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You know what else is crazy? Today is also my last day of high school.
One year ago, I celebrated my blog's third birthday by writing about the life events I had experienced during my time as a blogger—starting high school, making new friends, living my own YA experience—and how incredible it was that Forever Literary had been with me through it all. I wrote about how fulfilling it felt to have been working on the same project since I was 14, improving my craft with each blog post. And I wrote about the nostalgia of reading old reviews and realizing that my underlying goal, meeting people who shared my passion for literature and promoting books I loved, hadn't changed since day one.
Now I'm 18, and Forever Literary has accompanied me throughout the college application process, from the first word of my first application essay to my final decision. Within the next few months, it will be part of my life as I graduate from high school, go on my first international trip (I'm visiting Amsterdam!), and start college.
It's scary to think about these upcoming events—especially college. But it's calming to remember that, despite the major changes I'll experience in the near future, my blog will remain constant, just as it has for the past four years. My friends will scatter across the state of Indiana, and I'll no longer see my family every day, but my blogger friends and I will be as close as we've ever been. I'll have to say goodbye to the groups and activities I've been a part of over the past four years, but I don't have to stop posting on Forever Literary or leave the blogging community.
That's why I'm going to do my best this year to make sure my blog stays as active as it's ever been, even as I adapt to the challenges of living on my own and balance my other college obligations. After four dedicated years, Forever Literary is too important to let fall to the side.
I'm of the opinion that if you ever feel comfortable with what you're doing, it's time to change things up, to try harder. And over the course of senior year, I've realized I'm comfortable with high school. I know the fastest routes between classes, I know how to earn points on AP exams, and I know I can count on my parents to pick me up after a tiring newspaper work session. I have a routine, I'm comfortable with it, and that means it's time to move on.
But what I love about blogging is that, while it's comforting in its constancy, I'm never comfortable. I'm constantly pushing myself to be better than I was last month, to think of creative marketing ideas, to write thought-provoking discussions, to get more comments and page views. And what better time than now, when change is being forced upon me whether I want it or not, to throw myself into my blog, a fixture in my life that provides the perfect balance of stability and newness?
There's no way for me to know how I'll deal with the changes I'll face in the upcoming months. I don't know how difficult my college classes will be, how distracting dorm life will be, or how time-consuming my new extracurriculars will be. But I do know that I have not only an obligation to continue contributing to the YA community (especially when it comes to the podcast I co-host), but a passion for what I do. And it's a passion that only grows the more I challenge myself.
So with that, here's to making Forever Literary's fifth year its best so far. It won't be easy, but thanks to my love for the constantly-supportive blogging community, I'm determined to keep creating content. To everyone who reads my blog: thank you for your friendship, your comments, and your support over the past three years. I can't wait to keep talking with you and working with you—hopefully as much as I ever have—in the years to come.