most joy-filled and downright weirdest years of my life. And thank goodness, because I wouldn’t have wanted them any other way. Because #college.

I’ve been in LA for 2 weeks now, and although I’m already hard at work and going about 1000 miles a minute, I still miss my family. No matter how old this girl gets, saying goodbye never gets easier. Especially after you’ve been downing mai tais together for a week straight with little zero responsibilities.

Starting this fourth and final school year is the beginning of the end of my college career; but really, it’s just the end of the beginning – the beginning of life. In 8 months I’ll be a freshman again – a freshman of life – and I’ll have the whole world just sitting at my fingertips. This summer has shown me so much opportunity and has given me such perspective on life, love, relationships, the working world, and what it means to commit myself to myself. Because at the end of the day, when the sun sets, I have to close my eyes knowing that I did my best to be my best – that I’m someone I’m proud of.

As I mentioned in my DAY 1 post, my goal for this year (and for life, really), is to focus on being happy. So I’m waking up everyday with a smile on my face (despite that 5:30am alarm), and trying my darndest to exude positivity and to catalyze the spreading of good vibes. That’s my goal for this year (and life), and I hope you’re inspired along the way. Because you inspire me. Everyday.

Keep doing your thang, ladies and gents – I’m so proud of you.