2014 was definitely the year of change for so many reasons whether they were good or bad. No matter how goofy and ridiculous Wayne’s World is, I have always loved when Garth says, “We fear change,” because it is so true on so many different levels. That being said, change can be a really scary thing, but it is inevitable.  As I think about what to write, I’m completely overwhelmed with every emotion known to the human race. This was the year where I finally knew who I was and what I wanted from this life.

we fear change
art by Maya Gulassa

January – April

It’s so weird to look back at this year in retrospect, because it felt like it was never going to end. On top of that, it’s almost impossible to remember what happened when. Now it just seems like a blurry dream. I started the year in my last semester of high school, and it ended up being an unbelievably, frustrating time. I felt like I had been swimming the English Channel for four years straight, and I could see the shore on the horizon. I was becoming brain-dead due to my useless courses, dealing with an unfair defeat in my theatre competition and also being under-appreciated within my company, and realizing how little friends I actually had. On top of everything else, I also finally stood up to the administration about their unfair treatment to students. I had been bullied my entire time in high school, and whenever I told them about it they blamed me and brushed it off their shoulder. I remember urging my principal that she and the rest of her staff  needed to start doing something to prevent this, because other people were facing the same issue and not taking it as well. But to no surprise, they never did anything.


At this point of the year I was filled with a loss of hope and full of anger, but on the bright side I was about to graduate and could finally put that god-awful place behind me. I fell asleep at my graduation ceremony and then all of a sudden: high school was over. There are still no words to describe how happy I was to finally be done with high school. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I could finally breathe.


I had finally gotten a part-time job. It wasn’t the best place ever, but hey, my pay was over minimum wage so why complain? Besides working, I casually went to Europe. Wait, What!? It’s still so hard to describe what that trip was like, because it was so amazing in every way I had hoped for. It made me wish all the water was as pure and delicious as the kind in Switzerland. On top of everything else I fell in love… with France. Seriously, the most amazing and perfect place on the planet. If someone asked me to move there for anything, I would hop on a plane in a matter of seconds. On the plane ride home I watched Nebraska and Terry Jones’ history show, and basically cried the whole duration of the flight.

Besides having one of my dreams come true, I honestly can’t remember June. It feels like I did more, but at the same time it feels so far away that my fingers can only graze the memories.


I honestly only have two memories from this month:

1.) Well, it had finally been a year since my great-grandmother died. It was so odd celebrating the Fourth of July without her, because not only was it her birthday, but it was one of her favorite holidays (even though she hated how loud the fireworks were). It was surreal, because it was the first time ever that my family didn’t get together for any holiday whatsoever (I’m almost positive we have gotten together for Flag Day or something of the sorts). Although it was a huge change, I made sure to do everything but mope, because my great-grandma would never stand for it. I ended up going to an art museum in Houston to see The Beatles film Help! with a good friend and my mom. I didn’t even see one firework display that day.

2.) I was getting ready for a big event called White Linen Night located in Houston. After the event, my sister and I were featured in a local Houston magazine in September… so that’s really awesome! I can’t believe I thought this happened in July when it obviously didn’t though… Although it was at the beginning of August, it feels like it was a part of this month. Maybe it’s because so much happened in August and July was a bit dull? I’m not sure, but it’s crazy what you can convince yourself of.


The beginning of this month was so great. I dyed my hair pink, had a surprisingly great birthday with friends, and college. I can still hear my internal screams of excitement. I was so excited for a new city, new people, new everything. Everything I did that month led to my departure that led me four hours away from my family. I spent the last half of the month freaking out what clothing to pack and scrounging for everything I might need from home. I was so excited, but then move-in day came along. I remember as I hugged my mom goodbye I sobbed hysterically. Come to think of it, the whole car ride there with my dad I cried and listened to The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie. Now whenever I listen to that album I can feel the same exact way I did that day. Although I was terrified, I thought this was the right thing to do- emphasis on the “thought.”


To my surprise, meeting new people and making friends wasn’t difficult at all. Almost immediately I clicked with a few people who I consider good friends now. The weather was really awful this month- extremely hot. I want to say it was almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit everyday. Since the weather was terrible I didn’t really dress like myself. I wore the same shorts and various crop tops and t-shirts nearly everyday.


The weather wasn’t great, but it was beginning to be bearable. My choice of clothes changed ever-so-slightly with a subtraction of shorts and an addition to yoga pants. My classes started getting much more difficult and it became hard to keep up with all the group projects and essays due, as well as slaving over costume crew for almost two weeks straight every night for RENT. Somehow I was able to handle it all, but I began to be a lot more emotional. I don’t know whether it was the lack of sleep or the bad dining hall food, but I knew I wasn’t myself. Some days I wouldn’t even go to class, because I just didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to accept that something was wrong, so I ended up sleeping and watching television a lot. I ended up admitting something was going on when I had three panic attacks in the course of two days. I don’t know how to explain it, but nothing was making me happy. I realized that maybe college wasn’t for me or at least now was not the time for it.


I finally told my parents I didn’t want to return to college next semester.  I had mentioned the idea earlier in the semester when I told them I wasn’t happy, but they thought it was a phase. When I told them that nothing had changed and the semester was almost done, they were amazingly understanding about it. It’s not that I didn’t want to go to college… I just didn’t know what I wanted anymore at this point. All I knew was that I needed a break and Thanksgiving couldn’t come sooner.


R.I.P. Tessa. Killed by finals. They were so terrible and difficult and just thinking about finals makes me want to vomit. But for the first time that semester, the universe was on my side and I passed every single one! I am so much happier now, and not only that, but I am sooooooo ready for 2015!

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December 15, 2014