Brand New Day

*This is a speech that I gave to my Amazon cohort on January 9th, 2016*
New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday. Most years, a friend and I spend all night together until the countdown for the New Year. On December 31st, 2014, I went to downtown Raleigh with my friend, Nathan. We watched the 8 o’clock acorn drop (yes, an acorn), ate a Cookout hamburger, drank hot chocolate, and went to a family game night. The whole night was exciting, uplifting and a great way to ring in the Year of 2015.
I’m not a person with many traditions; however, I do strive to celebrate New Year’s Eve and every time I celebrate it differently. This New Year’s Eve celebration was pretty different than 2014’s New Year’s Eve. Often, I reflect on the changes between now and a year ago. I think about all the moments, good or bad, that I experienced over the past year, and how they are solely memories now. There is no way; I can even begin to imagine what is in store for me this year!
December of 2014, I was directing a 10 minute play in my theatre class. I
was performing my last performance with ArtStream. I was finishing my 3 AP
classes and perhaps, one of the hardest semesters of my high school career. Winter break was just around the corner, and so were the incoming acceptance letters from colleges and Global Citizen Year. Ironically, as I started the New Year of 2015 with this renewed hope for the better, I received news that would change the course of my life.
On January 2nd, 2015 my brother, my mom, and I sat in my living room
talking. I checked my email and unexpectedly bounced up and down with
excitement as I read that I had been accepted into Global Citizen Year and into
Ecuador. I was more excited to receive this news than most college acceptance letters! Today, January 9th, 2016, I’m standing here in a breathtaking beautiful country and in front of my spectacular cohort. This speech isn’t about the past or about the future. It’s about today. It’s about waking up every day with the New Year spirit. Besides the fireworks, one of the reasons, I love the celebration of the New Year is the connotation of a new year. A new year is full of new experiences, new friends, and a chance to make this year better than the last. It always gives me a feeling that I could leave behind the mistakes and challenges I had in the previous year. It gives me a rekindling of hope. I want to use the New Year spirit every day, not only within the first week of January. Now, that sounds a lot easier than it actually is, but I am willing to take on the challenge. You have to love and believe in today more than yesterday, but not more than tomorrow because tomorrow is a brand new day, filled with hope and new experiences. Although every day can’t be filled with friends, fireworks, and
Cookout milkshakes, every day we can embrace the New Year spirit.

“Everybody be glad
Because the sun is shining just for us
Everybody wake up
Into the morning into happiness”
                            -The Wiz