Throughout 2013, I kept a mason jar on my desk to fill with special memories from the year. 2013 was a big year for me. Graduating high school, getting accepted into college, moving out of my house and out of North Carolina, leaving my old friends and my family, starting my new life at Furman University, and making new friends in a new state created a quite eventful and exciting year.

After celebrating the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 with some of my good friends from high school, I spent some time going through the events in my jar and reminiscing on all of the good memories of 2013. These memories included dinners out with my best friends during our last semester of high school, receiving my college acceptance letters, my high school graduation, a celebratory trip to the beach with my friends this summer, a farewell dinner with my family, my first night living in my dorm room, meeting my new best friends, fun evenings with my Furman friends, visiting home for the first time after leaving, and so many more wonderful events with both new friends and old friends. 2013 had a lot of big changes and adjustments, but it was also full of wonderful times with wonderful people.

The craziest thing is that before all of the events in this jar occurred, everything was so different. Last year at this time I was looking forward to a crazy year ahead, celebrating my last winter in high school. At that point, I had no idea where I was going to college, who I would be friends with, what I would be studying, or what state I would be living in.

So, what has Furman done for me in 2013? I have had the opportunity to meet some really great people. I have shared my experience as a freshman with prospective students. I have attended many CLPs where I heard speakers and watched documentaries that challenged my beliefs and opinions. I have further developed my interests through classes with engaging professors and through meeting upperclassmen students. I have kept in touch with my great friends from high school. I have adjusted to living on my own without my family. And I know that Furman has some great things in store for me in 2014.

There are so many people and places that are so important to me that I didn’t even know last year. It really does go to show that one decision can change everything. I’m happy to say that if I could relive 2013, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Happy New Year from my sisters and me!

E-mail me anytime at kjersti.kleine@furman.edu

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