When you Google the definition of milestone, the answer does not give specific events. It simply states that it’s “an event marking a significant change or stage in development.” This leaves it to the individual to determine what events they believe fall under that definition.
During this time in my life, I feel I have experienced many milestones throughout the last two months. Although some of them may not seem significant to everyone, they were all important to me. Everyone one of these milestones has been important to my journey of becoming an adult and feeling independent.
In early July, I finally received my driver’s license. I didn’t realize I would be able to get so much use out of it without actually having my own car. I’m always driving my sister around and it makes getting to hang out with friends a lot easier. While this seems like a typical important event in any teenager’s life, it opened the door to many smaller milestones. I wasn’t expecting to feel they were important at all. As silly as it sounds, there’s something about going to the bank by myself that makes me feel like an adult. It’s an independent feeling knowing that I don’t need anyone else’s help to do such a simple task.
Having my driver’s license also allowed me to drive up to Bellingham by myself for orientation at Western. Because I was able to do that, I had a little taste of what college life would actually be like. I didn’t have my parents’ help. I had to figure out what I was doing on my own. I found the experience extremely moving. It was also very motivating and reassuring. I was able to realize I can step out of my comfort zone and be on my own. Getting my driver’s license was essential to giving me a feeling of independence from my parents and giving me the confidence I need to live on my own.
Another not-so-obvious milestone I recently experienced was a road trip to Silverwood with seven of my friends. While usually something like a road trip wouldn’t seem like too big of an event in my life, this one was special. This was the first trip I’d been on without any sort of chaperone. It didn’t seem like a big deal at first until we realized there was no one to make decisions for us. It was up to the eight of us to decide when to go to the park, when to eat and what other activities we wanted to do while on vacation.
Of course not everyone agreed all the time and it caused some problems for our group. While it was frustrating that we couldn’t all get along at every moment, I think it was an important milestone for each of us to experience. Now we’re all more familiar with how life works in the real world. Instead of having an authority figure tell us exactly what to do, we had to work together and work past our differences. The trip had its ups and downs, but it the end I think it was a value experience and important milestone for each of us to experience.
Writing for My Edmonds News has also been an enormous milestone for me. Before I was approached by Teresa, I’d never thought to write for anything more than fun. In these past seven months I have had a blast being able to share my thoughts and opinions with all of you. It’s been a crazy time in my life and I am so grateful for everyone who reads my articles and experiences these life- changing events with me. As I head off to Western in only a few days, instead of being a science major and planning to teach, I now plan to major in journalism. Writing this column really has changed my life and my goals. While I am sad to say goodbye to My Edmonds News for a while, I look forward to learning more about journalism and continuing to explore the many different options in the field. My Edmonds News will always have a special place in my heart.
Milestones aren’t defined for us. It’s all about what an individual feels has significantly changed or marked their life, in a good or bad way. At this time in my life, I’ve found I have been bombarded with many different kinds of milestones. Although some of them may not be terribly obvious important life events, they have all changed me and been essential to the person I am now.
Lily Jaquith is a 2011 graduate of Edmonds-Woodway High School. She plans to attend Western Washington University this fall. She loves working in children’s theater and has been a part of Madrona Children’s Theater for nine years. In her free time, Lily writes for her personal blog and enjoys social networking on Twitter (follow @LilyJaquith).